Being a flight attendant has its ups and downs and although it’s usually perceived as being an easy or glamorous job, having an office in the sky offers a unique and stressful working environment.
Here are some things that you have probably never considered about being a Flight Attendant:
You wake up and go straight to work
One of the hardest parts of adjusting to crew life is getting use to setting your alarm at 11 p.m. for a 12-hour night flight and putting yourself to bed before dinner while your friends are getting ready for a night out. But the worst adjustment is getting use to the Crew Rest Area, a place where the flight attendants learn to love and hate to leave.
The crew rest compartment (CRC) is a hidden bunk in the plane where we’re allowed to take precious naps on flights over 9.5 hours. It is a dark and scary space, where flight attendants are stacked on top of each other in little bunks that just barely allow you to stretch out on your back; my friend once picked up pink eye there. But when you’re flying through the night and your purser allocates time outs from the passengers, you will fight for whatever time you can have to clock off in the CRC. You’ll fall asleep surprisingly fast and dream the most bizarre dreams, tucked away in the belly of the plane.
But there’s a rude awakening to the CRC fantasy: in that, you will be rudely awoken.
About 10 minutes before you’re expected to be floating down the aisle serving warm croissants to grumpy passengers with a dazzling, genuine smile, a stranger / colleague that you met in briefing 8 hours ago will poke their head into your tiny sleeping capsule and prod you from your slumber.
Then, you’ll exit the crew rest to fight you’re way into an available bathroom, change out of your pijamas and back into your uniform, taking no longer then ten minutes to go from dreaming about Bradley Cooper (or whatever) to offering coffee or tea.
Your office becomes an aisle
This is something that they forget to remind you of during the five day interview process when you’re required to identify all of the tattoos on your body, sign a waiver about your natural hair color and write a psychometric test. That your office will become an aisle. That the entire space that you operate in will now be on display for the 300 bored passengers that know that you have free stuff to offer. That you and your cart will be confined to a stretch of aisle and an exact service schedule that will be constantly altered by just how badly your passengers need to use the washroom.
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