It's about my life, one suitcase at a time...
“You know, you have a really pretty smile, even though it’s fake.”
That’s what a passenger told me on one of my more recent flights. It was a long day flight and we were about half way to our destination, and it bothered me a little that his first thought was that there was no way my smile was genuine at this point. True, sometimes my smile is not 100 percent. As cabin crew we are always reminded to smile when we step out to the cabin, to smile at passengers when we interact with them, to smile at one another within the crew.
After three and a half years on the job it becomes automatic. But that doesn’t mean that my smile is not genuine. Because even though I’ve been flying for quite a while now, I still like going to work. Not everything about this job is perfect, a little like working anywhere else I think.. It’s not really fun waking up at 2am for a flight, to work a 10 or 12 or 15 hour days, to feel like I’m babysitting a hundred or two or three hundred passengers. And I’m still exhausted almost every time I deplane after a flight. But it still feels right looking up and seeing my aircraft for the day a split second before I climb the stairs and really start my work day. It’s still warms my heart to see kids boarding a plane for the first time in their life, looking in wonder at this giant thing that is going to take them so far away. It’s still fun to surprise passengers with something sweet and a “happy birthday from the crew” when we know about someone who is celebrating a birthday on board.
And it’s still important to me to be there for those passengers who are afraid to fly, or make sure that those parents who are flying alone with their babies will get a moment for themselves to eat something, or recommend something to those passengers flying for the first time to a new destination.
And yes, I’m a flight attendant, but that doesn’t mean my smile isn’t genuine even after a 15 hour flight.