The good ole passport photo. It’s as much of a dreaded photo as your driver’s license. Whenever I go through customs, I always get a second look and there I am, standing there with a smile that probably makes them wonder what in the hell happened to my photo. Do you feel the same way? As for me, when I got my first passport in the mail, my kids were laughing and the first thing I heard was, ‘Mom! You look like a Oompa – Loompa!’. Oh for the love of God. Really? Did my kids just reference me to a character from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory? For some reason, it made me look like I had a bad experience with a spray tan. Minus the green hair, I can say that I do share some of the mischievous ways of the oompa loompas, singing songs (I am like a walking jukebox) but I am a lot taller! For now, it is just a running joke in my household.
After being a flight attendant for a few years, my experiences have led me to feel like I look like my passport photo on some days. Between commuting to and from my base, packing my clothes and food, driving to and from the airport, herding up on the employee shuttle to get to the airport, to get to the gate and fly into work, I feel I am halfway there already. The important part is to keep your lipstick fresh. My mama always said if you have your lipstick on, you can do anything. She is pretty accurate on that one!
I just recently had a four-day trip that I felt like I was on the threshold of hell. Out of a four day trip with twelve flight legs, I only flew and worked seven of those. We had a lot of reassignment’s due to weather, a medical emergency and on go home day, we had two mechanical issues that caused us to be delayed getting back to base. I missed the one flight I could get on to get back home so yes, you guessed it. I spent the night in the airport waiting to get back home. It wasn’t so bad but it wasn’t ideal either.
As a commuter, I do not live in my base so it is up to me to get to work the best way I know how. Since I work for the airline, I can fly standby (that is an entire beast on its own) and get to work but you have to be smart about it. Most days it really isn’t that bad but sometimes it can be a very frustrating experience but it doesn’t keep me from loving what I do. This week I sat out to come home and as I began my journey to do some airport hopping for those flights with empty seats, I never knew it would be two days to get me home. From the time I landed from my base to a small regional airport, two flights had cancelled from major hubs and well, you guessed it. My seats to my home airport (another major hub) was gone. Done. Oversold. Overbooked. All I could do was laugh to keep from crying. I was tired, sick of my pantyhose, hungry and was in desperate need of some sleep.
Lucky for me, a fairly handsome man offered me a ride to another regional airport an hour away. Now, my mama always told me to never hop in a car with a stranger but this was another time in my life that I had forgone all that my mother had said to me although I could hear her voice in my head fussing at me for what I was about to do. I said yes. No hesitation, no delay, no fear. I just wanted to get home and he was part of my journey. We quickly added one other person and so as we all decided to carpool it, I laughed and said ‘Three is a party! Lets go!’ It reminded me of the joke about a Priest, a Ra
It was a great journey with pleasurable people. I made new friends and I made my flight home with an entire row to myself and an extra fifteen open seats to spare! Getting to my car, I was so excited only to have it break down on me on the way home. I had to wait for three hours before my daughter come to get me and thankfully two gracious men come to my damsel in distress rescue as well. What an adventure you may say? Yes, yes it was but by the time I got home, I truly felt like I looked like my passport photo…lol. It was a long day but even then, after all the craziness, it is still the best job in the world!
Peace, Love & Hugs