Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a Way to Make a Living

Emily had a really funny post tonight about her worst job experience that brought back a memory that I had buried deep in the recesses of my brain. I decided to share it here before it leaves my mind again, maybe forever.

Just to catch up anyone who might not know, I was a flight attendant for a major airline based in the south right after I graduated from college. I mostly flew as the first class flight attendant and tried to fly mostly to Europe or the West Coast because the flights were longer and the layovers were fantastic. I really enjoyed myself and I am so happy that my parents--my dad mostly--pushed me in that direction right after school. The thought of a 9 to 5 job just wasn't appealing to me as a 22 year old plus I wanted to see the world so being a flight attendant fit the bill perfectly. 

But some days were better than others. 

When I lived in New York I dealt with a lot of passengers with short tempers, especially when we ran out of seltzer water, something I had never even heard of before I lived on the East Coast. There were bitchy celebrities (yes, Star Jones, I am talking to you) and business men who were too important to follow FAA guidelines. 

I'm sure I don't even have to mention 9/11 as being one of the scariest days of my life, especially after learning what happened to the flight attendants on that terrible day. 

But the good times FAR outweighed the bad. I loved meeting wonderful celebrities that were kind and gracious and much skinnier than they appear on TV (Beyonce does NOT have curves in person! and she was kind enough to sign her boarding pass for me to give to my sister-in-law when her dance team was performing to one of her group's songs). Florence Henderson actually mailed autographed pictures from The Brady Bunch to my young nieces. And Julie Andrews (aka Mary Poppins) also sent them an autograph. Not to mention the Ziggy artist who drew a cartoon for me during the flight. Most of the time I enjoyed my job more than I deserved to.

And then there was the first trip I took after returning from my wedding and honeymoon.  

It was a 3 day trip with layovers in San Diego and Miami. Sounded great on paper. The first day was uneventful and we had a great time in San Diego on our layover that night. The next morning we had 2 flights to cover. The first was San Diego to Atlanta and the second was Atlanta to Miami. It was a long day and we started early. Luckily I was the first class flight attendant so I was really only focused on about 16 people. Professionals, mostly, so they knew the drill which usually made flights like that uneventful.

The guy in 3C seemed nice enough. He was probably in his mid 40s. He was quiet but friendly during the meal service. He didn't ask for anything during the movie and wasn't drinking any alcohol. He was watching the movie along with several others in the first class cabin. Apparently he was really into the movie because he didn't get up to go to the restroom until it was over. The man in 1B had the same plan. The problem for the man in 3C was that 1B had a clear shot at the restroom and made it in there first. And he was in no hurry to get out of the restroom. 

3C started to get antsy. I started to get uncomfortable. I mean, it's a small space. I didn't have many options for moving.

After about 2 minutes the guy in 3C asked me to knock on the door of the restroom and gently ask 1B to get on with it and get out. Obviously I wasn't going to be able to do that. Then he asked if he could use a coach restroom, to which I answered yes, but the line was much longer back there. Finally after about 4 minutes (which felt like 4 hours for both of us, I'm sure), he asked me for a cup to pee in. 

A grown man.

With enough resources to have a first class seat on this flight. 

Asked me for a cup.

It took me a minute to process his request.

But a minute was too long. Before I could even turn back around to answer, I saw his pants getting darker and he looked me in the eye and said, "I'm peeing." 

Thanks, I could see that.

About 15 seconds later 1B walked out of the restroom. When he saw the puddle on the floor he had this horrified look on his face and all I could think was, "nice timing, ass."

I couldn't believe what had just happened. There was grown man pee everywhere. I had to get his bag for him so he could change his clothes. It was all I could do to avoid eye contact because I couldn't believe this just happened to a Grown Man. And then I had to get the bio-hazard bag out to clean up the bodily fluids on the floor of the airplane. It was even more awkward knowing that he could see me cleaning this up from his seat. 

Next I was required to contact the captain and let them know what had happened (which was a requirement anytime a bio-hazard bag was needed for any reason on a flight). He needed me to repeat the story.  Twice. And then he asked me to come in the cockpit and tell him again because he was CERTAIN that he must be hearing me wrong. 

Grown. Man.

The pilot was required to call the FAA and they were required to have police meet the flight. You know, on account of the GROWN MAN that peed himself on the flight. (Before you start feeling sorry for him let me state for the record that he did not have a medical problem and he wasn't drunk. He simply wanted to watch the end of the movie.)

All I could think was that I still had another flight to work before I could go to a hotel and take a boiling hot shower. Oh, and the fact that I had been on my honeymoon up until the day before and it was a million miles away from cleaning up grown-man urine on the floor of the first class galley at 40,000 feet. 

9 to 5 was starting to look really good after that.

1 comment:

Crystal Glass said...

LMAO!!! Grown. Man. Pee. Holy Moly!! Oh, and I disagree with the Beyonce comment. I too have hung out next to her, and, oh yeah, she had big ol' curves. Too funny :-)