I just finished a long string of working days + days away from home and I'm exhausted. Thought it would be a good time to tell the world that some days, flying is not as glamorous as it may look. In the most ideal of situations, a flight attendant works a flight to a sexy destination, spends his/her layover shopping, sipping wine, and exploring said destination. And yes, this does happen. I've seen so many wonderful places because of my job. But it's not always like that.
In a span of ten days, I was only home for one of them. In the span of two weeks, I was only home for two days. Being away from home for that long took its toll on me. I'll be honest - I did it to myself. I needed to have certain days off this month, so I moved things around to achieve that goal.
Every trip that I have worked this month has had a delay or reroute or shortened layover. And all of that is due to weather. During the summer time, the weather can be brutal. Summer thunderstorms are nothing to mess with - they pop up anywhere and can mess up all manner of travel plans. Recently, in Tallahassee, we boarded a flight with the understanding that the incoming storm would quickly pass, as most Florida storms do. This one did not pass quickly. Actually, it hovered over the airfield for the better part of two hours. Like it was deliberate in its positioning. At one point, all I could do was laugh.
As time has gone on, I've learned to appreciate my time at home more and more. And this summer, I've learned not to over-schedule myself (work and otherwise) because I will be no use to anyone in that case. I am thankful that I've worked with a lot of crews that rolled with the punches and didn't complain too much about the situation.
In other news, I also just came back from seeing Coldplay in New Jersey and it was exactly what I needed. More on that later this week!
I guess I'm writing all of this to say a few things:
To my fellow flight attendants: - Give yourselves a break whenever you can. If it can't be at home, then find some quiet time on your layover. - Learn how to properly balance work and life. It's something I'm still figuring out. - Ask for help when you need it. I have a hard time asking for help because, in my mind, needing help = failure.
To the traveling public: - If you're delayed, then so is your crew. And often, your crew will have more flying to do. - Airlines do not control the weather. Pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers will not allow aircraft to fly into unsafe environments. - Patience is a virtue. And crewmembers are human. So are gate agents, ramp agents, reservations agents, pilots, etc.
Here's to finding the silver lining in every delay,