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.”

feliz año nuevo!

new years was quite a bit better than christmas. i don’t usually place expectations on this holiday though because then it ends up being a disappointment. this year i knew i’d be working, it was just a matter of where i would be bringing in 2009. fate – or crew scheduling – decided that i would spend the holiday in mexico city, something that i was actually excited about. i worked first class and had one passenger on the way there. he ate and then slept the rest of the way… rough day for me!
my crew was fun and one of the guys was even from my training class. unfortunately it wasn’t a long layover so we stayed right by the airport at the camino real hotel and everything around us was closed. that didn’t stop us though. we had drinks in my room and then took spots at the lobby bar for the countdown.

the next day was easy too and i was trilingual! of course i used english and spanish, but we also had a french family onboard and i used my french to explain the customs forms to them. it gave me a little more confidence in my ability and maybe after summer i will take the language test!

i hope all of you are having a wonderful year so far and one of my goals is to write in the blog more often, so stay tuned and harass me if it’s been a while since my last post!

novemeber in a nutshell

the month started off great in my opinion, with the election outcome that i’d hoped for. we spent that night watching the coverage at a local bar. when the announcement was made, the bar owner pulled out her big obama sign and paraded around, cheering and taking pictures with us.

a couple days later i celebrated my 24th birthday. my friend dustin picked me up and we got birthday pumpkin pancakes at ihop. then we ran some errands, during which scheduling called me for airport alert that night. needless to say i was not happy. luckily i didn’t get sent anywhere and that night’s festivities could commence!

that night i didn’t make it to bed. we were out late and then everyone came back to our apartment for a post-celebration. my flight for houston left so early in the morning that i left for the airport at 4:30. i spent the next couple days in houston celebrating my friend keely’s birthday, which was the day after mine. we had a barbeque saturday night and spent sunday shopping and playing with her kids.

monday i rode to dallas with krista to spend some time with the fam and emily. dad, kevin, emily, and i celebrated my birthday at chamberlains seafood grill, which is my new favorite restaurant in dallas!

back in dallas the next week, we did thanksgiving early with dad and the dusings since i knew i’d be working the day of. and instead of cooking, we went to chamberlains again! i was thankful for not having to do the dishes!

even though this wasn’t my first year away from home for thanksgiving – last year i spent it with emily and her family – it was my first time having to work. luckily i got a trip with a friend from bayonne, and we were back early enough so that i could make it for dinner at resalin’s in the city. she had friends over from her graduate program and amber combs, a high school friend, was also in town. it really was a great time and at the end of the day i was thankful to have someone with whom to spend the holiday. and to make for an even better thanksgiving, the next day i was assigned a trip to LA so i was able to see gloria and perry. they introduced me to ethiopian food and i loved it!

life up in the north has definitely been an adjustment, but i am thankful for the many friends i’ve made and simply for the fact that i have a job in this economic slump. i know working on christmas will be extremely difficult, but you can all bet that i’ll be looking for a layover in a city near family or friends so if you’re lucky you’ll get me as a holiday surprise this year!