flightmum











I had this guy on my flight who was quiet and non-descript. He sat in his aisle seat for 5 hours and didn’t say or do much.  Towards the end of the flight, the young woman sitting next to him, approached us to tell us that she thinks the guy she was sitting next to peed all over his seat and it smelled terrible.  I looked at the passenger and he was distractedly looking out the window. Poor guy! Maybe he was embarrassed.  

We relocated the young woman to another empty seat and I made a mental note to have the seat cover changed when we landed. I headed back to business class to start preparing the cabin for landing. No sooner did I get there, the interphone rings and the flight attendant shouts: He’s pissing all over the crew seats and my lunch bag and jacket are all wet!

I hurried once again to the back of the airplane to the animated flight attendants. They explained that the passenger got up and was waiting in line for the toilets. Then he wandered over to the crew seats, unzipped his fly and proceeded to pee all over the seats and carpet. I went to confront this guy and explain to him that this was unacceptable, but he was pretended to be asleep.

I explained the situation to the captain and we both agreed that we were so close to landing that it was pointless to confront the guy in case he became aggressive. We planned to have the police meet the flight on arrival.

We landed 20 minutes later and I made an announcement to the passengers to stay seated. The police came onto the aircraft and escorted the pisser off first. Most passengers had no idea what had happened up until that point.

The police questioned him and searched his bag and found an empty mickey of Jack Daniels. Unbeknownst to us, he was sneaking drinks throughout the flight.

The guy was charged with vandalism and required to pay for the cleaning of the seats and was denied boarding on his next flight.

How do you like them apples?



{January 29, 2013}   Transition time

Flight attendants are a unique breed.  We kind of do speed dating when we first board the airplane with our colleagues but we call it speed talking. We usually fly with different people all the time. So, we are always introducing ourselves. It goes something like this: Hi! I am Jane. Nice to meet you. What’s new with you? Me?  I had a threesome with my boyfriend and a prostitute last night.  Okay… Maybe not exactly,  but close!

We do share personal information with our co-workers pretty quickly. It’s a weird concept to grasp but I think I figured out why. Firstly,  we go to work and leave our family and friends behind for an extended period of time.  We can’t just send a quick text of make a call. So, our fellow flight attendants become our family and friends for a few days.  Secondly, we unplug from our technology  as soon as we come to work. We can’t escape into cyberspace. We have to dust off our underused communication skills and get reacquainted with the art of conversation…until we land at our destination and we can finally  get lost in our smart phones and Facebook  again. And if you don’t buy either of those two reasons, then maybe it’s because we work in a pressurized airplane tube and we are deprived of oxygen. Anyhoo…

Last week,  I was flying with a lovely flight attendant  and we were talking about our kids. Pretty basic stuff. Then, bang out  of nowhere, she casually reveals that her ex-husband is transitioning into a woman and it’s hard on her sons. Wow. Okay. I mean, what do you say to that? I’ve only known her for like one hour. Um …thanks for sharing! Tell your ex to have a nice sex change. See you later!

 



{January 27, 2013}   All in a day’s work

I was flying to the Caribbean the other day when the temperature was so darn cold here at home. I tell you, I really wanted to stay in the warm sunshine. Airplane – break down,  dammit. But it was just a turn around flight and so I had to go back home to the frigid temperatures.

On the flight there, a passenger complained that she wasn’t feeling well and was having trouble breathing. Off we went to page for a doctor, let the captain know about the medical situation and fetch the oxygen bottle and other first aid equipment. We put the passenger on oxygen (oxygen fixes 99 percent of all my medical distress calls) and a few nurses tended to the patient, listening to her breathing etc. Thankfully,  there always seems to be at least one medical professional onboard whenever I need one.

Meanwhile,  the captain let atc (air traffic control) know about the situation and requested to be patched through to a team of medical doctors that support us and give us advice from the ground. 

Eventually,  the passenger was fine.  Later, the captain had suggested that perhaps we could have held off paging for a doctor and see if she got better with just oxygen. I was shocked he would say that for two reasons.  One – when someone tells me that they are having trouble breathing,  I react quickly.  I don’t think a ‘wait and see’ attitude is the way to go!  Two – It’s our company’s policy to always page for a doctor and to get in touch with our medical personel on the ground. I later found out, that he didn’t want the medical people to get involved so as to avoid filling out all the required paperwork after the fact.  Nice guy!

On the way back to Canada,  it was a lot quieter.  The passengers had just spent a week in the hot sun and drinking their faces off. As we were boarding the aircraft,  it got quite warm in the cabin. There was a family with a baby sitting close to the front of the aircraft.  When, the safety demo was playing,  the cabin was finally starting to cool off.  The father had a magazine that he was holding on the ceiling above his head. I thought that was odd but assumed that he did not want the cold air conditioning blasting on the baby. Finally,  I asked him about his magazine act and he said the speaker was right above their head and he was afraid the noise would wake up the baby. I looked at the baby and she was out cold. Nothing would wake up that child!

I noticed the next time I made an announcement, the dad swiftly placed the magazine back over the p.a. speaker. Sure enough, every time we spoke on the p.a., the magazine would fly up to the ceiling like a rocket. It was quite humorous to watch. Like I said, that baby was not waking up no matter what!
Before I made any announcements, I would stick my head in the cabin so I could watch the dad’s reaction. It gave me a little chuckle every time. Maybe I made more announcements then usual on that flight… And, no, the baby never woke up!



I was on a layover, sitting at the desk in my room, looking for some writing paper. Usually there are a few sheets with the hotel’s logo lying around. I was looking through all the hotel binders. There has to be paper somewhere. Right?

I flipped to the last page of the hotel information binder and lo and behold, I found something. I did not find any writing paper but I DID find a sticker with a scantily clad woman on it that had Lesbian Angels written in big letters. Also written on it was: 24 hours, hotel visits available. Wow! That was unexpected! I wonder how long that sticker advertisement went unnoticed in a reputable hotel information book!

How many women (or men?) go to a hotels, order room service and then think: what should I do now? Rent a movie or dial 1-800-lesbian. If they chose the latter, it certainly would take the ‘layover’ to a new level!

So, what did I do with my lucky find? What do you think? I took the lesbian sticker off the hotel book and brought it to my flight the next day. I showed it to the flight attendants and pilots. I got lots of laughs and a few phone numbers…



{January 24, 2013}   Oh what a life!

Being a flight attendant and a mum is not that hard to juggle. People who don’t know much about our profession think that we are never home and it must be hard always being away from  the kids. Yes, we might miss some events, like a school play or our kid’s soccer game. But, at the end of the day, I am home more than a nine to fiver mum. Instead of seeing my children for a few hours every day, I see them for an extended period of time when I am on days off. I don’t have to rush home and cook dinner at 5 pm. I get to shop for my groceries on a Tuesday afternoon. I even get a few hours to myself in our home every now and then when the kids are in school and I have a day off. I also get to volunteer at their school and go on school trips. Life is good!

Nope, I wouldn’t trade my job for any other job. I still love flying and traveling.  I STILL think after all these years that it is exciting!  Every day I go to work, I never know what to expect.  It could be a thunderstorm and a red alert that shuts down the airport. Or it could be a mechanical problem on the airplane and an unexpected layover in a warm destination. We get to meet all sorts of people from many different countries and backgrounds.  Every day is an adventure. 

I go to work with a positive attitude and ready to take on whatever comes my way. When I completed my initial flight attendant training 15 years ago, I remember my instructor telling us that if we wanted to be flight attendants,  we need to accept that with our crazy work schedule that we must be prepared for anything.  Even, be prepared to be the only person that does not show up at our own dinner party. 

I have missed a few dinner parties over the years. But, no worries! There is always the next one.



{January 23, 2013}   Open mouth…insert hand.

I tend to open my big mouth and say the wrong embarrassing things too often. For example,  I routinely congratulate a woman on her pregnancy when she is not even expecting.  I made a pact that I would never talk about one’s pregnancy until either she tells me about it first OR I see the baby drop down from between the mum’s legs. That decision has saved me from many other awkward moments.  Except once. A woman was boarding the aircraft with 2 little boys trailing behind her. I mentioned to her that I had 2 boys and a girl.  I asked if that one (pointing at her stomach) is a girl. She looked at me confused and walked to the back of the airplane.  Of course I was mortified.  It wasn’t even that she was fat or anything. She was just wearing a loose hideous jumper outfit that I thought nobody in their right mind would wear unless they were pregnant. I avoided this passenger for the rest of the flight, which is difficult to do in a narrow  metal tube that flies in the sky.

Recently, there was an older man (in his mid 50’s), 2 young ladies in their early 30’s and two children aged 3 and 5 all sitting in business class together.  Four out of five of the passengers had the same last name. The way they were on the seating chart showed the little girl had a different last name. Each child, was sitting next to their ‘mum’ and the man was sitting on his own nearby. I said to the man: are they both your daughters?  I deduced that he was the grandpa, the young women were his daughters and the children were his grandkids. He looked at me funny and pointed to the little boy and said that one is a boy. I said “right” and scurried away with my tail between my legs. As it turned out, he was married to one of the woman and the other one was their hot nanny. Oops.

Lastly,  there was the time a gentleman boarded my flight and he was holding a bag in one hand, coat in his other, and his boarding card in his mouth. I said to him, ” looks like you need another hand!” He replied, “don’t even go there!” I was confused until I looked closely at him and noticed that one of his hands was  a prosthetic made out of plastic and was there just for aesthetic reasons. 

My new resolution is not to talk to my passengers from now on.



{January 23, 2013}   Fine dining with a stir stick

I have a confession to make.  I love eating any and all food on the airplane with one utensil only – a stir stick.  My airline has one with a hollow circle with our emblem in it. I spear food such as fruit with the pointed end. I have also used the stick as a knife to cut soft food. I use the circle part to eat yoghurt or spread butter.  My stir stick is BETTER than a spork. Way better! I know, this sounds really weird, but I guess little things make me happy.  I love my stir stick.  Who’s with me?



{January 21, 2013}   My anorexic 4 year old daughter

At what age can a child be diagnosed with anorexia?  My daughter just does not like to eat! Yes, she has energy and is growing.  But she is SO stubborn when it comes to food. It’s impossible to get her to eat when she decides that she does not want to.  Maybe it’s because she is my third child and I have no fight left in me, which explains  why she ALWAYS gets away with eating so very little.

My first born son has always been such a good eater from the day he was born. In the past, when my friends had had trouble getting their child to eat their dinner,  I used to smugly think that I was SUCH a good  parent. I mean, look at my kid eat! And, even today, at almost 10 years old, he out eats my husband and I, and you can still see his ribs sticking out of him! (For those who know us, my husband and I LOVE eating!) Nothing like one of your children humbling you. Maybe I am NOT such a great parent after all!

But, the truth is, you cannot and should not judge a parent’s abilities (or lack thereof) based on one or two parenting episodes. Unless of course they involve  letting the kid play in the middle of a busy road or sharing their bong with their toddler,  but I digress…

 

 



{January 19, 2013}   Penis allergy

Sometimes our kids say the cutest things and you get all warm and fuzzy.  Or sometimes they say the funniest things and you repeat it to all your friends and family.  Then there are the times when they talk and you just want to hide under a rock because you are so embarrassed.  These are their stories:

We were all invited to a birthday party.  All the kids were having fun. When the mum of the birthday boy brought out the Angry Birds birthday cake, we all sang happy birthday and the candles were blown out. Good times!  The mum then turned to my middle son and asked if he was allergic to peanuts. He replied: No, I am allergic to penises. Of course, that got a huge laugh and got the party started,  so to speak.  

I apologized profusely but it was laughed off. You always wonder how your children will act at other people’s homes. Now I know!

The birthday boy’s two year old brother’s favourite word is now ‘ penis’. He says it all the time.  But, our friend,  ‘the mum’ swears that her little guy did not learn that word from us!



{January 18, 2013}   Good morning, Captain Jerk

I was on a short layover in the States and organized my wake-up call before I went to bed. The next morning,  I woke up to the phone ringing.  But,instead of informing me that it was time to wake up, I was told that my flight crew was downstairs waiting for the airport shuttle and was I on my way downstairs. Well, no, I wasn’t.  Thanks for asking. I never received my wake up call! I am still in my jammies! I informed him that the crew should go to the airport without me and I will meet them there. I had 30 minutes to get ready before the next shuttle bus. As flight crew, we have to be at the airport 1 hour before the flight, so, I still had some wiggle room and should stop be okay with time. I know I probably should have a backup alarm just in case, but you would  also think that a reputable hotel shouldn’t mess up something as important as one’s wake up call.

So, off I went to the airport 30 minutes late. Said hi to the flight attendants and introduced myself to the captain. Despite not being late on purpose, he was a real jerk…totally giving me attitude and wasn’t very nice. Well..isn’t my day just getting better and better! 

Quickly escaped the cockpit (no pun intended) and proceed to board the aircraft.  All the while fuming.  You better not ask me for coffee, Captain Jerk. You might just get a little unpleasant surprise in it this morning. 

(no actually pilot was harmed in the making of this blog)



et cetera