Thursday, June 30, 2011

Learning What You DON'T Want Out of Life, Bitsy and her short stint as a Flight Attendant and Where do I want to be in 10 years?

Almost as much fun as being captured by hungry canabilistic pygmies and being offerred a last meal.

I reckon 54 is too old to use the excuse of  "mid life crisis" unless ya'll firmly believe the Webbman will have me around til I'm 108.  Poor little fella, can you picture that?  Bitsy still blogging about "Gawd" knows what at 108.  I know you have all figured out that there is nothing much sacred in Bitsyworld, so at the ripe old age of 108, I may be discussing the advantages of Depends products, my roomies at the home which, by the way, I will only be going to kicking and screaming if the Lil Momma has her way.  She has politely informed me that it is not her fault she is an "only child of divorced parents" and that IF she has to she'll put her father and me in the same home and make us share a room if I keep complaining about how I'm not ever going to one of those places!  Anyhow, I really don't think I can get away with attributing all the recent ponderings I've been kicking around about "what I want to be when I grow up" and "where I want to be ten years from now to a mid-life crisis, maybe they just need to increase my meds?

I'm sure most people my age already have gotten with some "life coach" and mapped out benchmarks, retiring, travelling the world and things along those lines.  I, on the other hand, am still looking for the "perfect" job.  You know, the one that "is your passion, makes you whole, completes your life and that moves heaven and earth".  Kind of sounds from that scenario that I may be looking to be a hooker or at the very minimum some serious smooching leading to other more interesting activities, but I'm not.  I've been dreaming about "What I Really Wanted to Do With the Remainder of My Days on this Beautiful Earth".

I always remember my Dad telling me that in order to figure out what you want out of life, it helps to have a good idea of what you DON'T want out of life.  I've talked before in other posts about all the different things "workwise" that I have tackled in my lifetime, and of course, there were good things and not so good things about each one.  The only professional move I made that I can honestly say was horrific and that I look back and question my sanity on was hiring on as a "flight attendant" with ASA/Delta out of Atlanta.  It was the hardest, least appreciated, most over-rated, least glamorous, aggravation inducing position that this Bitsy ever held.  What possessed me to decide to walk into the flight attendant shoes?  Who knows really, except there I was, recently divorced, in a small town, with one reasonably decent job in the can after being involved in a very public "messy" outcome from that position, so one unsuspecting morning "there it was" ....... the ad in the paper staring me in the face as if it was a blinking lit message from God ........"Travel the World.  ASA/Delta Airlines Seeking Top Notch Flight Attendants.  Apply blah blah blah", so apply I did.  Two weeks later, I found myself being flown to Atlanta for a group interview, a week later I found myself being flown to Atlanta for an individual interview, two weeks later I found myself participating in 8 weeks of intensive "flight attendant from hell" training and I realized then that it was not a message from God I had received, but quite possibly a direct call from Lucipher himself.  At that point, I considered calling in a Priest for a consult, but I figured I needed to stick it out and see where the cards fell.  The class of 60 trained in Atlanta daily from 8 a.m. until sometimes 8 at night, tested rigorously, climbed out of emergency doors onto wings of planes, down shoots, worked on test dummies, used defibulators, suited up in Firefighter suits and were locked in fire set smoke filled trailers having to maintain our wits tending to passengers and putting fires out in the dark.  Basically we were put through Flight Attendant Bootcamp Hell hosted by Nazi's. Out of our original 60, 41 made the cut.  I, of course, being raised to believe I could do anything. . . . persevered.  ME, the small town girl raised in a population of 25K or less, moving to Atlanta and driving with the 420,000's of people who navigate like bats out of hell to and from the airport as did I for my scheduled flights to Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, Baton Rouge, Gulfport, Charleston, Valdosta, Willmington, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Knoxville, Raleigh/Durham, Washington, North Carolina, South Carolina.......etc. until one day I said "What the hell am I doing flying around the Southeast and various other places at the age of 47~had I lost my mind?"  The answer was YES, I had.  Worst, most aggravating job in the world (at least for me it was).

Being the type of person I am, I tried to add humour to the situation by changing up my Attendant Announcements to the passengers to things like:
  1. "Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children ... or other adults acting like children."
  2. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
  3. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
  4. "Welcome aboard Atlantic Southeast Airlines, the Delta Connection Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
Sadly, I found that NOBODY listens to the public safety announcements we were required to make and/or that if they listened, they didn't give a flip about what you said, they were going to panic no matter what!

My application process and training lasted longer than the time I actually worked on the job.  Those meager 7 months still trigger nightmares about rolling those stupid metal carts down the aisles, the drunk passengers, the belligerent argumentative know it alls who could have cared less if you told them 40 times to put their damn seat belts on and extend their tray tables and seat backs to an upright position, the older people flying alone, the turbulence.  I still have nightmares about the spilled hot coffee, the one passenger on every flight who was the definition of an "asshead" and the different hotel room in a different City every night.  I decided they could keep this luxurious job and give it to some other poor unsuspecting fool who believed she could do anything just like me! 

So, you see, we all have to go through these kinds of jobs . . . . the ones we think we want, but really don't . . . . . to finally get to the job we really want, the one we have a passion for, the one that makes us light up at the thought of reporting for duty.  I think I know what it is . . . . in fact I KNOW I do, problem is I just can't figure out how to make a living off of this "Bitsy" position, but I'm persistent and I'm not giving up on it.  Where there's a will . . . . there's a way.  Right?  Night kiddo's. 

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