Friday, April 25, 2008

400!

Can't believe it's been a hundred posts since that dumb 300 picture I put up. Couldn't think of anything significant about the number 400, so I'm just going to say yay 400.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Dumbest Cab Driver On Planet Earth

I can't even believe this happened.
We finish the day in San Antonio, and it's midnight when we get out of the airport. The hotel shuttles usually pick us up, but they stop running at midnight, and so the standard procedure is to grab a cab and the hotel pays for it. We know that. Cabbies know that. We approach this cab guy, who looks at us like we're trash and indelicately lobs our suitcases in the back. The crew shares a look at that point which says there goes the tip. We get to the hotel and as we're getting our own stuff out of the cab so as to prevent any further cab driver damage, I explain to him that they'll pay him at the desk.
"No, I no go eensigh. Joo paigh me here," this man says.
"All you have to do," I repeat slowly, "is take the reciept inside, and the guy at the desk will pay you. The hotel is paying for you to bring us here."
"I no go eensigh," he says with a defiant foot stamp. "Joo have to paigh me ousigh."
"It's ten feet to the desk," I say. "We'll even show you the way."
Defiance. Foot stamp.
The captain intercedes with very little effect. In fact, the only effect this intercession has is to further enrage the cabbie. He shouts, "Joo saigh you would paigh me!" This is actually something none of us said, because we knew the hotel was going to paigh him. And while he's shouting this, he's trying to point at the one of us that said that thing we didn't say, and can't figure out which one of us actually spoke to him at the airport. He just keeps repeating that one of us said we would pay him and pointing back and forth between us. We eventually just headed inside, thinking that he would follow, and then get paid at the desk when we all arrived there. Instead, he stood right there by the cab, shouting that we needed to pay him.
While we signed in at the desk, I peeked out the window. He was just sitting there in the cab, not at all coming inside. He was still there when we got in the elevator.
Does any of you have any idea what the hell this was all about? It's killing me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Ya Wait Already?

Today, during the captain's howdy speech, this customer service agent gets on the plane after we've gotten everyone on board and wants me to make an announcement to see if a particular passenger is on this plane. I say sure, and stand there to wait until the captain is done. But the CSA stares at me for a moment, then makes little shooing motions. She wants me to make the announcement now. On top of the captain's announcement. Besides that being a technical impossibility because of the way the interphone works, it would be just plain rude. And every one of you has been blasted into the next seat by the way-too-loud speakers we announce over; there's no way this lady didn't realize there was an announcement already going on.
There's a planet CSAs come from. But it isn't this one.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Exit Row Sleeper

Checking with the exit row passengers is something I usually approach with a feeling somewhere between trepidation and outright annoyance. See, there's up to four people I have to put this question to: "Are you willing and able to assist in an emergency?" And very few just say yes. We're about to take off, and they want to chat with you. Or they don't want to actually say yes. Or they want to make you ask them again because of the 'times question repeated = personal importance' formula. But my favorite... my absolute favorite is the jackhole who's sleeping in the exit row. I don't want to shake this guy awake because he might have just closed his eyes for a moment, so I ask the question loudly, hoping to snap him awake. That never works, because he's always in a coma. So I get three almost-yesses from the other people and then have to wake this guy up and ask a second time.
You know exactly what he does then; blearily finds me with his eyes, squints, sniffs, and says, "Whaa?" This makes me ask a third time, and by that time I'm ready to just throw him out the emergency exit then.
Why can't we just put passengers in cryo-sleep like in space movies?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FAIL

You can find some pretty funny stuff on the internet. For example, look up 'FAIL.' You'll find pictures of all sorts of dumb things people have done while they were attempting to do something cooler, and these pictures are only eclipsed in mirth by ones found while searching for 'EPIC FAIL.' Here's one I found that applies to me (and no I did not do this).

© 2008, SKEEFED FROM SOME WEBSITE

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've Made The Big Time

Someone left a Men's Health magazine on the plane today, and I snatched it up, gleeful that I wouldn't be forced to read about more damn Lauren and Heidi. One of the things in this magazine was a list of unexpected things that make you sick. Things like shopping carts and public phones. Number six was a flight attendant. How about that... I'm an agent of doom. BLEAH BLEAH BLEAH!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!

I had been dreading this day. And today was it. This morning, during the first announcement, I forgot where the hell we were going. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board Alpha-Bits Airlines Flight 666, with service to BOOP." I had nothing. It was gone. Fifty cabbage heads were staring at me, waiting to find out for where they were destined. Felt like I was in A Christmas Story. Luckily, this was one of the two-FA planes, and the other one leaned casually over and whispered the answer into the PA. Not sure if that made her helpful or a jerk, but the passengers were laughing so hard that I didn't really have to find out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Pilot's Job

This last captain I flew with was most of a riot. The first thing he told me was what both of their jobs were up in the flight deck. "The F.O.'s job is to keep us out of the chief pilot's office. My job is to keep us off CNN."
Wish my job description was that simple.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

That Guy, You Know The One

There's always this guy that, during your announcements, waves at you with the 'I can't hear you, your announcements aren't going out' wave. Every nineteenth flight or so, there he is. There's nothing we can do about it... one of the few things we can't control is the volume on the PA. The horizontal, yes. The vertical, ditto. But no volume. So this last time I saw the wave, I toddled over after the announcement to tell him about our volumetric impotence. And he said, "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back Row Tango

Normally, and I think I've mentioned this before, passengers flip out when they see they're sitting in the last row. I don't wanna sit next to the bathroom. These seats don't recline. I have to walk so far to get back here, and even longer to get back off the plane. Well, on a fifty-minute hop, you just listen to the whining and kick these people around in your mind when they're gone, but on a three hour flight, it works a little different. See, the FA rules say that on long flights, you're allowed to sit in a passenger seat (provided there isn't a passenger already in it [unless they're into that {and if you look really hard on the internet, you'll find where I posted those stories}]). And usually, we head for the back row, because it's the only seat on the bus where no one can lean in from behind and ask you if you're a flight attendant. Most FAs will try to pre-clear the back row as passengers board for this express purpose. I can move you to another seat, sir... these ones don't recline... and they're really so awfully far from the front. And naturally, the only damn time someone doesn't have a problem with the back row is on one of these four-hour anti-chiropractic extravaganzas. They sit there with their hands laced behind their heads as if they were reclining, smiling and saying ahhh a lot. You know, kind of the opposite way from the way we're both sitting, crammed into the galley like dirty clothes in a laundry bag.
Oh well. That's life.

Monday, April 07, 2008

PHIL KILLS A MOUNTAIN!

video

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Where We're Going We Don't Need... VFR

Today we landed in Kalispell, and I can't believe we actually even tried to. Through a bizarre combination of cold air, warm ground, snow, and fog, the runway became this:

See all that white back there behind the truck? Yeah, that's buildings you (and the pilots) can't see. And the cement was pouring fog, like in a zombie movie. I actually looked for zombies. Didn't see any. It was Montana, after all.
Glad we got good pilots.

Friday, April 04, 2008

We're Going Down, Down, Down, Down

I noticed the other day how many FAs and pilots say that we've begun the initial descent into a city in their announcements. I gotta side with George Carlin on this one... how many damn times are we going to descend?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Call Of The Ramper

Back at work. Going on a trip after so many weeks off is really weird. And to add to the surrealism, this:
Yesterday at LAX, we're on the ground with most of the passengers on board and waiting to close the door. And I hear this: "EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeew!" It sounds just like a kitten, except to be heard over the 14 jet engines outside, this kitten would have to be the size of a bulldozer. I don't want that kitten, so I pretend I didn't hear anything. And there it is again: "EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeew!" I fly in the face of self-preservation and decide that I can't go to my grave not knowing what that sound is, so I poke my head out the door. There's a big Samoan ramper standing there, waving at another guy who clearly doesn't see him. And the Samoan guy takes a big deep breath and (you guessed it) says, "EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeew!"
It makes sense when you think about it. You would imagine that rampers, being big strapping fellows all, would scream at each other like basso lumberjacks. But the jet engines are taking up all the low frequencies, and so to be heard, you have to flip way up to tweeter range, which is what this guy was doing. At first I thought maybe it was just that one guy, but we were in and out of LAX all day that day, and everybody was eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewing at each other. I can't believe I hadn't noticed it before.
After a day of watching 400-pound rampers meow at each other, I just wanted to crawl back into bed and OD on Bomb Pops.