we’re only human

back in february i was sent to cleveland to sit reserve there because their base was short. that night as i was lying in bed trying to sleep, my friend ashley came from her room across the hall banging on my door. she told me that a continental plane crashed. from the look on her face i could tell that this was no denver incident where the plane just skidded off the runway and everyone got out safely. i ushered her in and we turned on cnn. there it was on the screen, a horrible fiery image of the bombardier dash 8 q400 and the continental name flashing everywhere. something most people don’t realize is that the plane that crashed actually belonged to colgan air, operating for continental as a commuter flight.

i didn’t get any sleep that night, glued to the tv like it was a “train wreck.” everytime i dozed off i would get a new phone call or text message. it was definitely nice to know those people cared and were worried, but the next day i was assigned a four day trip after no sleep and then it wasn’t so nice anymore.

the trip had layovers in denver, cancun, and then new york’s la guardia airport. cancun was the perfect place to spend valentine’s day! our shuttle driver gave us roses when he picked us up from the airport. i spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach working on my tan and then had a mojito on my balcony before grabbing dinner across the street from our resort. it was an early night but i was exhausted from days before and had a 4am wakeup call.

the pool and beach area

the view from my balcony

the restuarant across the street from the resort

the next day went as any other. when i got to my hotel in queens i decided to take the train into manhattan so i could get a late christmas/valentine’s gift for carin and cameron’s little anna kate. when i got back to my hotel i had a message from someone at the houston inflight office. the crew who used our plane after us took a delay because of a low portable oxygen bottle (POB.) being the lead on the trip i had the signoff sheet that each crewmember signs to indicate that they have checked their safety equipment. when our conversation finished i thought the issue was over.

later that week, on the first day of my vacation, i received a call from my supervisor asking about the POB… the issue was just getting started. an investigation took place in the weeks following and was just recently resolved. as completely positive i am that i checked that bottle and as much as i hate to admit this, i must have missed it. the empty bottle flew three or four legs before someone noticed. each leg had two crew members responsible for checking it’s level. everyone who missed it was given two steps of discipline and had to attend a short training refresher on safety equipment. luckily for me, i am now off my initial probation and have a completely clean record.

those of you who know me know that i am a perfectionist so of course i was completely disappointed in myself. luckily my supervisor is really great and during our discussion he made me feel so much better. “i know you’re a great flight attendant and you have a perfect record. of all the people in this investigtion, seniorities range all over so it’s not a matter of experience or you not knowing what you’re doing. people make mistakes and the only thing you can do it learn from them.”

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