I woke up this morning at 3:30am and walked down my stairs, reminiscing on all of the years past where my sister and I had done just that in my old Kentucky home. I would always be first one awake, and I would bounce with quiet anticipation into my sister’s room and shake her awake. Then, as any two perfectly normal people would do, we would go run into my parent’s room and jump on the poor unsuspecting sleepers… Like full on vault on top of them. Weird tradition… I know, but it happened EVERY YEAR. Honestly, my poor parents. Looking back I don’t know how they put up with that. And I am not looking back too far, because I am pretty sure we still did it when I was in college. After being rudely jolted awake, our Mom would go downstairs and turn on the tree, and we would walk down the stairs together, wondering what goodies were around the corner. We were never disappointed. I was walking down the stairs this morning wondering where the time had gone. It was a different feeling, because instead of going downstairs to my family and a room full of presents, I was going down the stairs to load my little black suitcase into the car and go to the airport. You know you are an adult when you work on Christmas. Which, when I signed up to be a flight attendant I knew I would be working on holidays and you know what? Even today, I still really enjoy my job. My family drove in yesterday to be with me for Christmas, because I was fairly high on the list to be called for a trip, but as it turns out I was still available for an on premise reserve shift, which is where you go sit at the airport for a couple hours in case they need someone quickly. Sure enough, last night when I was eating with the fam, and totally mid-bite into a cheesy slice of Tony’s pizza, I got a call from crew scheduling to tell me that I had been assigned 5:30AM OPR. We made the most of last night, and this morning I went to work.
I got called for a trip within ten minutes of being at the airport. “Hi, this is Megan.” “Hi this is (insert name here) with midnight crew scheduling. We have a three day trip for you Megan, a flight attendant had car trouble and will not be able to make it here.” In my mind I was thinking, mmmhmm sure… sure she did. You know if it had been me with “car trouble,” I would have at least made it interesting… you know like: Alien invasion- they stole my gas for their spaceship, my cat caught on fire under the Christmas tree, ran out the door and my car just blew up, big foot popped my tire on 485 and now I am forced to spend Christmas on the side of the highway with only one bottle of water… I kept my thoughts to myself, thanked the scheduler, wished her a Merry Christmas and hustled to my gate.
There was a total lack of Christmas spirit this morning. Everyone was annoyed that we were 20 minutes late. Literally every passenger was getting on the plane looking like the grinch. I just smiled and did my best to spread the joy. It wasn’t spreading… The pilot kept making apologetic announcements about a flight attendant being late, and people were just sitting there sipping their Starbucks and scowling at me. I brushed it off, and did my best to be as kind I could be. Luckily, the flight was over soon enough, and people were getting off (can I get a hallelujah). The pilot made yet another announcement apologizing about the delay, and a man walked past me, looked into my face and said, “well you were the one who was late.” Ding ding ding: congratulations – you’ve won the most observant passenger award. It’s moments like this gem when I am like – oh sweet baby Jesus… he DID NOT just say that to my face. I smiled a million watts for that man and laughed, and said, “actually sir, a flight attendant called out of this trip last minute for car trouble, and you all should be kissing my hand on the way out of this plane, because I left my family for Christmas to come take you to Dallas, and without me you all would definitely still be in Charlotte.” I said this all in a joking fashion, I learned this tactic back when I was teaching my kiddos in elementary school. You teach them a lesson, but you do it with sugar, not with vinegar. The man looked very surprised, then he laughed too and said I could come home with him for Christmas.
I am glad that I got to work today, because I think people really needed some kindness, and hopefully I allowed some people to be where I would have wanted to be this Christmas: with the people they love. Wherever you are this Christmas, try to remember those people who go to work to make sure you get to have your holiday. And make sure you send up a prayer for that poor flight attendant’s car… Bigfoot got it real good this morning. Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! It’s going to be a good one I feel it. 🙂
- Megan Marie