Tuesday, March 08, 2005

inclement weather

There is quite a significant snowstorm blowing outside of my window right now. It is very pretty. Mostly it is pretty because I am nice and cozy being indoors. If I was outside I might be concentrating a little more on being able to see through the blowing snow, staying dry, or staying warm.

When I was a flight attendant, back in the day, weather like this would obviously affect me quite a bit more. Delayed and cancelled flights, disgruntled customers, unexpected layovers in strange cities without luggage. Good times.

Although I never joined the mile high club, (I know I have let you down, so sorry to disappoint) there were a few good funny instances when I was a waitress of the air. My favorite involved a late night two leg flight. The first leg was about an hour and a half. I had a couple of gentlemen who decided scotch was their drink of choice, and had about five mini-bottles each. It’s all good; I can support having a drink or two. The next leg was a 20 minute flight, up then down. We get in the air, and the scotch had done a little more than expected to one of the men. He therefore had to visit the lavatory. Then he decided he could not leave it.

The FAA specifically states that for landing and take off all passengers must be wearing a seatbelt. You may or may not know this, but there is no seat belt in the restroom on a plane. So the conversation went like this:

Me, knocking lightly on door "Sir, I need you to return to your seat."
Drunken idiot, "I'm busy."
Me, "Sir, we are approaching the airport, you need to get out of there."
Him, grunting, "Just a minute."
Me, anxious, "I'm sorry, but you have to get out of there now."
Him, exasperated, "Obviously I can't."

That's when I called the cockpit to apprise the pilots of the situation. We aborted landing, and they announced to the entire plane that our landing was delayed due to the gentleman in the lavatory who refused to take his seat. We were going to have to be in the air for another 20 minutes to redo the approach. The rest of the passengers loved that.

For the most part I really hated that job, but it did have one spectacular feature. When you are a flight attendant or pilot most of the time in the air is spent above the clouds, which means you see sunlight every day. There is definitely something very cheerful in that experience. Pure, unhazy, bright sunlight every day has a way of keeping more of the blues away.

I guess I could move to California and have the same thing anyway, but really I’m Irish, my skin was not meant to experience to much direct sunlight. I’d become a cinder. ;)

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