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.