I do want to write about a couple more trips that I did whilst I was flying, especially my final Singapore/Sydney trip – but right now its Sunday evening and I’m tired and hungover and have neither the energy nor the enthusiasm. I’m an absolute delight this evening if you hadn’t worked that out already!
Either way, this weekend I’ve spent a bit of time with a few people who didn’t know I had been crew etc etc and was asked all the usual questions, which is fine, I like talking about it (hence why I witter away to the interweb waiting for some poor soul to stumble across this), but it made me think about Stuff Wot I Learnt when I was flying. Some of this is flying specific, some of it more general.
Landing day. For those who fly or have flown you’ll know exactly what I mean. For those about to start flying…just you wait! Don’t worry about anything you feel on landing day, you’ll have all the emotions. All of them are false, you’re just tired and hungry. Go home, take your make up off, have a shower, a cup of tea and a couple of slices of toast and the world is generally a happier place. If that doesn’t work then a solid nap, a short cry and a strong gin (in any order) should fix it. The time of day should not be seen as an obstacle.
Don’t mess about trying different foundations, there is a reason 90% of crew use Estee Lauder DoubleWear. Covers all manner of sins.
Everyone will do it once. Don’t underestimate the affect that alcohol will have on you after a 12 hour night flight and landing at a destination that is at high altitude. Joburg is the prime example here. We all know how it is. You get to the hotel, nap ’til lunchtime, down to the pool, a few drinks…meet in the bar..a few more drinks…steak and wine..the 360 bar…Just go steady. You will get absolutely wrecked and you will literally hate the world for the entirety of the next day. The night flight home will be a whole world of pain you never knew existed. A word of advice to newbies…if you order a full english in the Joburg hotel to try and cure your hangover, make sure you ask them to take the smoked kippers off the top….Bad times. Very, very bad times.
Again only relevant to the ladies but always have at least 2 spare pairs of tights in your hat box. Note I say hat box and not handbag. If you put them in your handbag they’ll snag on pens, seals and all the other crap floating about in there, rendering them useless. Less chance of that happening in your hat box. Also, try hold ups. I was only introduced to the game changers that are hold ups towards the end, but if you ladder one, you don’t need to change both!
I know it can be a bit of a struggle sometimes trust me, but be nice to people. Be it your fellow crew or passengers. You never know what other stuff people are dealing with, if you get shirty with people on the way out it’ll only make life difficult when you’re down route and on the way home. Lets face it, we do this job because its fun (most of the time), generally it’s not life or death, touch wood. You’re serving some drinks, doing a bit of chicken or beefing. Have fun, don’t take yourself too seriously and be nice. It makes the day so much easier.
The Club World Bread Basket
Just exercise a bit of self control alright? Honestly, you’ll regret when you’re round the pool in Joburg and you’ve got an entire A380 crew judging you if you don’t.
You Cannot Please Everyone
I did warn you, I’m an absolute delight this evening. Look, you’ll never keep everyone happy. Someone will be too cold, you’ll turn the temperature up. Someone will be too hot, you’ll turn the temperature down. It will be entirely your fault they’ve drunk the trav back up bars out of gin (3 day Miami anyone?!) You’ll do 5000 screen resets (God I miss that mid-J 747!) and STILL half the cabin won’t have working IFE. Just do your best and let the rest of it go!
Always Lock The Door
It’s really not funny waking up in a strange hotel room in the middle of the night to someone trying to get in your room. Lock the door when you’re in your room. Similarly, listen to what they tell you in training. When you get to your room, shoes and hat off but then check the wardrobe and the bathroom and look at the fire escape plan on the back of the door. You can take your make up off as you do it, just make sure you do it.
Use Deet and Suncream
God I am boring. Really though, your life will be so miserable if you’re not only sun burnt but also pondering whether or not you’re shortly going to die of Malaria whilst you’re trying to deal with Lagos: The Uncut Edition on the way home.
Not necessarily that stuff, although don’t let me stop you. But touristy stuff, go out and see things, try new food, speak to people, speak to uber drivers. Make an effort to learn something about where you are and to see more of the city than The Cheesecake Factory and Bath and Bodyworks. I’m as guilty of that as the next man but you never know when you’ll be back somewhere so do try and go out. If Bath and Bodyworks have deals on the 3 wick candles make sure you go there first though.
No one likes doing them. But just do them, it’ll keep you awake on night flights whilst you wait to go on break and it’ll, hopefully, keep the galley fairly peaceful and passenger free on day flights. Like a lot of slightly dull tasks in life, no one likes doing it but if you just get on with it and don’t whinge too much you’ll generally save yourself quite a bit of hassle in the long run.
Look. I’m going to sound bitter here, I know that, I have accepted it. But I’ll say two things; firstly don’t go there. Just don’t. You’ll be on an absolute hiding to nothing. Secondly and if you really must go there, if he says he’s single there is a 99.8% chance he is NOT single. Have I made my point?
I learnt a hell of a lot in my 13 months pottering round the world, lots of flying specific things and lots of things to take into every day life. These are just a few of them, I wouldn’t take any of it as gospel. Except number 9, Baz Luhrmann agrees. And number 12.
By the way, I know the title of this is crap. I usually always write the title first (funnily enough) but I’m slightly lacking in creative skill tonight, sorry.