Jumpseats. The awfully rigid and uncomfortable seats that are our homes from taxi, takeoff, and landing. We struggle with the straps because the flight attendant before us wasn't the same size as us. We try to make it feel comfortable, but as soon as we're able to, we're up at out of those seats for service. However, on a long enough flight, the jumpseat becomes less of an uncomfortable place and more of a safe haven. If you have the privilege of sharing a double jumpseat, then you have a seat partner. And if you're lucky, you might get into what we call jumpseat therapy.
I don't know what it is about the jumpseat, but battles have been won, pounds have been lost, struggles have been overcome, and problems have been solved on the jumpseat. I cannot tell you how many times I find myself in a deep, meaningful conversation with my jumpseat partner, only to probably never see them again. People that I've only known for days, hours even, begin to divulge personal triumphs and trials. I'll chalk part of that up to my disarming personality. And I'll chalk the rest of it up to the craziness of this career.
Maybe it's the fact that you might never work with this person again and feel safe sharing whatever is going on in your life. Maybe it's the fact that you're sharing a tiny space with your crew for days on end. I don't know what it is exactly. But jumpseat therapy is real. And it's great. You can add "therapist" to the long line of informal titles that flight attendants assume: drink slinger, airport and hotel connoisseur, travel expert, DIY magician...
Here's to solving problems on the jumpseat,