Archive for first

First Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 31 March, 2010 by Thomas

It’s the start of a four day trip that’s already been cut short by two days because of my last three day trip that had me working eight days in a row (which is illegal – I can only work a maximum of six days).  This is no normal trip for me.  As a check flight attendant I’m responsible for training newly graduated flight attendants, and today is not only this new hire’s first day but also my first day training.  Neither of us has any idea what to expect.  All I know is that she was the “valedictorian” of her class, and because my trip has been cut short I only have four legs with this girl before she moves on to another check flight attendant to finish out her training on the CRJ-200.

I looked at the passenger loads last night to see how difficult her first day may or may not be, and thankfully they were pretty light.  This first leg to LGA she is just shadowing me, watching me during boarding and during the service.  I’m asking her questions to test her job knowledge and explaining everything I’m doing (or trying to anyway).  We only have 25 people on board and it’s early so most people are asleep and the service is over before we know it as is the flight.

With only 26 minutes on the ground in New York boarding for the second leg is almost immediate.  For this flight we only have 17 passengers so the main cabin door closes pretty quickly and we get ready to do the safety demo.  It’s the new hire’s turn to do the safety dance, and she does it very well if a bit theatrically.  We secure the cabin and notify the flight deck that we’re ready to go.  Because of an incredibly long line behind us it takes us 45 minutes to even push back from the gate.  We’re finally in the air, and she makes her announcements with great style and aplomb.

We start the beverage service, I’m following behind her, watching her take orders and serve drinks.  We’re in the middle of the cabin when the flight deck calls back.  I go to the front to answer, and the first officer tells me we’re diverting to Philadelphia, to put the cart away, and prepare for landing.  He doesn’t tell me what’s wrong, and in effort to get everything put away as quickly as possible I don’t ask.  I just know that he’s not asked me to prepare the passengers for an emergency.  We get everything put away, and I make an announcement telling the passengers that we’re diverting and going to be landing soon.  I tell them there’s nothing to worry about and that this will be a normal landing.  Everyone seems to be doing OK so I sit down in my jumpseat.  A few minutes go by and I can hear that the guys up front are wearing their oxygen masks.  I know we haven’t lost pressurization because the masks in the back have not dropped, but I’m still wondering what’s happening.  Finally, the first officer calls back and tell me the windshield has cracked and they have the masks on just in case they need them.

I make another announcement telling the passengers why we’re diverting, and this time I walk through the cabin to check on people and make sure everyone is still in good shape.  One passenger stops me and asks if it is raining in Dayton (where we’re going).  I tell him it is not, and he asks if it is raining in Philadelphia (where we’re diverting).  I tell him it is, and he asks why don’t we continue on to Dayton where’s it’s not raining instead of going to Philadelphia where it is raining.  I wonder if this guy thinks airlines usually tell people they’re going to be flown to one location only to change their mind and instead take them somewhere else.  I remind him that the windshield is cracked and the captain is not going to fly all the way to Dayton with a cracked windshield.  His response is one that would indicate that he didn’t listen to the announcement I just made saying as much.  I don’t know about anyone else, but if I were a passenger and the flight attendant made an announcement saying we were diverting to another airport shortly after taking off and without reason I would then listen to everything that was said from that point on.  Apparently, though, this guy couldn’t be concerned with details.

Twenty minutes go by and we finally land and pull up to the gate.  The flight deck door is opened and boy is that windshield cracked.  One of the supervisors tells me that the flight is most likely going to cancel and to ask the passengers to remain in the gate area after deplaning.  Everyone gets off the plane, and it’s just the four of us on there for the next hour and a half.  After the initial glance at the windshield by the police and a maintenance guy, no one else comes out to look at the plane.  Scheduling finally calls us and sends us all to different places.  My new hire deadheads down to Washington, DC to meet up with another crew and the pilots go to Charlotte to spend rest of the afternoon in a hotel.  I, however, get to hop on a plane back to Dayton where my day finally ends around 7pm.  A four day trip has turned into a one day trip.  I don’t mind this at all because I still get paid for all four days.  One of the benefits of being a fancy lineholder is cancellation pay.  Since all those flights were part of my original schedule I get paid for the them even though I don’t work them.  I just scored three paid days off.

Where to Begin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 November, 2009 by Thomas

Hello there, how ya doin’?  I’ve got all these thoughts just floatin’ through my brain.  They bump, and they collide and cause a flurry of confusion, and it’s gettin’ on my nerves.

–Motion City Soundtrack – “Where I Belong”

I don’t even know where to start with all this.  I guess I’ll just start here…

Last night I got a call from a union rep about my blog.  It was only a CYA call because she didn’t want to have to represent me in a meeting with management should I find myself in hot water due to my semi-coherent babblings.  She recommended that I keep my blog 100% anonymous, and after we hung up I did just that because I got just bit worried that I could get a good friend in trouble because of an earlier post should someone with the power to fire me read it.

Part VIII of our Information & Technology Policy states:

Prohibition on Presenting Yourself as an Employee of the Company on the Internet – Company employees are prohibited from identifying themselves as Company employees when posting comments on the Internet or on other on-line services.  This rule applies even if a statement is included that clearly states that the user is expressing his or her own ideas and not necessarily those of the Company. This rule also applies where such posting is done from the user’s personal equipment. Internet traffic sent via Company resources is identifiable as being from an employee with the Company.  Therefore, participation in Internet newsgroups and the like via Company facilities is prohibited.

So after rereading that section and deleting the potentially problematic post (I do like my alliteration) I decided that I was comfortable having identifying markers on my blog.  Maybe that’s a bad idea, but I was in a funk all day because of the changes I made.  Now I’m in a better mood with my name and what not back up.  Let me know if you think that’s a dreadful idea.

This is Chávez, not the passenger.

Tonight I had a passenger on the way to HSV who looked like Hugo Chavez, only 20 years younger.  I’m talking spittin’ image of the despot.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the guy, but how do you ask someone, “Can I take your picture?  You look exactly like a douchey dictator.”  He seemed like a quiet and reserved guy, but for all I know he was Chavez’s nephew going to HSV to investigate our great and powerful space program, and if I had asked he would have had to straight regulate on me.  That’s no way to end a pleasant evening, being regulated on.Gross Drain

This is how I found my galley drain tonight.  I think the FO did it when he was being an asshat.  I could be wrong, though.  Yeah, that’s fat and grease and grossness that dried that I had to clean up.  The only reason I think it was the FO is because I saw him drain his Marie Callender’s steamy something or other in the drain right after he asked me if it was functional.  It was and remained so despite his best efforts.

Finally, after seeing 101 Goals in 1001 Days, I’ve decided to start my own little list of goals.  I’ve only got about 20 so far – it’s much harder than you might think to come up with 101 goals you want to accomplish – but when I get them all I’ll add a new page on here so you can keep up with them if you want.  As you can probably imagine they will be as epic as I am so 1001 days might not be nearly enough time.  In the meantime I’ll also be thinking of some snazzy new title for it to keep the symmetry in tact.