The things they don't tell you in training...
You'll unwillingly or willingly "crop dust?" Don't know what that means? Well let me tell you. Because we (flight attendants) go up and down so much in the sky we get what is called jet belly. This means we get a lot of excess gas and it has to come out of somewhere. Usually in the form of farts. It's kinda really hard to clench while walking down the aisle trying to avoid tripping over feet and loose babies.
Your ears will hurt. The first time you ever get sick and have to be on a plane will be the last time you ever want to be sick and get on a plane. It hurts, its painful, and if it's pretty bad you'll get residual ear aches afterwards for no reason. Get it checked out though...Sudafed and mucinex will help with all that stuff.
You'll eat airplane food until you realize what's in airplane food - enough salt to make the food last for months while being stranded on an island. This also contributes to jet belly. Don't. Do. It.
You'll be a slam clicker. This is a term given to older flight attendants who get to their layovers, close their hotel door and never open it again. Get it? "Slam!" "Click!" You'll probably resist your first month or two because you are excited to be out in the world, but eventually it'll catch up to you. All you'll want to do when you're finished with your four legs and two delays is close that door girl!
You'll hate seniority until you get seniority. Alright, I have no seniority which means my schedule sucks, my trips suck, and I pretty much ask myself everyday why I decided to be a flight attendant. I have no idea what it's like to have seniority and the ability to pick and choose what trips I want every month, but I imagine once I get it, then I'll love it. That happens in about 40 years from now. Seriously, it's apparently just that good.
You'll get sucked into a 6 month, or 10 month, or whatever month lease straight out of training. They'll tell you that you need to move to where you are based. Not. True. While you may need a place to stay for a little while, don't sign that lease until you learn the system and learn that you actually don't really like the city where you are based.
You'll see the best in people and the worst in people. Getting yelled at for running out of a specific first class meal will be a common theme throughout your career, but you'll also meet some incredible people - only If you can listen long enough without getting tapped on the shoulder (or butt, or stomach) for a passengers need.
You'll be really dry. Your skin, your hair, and your nails. Drink up buttercup! That water bottle will be your new best friend. The airplane atmosphere is essentially just super, super, dry, musty air. It wreaks havoc on your body's largest organ - yo skin! Take care, drink a lot of water, and moisturize.
You'll realize how gross adults really are, and you won't feel nearly as guilty for leaving a few dirty dishes in the sink. We're talking awful toilet aim, snot rockets, bloody seats, and poop smears! If you're lucky someone else might volunteer to clean up the vomit all over row 23, 24... and partially 25. But again, seniority.
You'll look really cute! Until you take your first step on the plane....and you walk to the back lavatory, look in the mirror and realize your hair is a mess and your mascara has already smeared halfway down your face. It really is a glamorous lifestyle.
You'll travel the world! Unless you're based somewhere with only three international destinations because ... seniority. Take advantage of those flight benefits, it will help make it worth it.
You'll learn that having a good support system is the key to surviving the bad days. Having a friend, a spouse, a sibling, or a parent tell you it's going to be okay is everything when you feel like you're going to lose it.
You'll realize that flight attendants can be really big complainers. Don't fall into that trap. You'll hear stories about how good they once had it and how we need to change this or that. Be good at what you do and have a positive attitude. It'll change your outlook.
You'll pack all of your food for your three day trip only to realize the hotel you're staying at has no fridge or microwave. Your ice bucket will be your new best friend for keeping everything cold and for warming things up. Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on 'warming'.
Against everyone's better judgement you'll try out the whole commuting thing until you realize it's actually pretty awful. Then you'll continue to commute anyway because what else would you do with your time? Moving to our base city is just not a reality for some of us. We have family and lives in our home cities so flying to work is just something we gotta do.
Are you a FA? What are some of your flight attendant realities? Share them in the comments below!
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