People remind me everyday just how lucky I am to have such an amazing job. And I must say, they are quite accurate. However, what many fail to take into account is not the job itself, but the hundreds of co-workers we must tolerate, no matter how good, bad, or ugly they may be.
Now, I know what you’re thinking! Well, I work with people who I dislike too! And you’re absolutely right! But now I want you to take that person, and stick them in a tube with you for four days. (Okay…so if you are a business person or in a profession that does a lot of traveling, this may have happened for you.) But what if that person was adjacent to you in this tube with wings, and you relied on them in an emergency situation to help save lives, and possibly your own? This “dream job” isn’t looking so “dreamy” now is it? Well, all of this leads me to my next story that happened a little over a year ago.
Going into work that morning, I knew it was going to be a long day, but it couldn’t be that bad. I was flying with my best friend, and a very nice older older woman. We were going to beautiful Costa Rica! Glamorous right? Well, just to get you up to airline speed, the plane we were flying on that day was the Airbus 320 aircraft that requires 4 working flight attendants…the 4th flight attendant is known as the “chaser” because they are usually on their own, and have a schedule separate from the original three crew members. Now, in my mind and my experiences, the “chasers” tend to be unfriendly loners. This is not always the case, but based on my experiences, I have found this to be true. They like to be on their own because they don’t play nice with others, as my mom would say.
That morning our chaser was an older woman who we will call Slavia to maintain her identity. Usually we are meeting our co workers for the first time since there are so many of us. I usually start by saying “is anyone going to Costa Rica? Hi, I’m Melissa.” Unfortunately, on this day, Slavia came in, looked me up and down and said “your hair is out of compliance, your jacket is out of compliance, and your shoes are out of compliance.” Mind you this was all before uniforms were one hundred percent finalized. We all had different jackets, most people were lucky to brush their hair in the mornings, (I had a navy flower in the side of my bun), and shoes were immediately taken off and replaced by flats once onboard the aircraft anyway. I replied by saying “I appreciate your criticism, but would also appreciate it if you would worry about yourself, and I’ll take care of myself.” Immediately following my statement, Slavia raced around our supervisor’s cubicle like her pants were on fire, and shall we say tattle taled? Now what happened next, upon her return I admit, was immature,but boy did I love seeing her facial expression as I belted out the song “Oh happy day!” Right. In. Her. Face.
Sure enough, as soon as we finished our day and landed back in Florida, I had about 5 missed calls from supervisors saying you need to come see us as soon as you get off the plane. Immediately, I called the front of the plane and asked Slavia if she “tattle taled” that morning. Salvias response? “I don’t need to tell you nothing!” Click.
After the passengers deplaned, I marched up to the front of the aircraft, and announced to my crew members as she was packing her bags, that I had to go see a supervisor because SOMEONE (and I pointed to Slavia) acted like a baby this morning and tattle taled because I had a flower in my hair. (They all rolled their eyes looking at her in disgust as she kept her head down). I then continued by saying “I can’t believe someone so elderly can act so immature.” She said nothing but looked proud as a peacock.
2 weeks later as I’m finishing a trip, my dad calls me saying the Fed-ex man delivered a package that he had to sign for. It was a letter stating that I had received a notice of investigation for uniform compliance and crew conflict while onboard the aircraft. So, on my day off, living two hours away, I had to go defend myself from a co-worker who hated me simply by looking at me. Never even knew my name.
At the end of the story, “investigation flower” had been dropped, and Slavia had gotten a few more girls written up. You wanna know the best part? Slavia got punched in the face by New York passengers one day while working. Now, physical abuse is not something I condone, but I do believe I’m karma, and that’s all I’m saying about that!
About a week ago I saw Slavia again in the crew room. She made it a point to yell across the crew room “hi, how are you,” in a sarcastic tone. I made it a point to say good, how are you, and proudly walked out, showing her that a year later I was still around.
Now this is only one occurrence of a problematic co worker. Trust me when I tell you that I have had more in these past two years than I have had in my lifetime. So yes, the job is great! But things are not always as glamorous as they appear to be on the outside.