Monthly Archives: August 2008

My New City

For all my griping and whining about reserve months, this one has actually been completely painless. I even ended up with a whole week off of work, which never happens on reserve. I’ve never been so happy to eat crow.

I also did the seemingly impossible and missed another deadline – requesting my schedule for next month! This is so central to the flight attendant’s life, it’s unthinkable I could have manged such stupidity. I can only guess that my priorities have changed since being sick…which is an interesting post-return-to-work issue I didn’t see creeping up on me. As my sis pointed out, I’ve sure had a lot of changes in the last few months. It’s hard to keep up with them and get myself re-settled. Work deadlines move so fast, and I guess they’re just not as high on my list as they need to be. *sigh* I’ll try to cut myself some slack; I’ll get the hang of it. (For now I soooo lucked out and got a workable schedule for next month, which snatched me from the jaws of depression. Huge sighs of relief all around.)

This lovely week off of work was spent getting some proper experience with my new city. I am happy to find that Del and I really do regularly say, “So, let’s get out of the house. Shall we go to the [Fill in blank] museum today?” And we do! Yesterday was the US Bontanic Garden, the day before that it was the Museum of Natural History. (Currently reading [the awesome] 1776, I’ve specifically tried to see the Constitution several times, but the line is always 1 hour+ long. A pain for me, but I’m very happy to see this in terms of public interest.) I’m loving it.
This could be any number of Euro cities. Minus the pickup truck.

And I’ve come to a conclusion about DC which couldn’t make me happier: Aesthetically speaking (at least), I have moved to the closest thing to a European city we have. Grand, elaborate, gorgeous buildings…broad sidewalks…lots of parks…a plethora of (free) museums…lots of foreigners. All things considered, I am a happy girl.

The capitol and the greenhouse.

Weird cactus from the Botanic Garden.
A friend I made at the Museum of Natural History.

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The List of 3

I have certain strategies that keep my life outlook on track. Strangely to me, these sometimes come off as a fascinating quirk. One of those outlooks is to focus on the positive. Not because I like cliches nor aim to be nauseatingly cheerful, but because the negative just doesn’t feel good. And I like to feel good. Luckily, I tend to naturally forget bad stuff.

To the point of strategy, I have a rule that I am allowed a list of 3 people at work that I allow/recommend to myself to make an effort to remember that I don’t like them. The great thing about being an F/A is that we don’t take it home with us. The nastiest passenger is but a funny/incredible story 10 minutes after they walk off the plane. But I also meet all sorts up there. Some F/As are the sweetest; some are certifiable nut jobs. It’s also great that rarely do we have to put up with anyone for more than 3 days, so even if we seriously don’t click, it’s not too much to ask to rise above it for 3 days. At worst I can make sure I stay on opposite sides of the plane.

However, we do cross paths with the same colleagues over and over. I also rarely remember names so when I meet my crew for the day it is not uncommon for me to think: I don’t really remember this person, but I get the feeling I don’t like him/her” (or vice-versa). This is a strange experience to have. However, if I can’t remember why I get the feeling I do, I figure it can’t have been that bad or I could be mistaken. So I start fresh and see what happens. Even if I DO remember why I get that bad feeling, I let it go and do not repeat the story to others, assuming that we once just had a bad day.

But as much as I like my difficulty remembering the bad, that can be dangerous. There are some people whom it is better to remember to be wary of. That’s why I have “The List of 3”. Three people that I officially can’t stand. Three people who get no more “chances”. If I find a 4th, I have to chose to let someone else go. I just don’t want to dedicate a larger space in my life to remembering negativity.

This is all natural to me. But Del finds this fascinatingly quirky and has taken to telling the story. In turn, I find that amusing.

But if you’re on that list? It means you’ve done something really, or repeatedly, inappropriate. It means I no longer assume that you deserve respect. It means I will tell people who ask why I don’t like you. It doesn’t mean that I will be a jerk, it just means I will remember that you are one, so will not go out of my way to be all friendly.

Currently there is only 1 person on my list. I still can’t remember her name, but her face and offense is clear. (She’s a 40+ year old who saw fit to physically push me, at work, when she challenged me on a rule and turned out to be wrong. Future interactions corroborated her personality.) Ironically, the last time I flew with her she couldn’t remember why she recognized me. I never told her. When she kept taking guesses (“I know, didn’t we go out to dinner together on a Zurich layover?”) I would just look at her stone faced and say “No, that is not why you remember me,” and leave it there. The person who would be #2 hasn’t been seen in about 6 years, so I’ve let him go. The other person that was on the list? Well…what do you know? I honestly can’t remember.

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1000 Words

After the overly detailed work tirades of late, I’ll leave you with some of those photos taken at work, as promised. (I still don’t have the Haiti ones on my computer…will get to those.) Presenting: The life of a flight attendant (the good, the bad and the ugly).

A layover in San Jose, Costa Rica is tempting, but extreme exhaustion (from a 4:40am report time at the airport that day – who’s going to Costa Rica that early in the day anyway? Scheesh!) and lack of infrastructure to make touring even possible (as far as we can tell), mean this is all we’ll get to see.

On my first trip back to London, this is all I see of the city. It’s often shamefully hard to go out in London, between it being offensively expensive [i.e. $8 per subway ride], being tired, and being sure that I’ll be there – literally – 100s of other times. It’s sort of like motivating to sight see in your own city.

On my next trip, I am determined to go out. And one of the most beautiful days ever in London draws me to Kensington Park for “breaky” and people watching, before I fly home.

And the people watching is good…(I call this one “Punk Rock Monk”).

This are my views as I commute into and out of NYC…

The sun lowers under the clouds before we do, so we get a sunset from above.

Now we join the sun underneath the clouds, heading towards NYC after a long day’s flight.

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