I have been a flight attendant for 9 years now and overall I am quite happy with my career. The airlines have had hard times recently and I have seen my pay decrease by at least 25%, that’s about $1200 a month in real terms. Those flight attendants who are still around mostly are in a place where we are happy, but create that happiness on our own. The managers and directors of the company run the company, not us. The door to the aircraft closes and they are not on it. WHEW!
So, to enlighten anyone who has ever thought “why don’t you just quit if you are so mad” after hearing an employee talk about the decrease in pay or how exhausted they are after a 16 (or up to 22) hour work day. These airlines are OUR companies, not theirs. I personally have been though 3 CEO’s in my 9 years. It is difficult to mentally give too much control of our careers to the managers and directors, since they will be long gone before too long. Our companies are as good as we make it, and I do have to say I have seen both sides of the coin. For every person that is fed up, there are two who are very happy in their lives and love their job.
All of that said, its the holiday season again. I am approaching another week of being gone constantly. If there was one thing I really hate about my job it is not being home for the holidays.
I love cooking, I love baking, I love seeing the house decorated. Now, its true you will not see me with my arts and crafts kit out making little snowflakes, but it is nice to see.
I have always had a decorated tree, even when I had to do it alone. I really love the look of it. I remember as a kid, I would always sleep downstairs next to it. I would beg my mother to leave it lit all night, “just this once”.
Well, no matter where I am, I know I will still be a little sad. I remember a Christmas. I was in Oklahoma City on Christmas day. Of course, everything, including all restaurants are closed on Christmas Day so the options are minimal for food. The crew offered for me to come with them. One of the hotel staff had cooked for us, and invited us down for dinner. I said no. I was so angry that I was not at home. I remember my mother calling. I was sitting on my bed alone. My mother asked “what are you doing?” Then it hit me. I said “you really want to know? I am sitting on my bed, eating canned tuna with my fingers.” I hated that moment.
Last year, for Christmas I arrived into Tokyo, Japan on Christmas Day evening. When you go west you lose a day, so we left in the morning of Christmas Eve and got to Tokyo around 6pm Christmas Day night. When I walked into the hotel, there was the most beautifully dressed choir, all in dark color robes, singing Christmas carols in English. They were all Japanese singers. I am not sure if they donated their time. It was amazing. My eyes filled up, I again got very down and went to my room. It was a beautiful moment. I just have anxiety about not being with family for the most important time for me of the year.
I promise you today, this year will be different. No matter where I am, I will make the best of it. I have been sulking for too many years. I will not do it anymore, or at least try not to.