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Little Differences

You know what the funniest thing about Europe is? It's the little differences. I mean they got the same shit over there as they got here, but over there it's just a little different. Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction This is how I feel about flight attendants. Not just those who work for the many various airlines. Not the uniforms, the routes, the inflight service or lack thereof but the stewardess/steward themselves. First off, when we think of a flight attendant we think of a young, bodacious, 20-something year old, multilingual, single (and by single, I mean easy) woman. WRONG. Way back in neanderthal times (and maybe in Europe), airlines could get away with hiring only young, attractive, single women with nursing degrees at a weight directly proportionate to their height. That's when we were stereotyped. When they wore pill box hats, white gloves and carved meat at altitude. You couldn't be married or have children. Because at the time one definitely went with the other. Some of the ladies still flying today on the major carriers came from that era... and LOOK IT! They are making crazy money for working a Paris turn here or there and will most likely die on the airplane before they would ever think of retiring. You'll have to pry their cold dead hands off the beverage cart! What happened? you may ask yourself. Lawsuits broke the mold. These days, you can't discriminate for age, gender, ethnicity, weight, sexual orientation, religion etc etc etc etc etc. About the only criteria (from what I've noticed) is to: 1.) be ambulatory. 2.) able to pass Barbie Bootcamp. 3.) fit down the aisle, (turning sideway appears to be okay) 4.) speak english (even if no one can understand you) 5.) show up on time and have a good attitude (at least through the probationary period) So with that in mind, we are all different. Brown hair, blonde, redhead and variety of each. Long hair, short or bald, Facial hair or not (preferably for men). Size... well anything goes! Age is just a number. Attitude at altitude is everything. For some. Young, old, gay, straight, man, woman, tall, short, thin, not-so-thin, educated or not. We all fly, do the same job, serving drinks and saving lives! Beyond just looks, gender, religion, ethnicity, moral makeup, marital status and sexual orientation we are all different in what we like about our job. Some flight attendants only like working during the week. Some thrive on weekends. Some like only working AM trips, some would rather die than fly an AM. We like short hops or long hauls, overseas or domestic. Some like to work in first class, some abhor it. Some make the job fun and roll with every little nuance (or annoyance one might say). Others create drama out of anything and roll their eyes so many times it's as if they're watching clothes in a dryer. Some want to party and get crazy on their layovers, some want to hole up in their rooms and read. Some think the pilots are sexy and funny, I do not, oops, I mean some do not. Some go the extra mile for the passenger and some lost the race a long time ago. Some are by the book about every little thing and some only open their manuals once a year for training purposes. The job is what you make it. It can be flexible and fun. There have been times over the years, after having kids, that I dreaded flying off, leaving my babies and going to work. However, as the years pass, I find it easier and easier and have been known to count down the minutes until my escape, er umm trip. What I'm trying to say is... don't try and pigeon hole us. We're unique and wonderful creatures with a vagabond spirit and a burning desire of a thousand suns to spread cheer and cocktails across the world! Salud!

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© Jet Set Betty 2008