High and mighty

Posted by at 14:00

There’s a danger in using too much airline slang when among people who don’t work in the business. I remember occasions, mostly at parties, when I enthusiastically rattled on about my work not noticing that the expressions on the faces of my audience were getting more and more hazy. Next thing people would begin looking away, and then actually start to walk away. Leaving me behind with all my ‘great’ stories.

I guess most jobs suffer from jargon that outsiders don’t understand. Abbreviations are the worst conversation killers, I’m sure. I thought they couldn’t be worse than in my former job in ICT, but I have since discovered that in the airline business it’s just as bad. I try to avoid them, but sometimes conversations can get even more complicated if you try to explain everything.

Another risk that flight crew members run is sounding high and mighty. Since we spend a lot of our time abroad, a lot of what we experience happens abroad too. But there’s a difference between talking about going jogging in your local park, and talking about going jogging in New York’s Central Park. Or that you caught that lovely suntan while you were at work in the Carribbean, rather than on a Dutch beach or on holiday in Spain.

High and mightySo I developed the habit of only mentioning the origin of things that came from my home country. Yes, I’ve had my haircut, and thank you for telling me it looks good on me. I won’t mention that I had it done in Toronto last week. And thank you, yes, I like my new dress too. But I won’t tell you I bought it in a nice little market in China.

While watching the weak winter’s sun sinking into the bay in Cape Town, feeling its rays tickling my skin, I wondered what to write about in this blog. Not about Cape Town, I decided, to avoid sounding high and mighty. But then I started wondering what’s high and mighty about being in a different place all the time? Thinking about it: I’m going to tell our dinner guests next week that I bought the lovely bottle of Shiraz in South Africa. Yes!

Caroline

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14 Responses to High and mighty

  1. The Silver Shadow

    Could you tell me where you got your hair done in Toronto. I’m currently there and going to Hungary next week :D

  2. The Silver Shadow

    Could you tell me where you got your hair done in Toronto. I’m currently there and going to Hungary next week :D

  3. A. Chatziantoniou

    This applies for a lot of people who travel a lot for their work.
    My colleagues always showed their envy about my frequent trips to a lot of European cities.

    Then I told them that my day looks like this:
    05:00 raise and travel to the airport
    07:00 board the plane
    10:00 arrive at the destination
    20:00 leave the office
    20:30 check in and some food

    Normal day abroad:
    Work from 08:00 to approx 20:00 or 21:00

    Last day
    Take an evening flight and be home around 21:00 or 22:00

    And while they are having their social life and partners/friends at home the reality of the business traveler is to stay alone in hotel rooms typically having dinner alone. Yes once a while there is some social activity or the chance to get to a museum/site/free time but this does not happen every day.

    This helped me to get them back to reality and all of a sudden they were less romanticizing my job.

    I assume the life of air crews is the same: long hours, exhausting work, timezone changes, lack of social life and once in a while some time for yourself.

    So I don’t envy you, and the haircut is a necessity wherever it took place.

    • Caroline

      Dear A. Chatziantoniou,

      A lot of the frequent flyers I talk to on board, tell me stories simular to yours. I started to pass these on to all those people who tell me to dream of a job which brings along a lot of travelling. Not to demotivate them, but to give them a glimse of reality. A major difference between airline crew and business travellers is that arriving at the destination our work is done till we catch our next flight, where your work starts -or continues, considering all those people who work hard on board as well. I find that rather admirable and I guess one needs to have endurance and a strong character to keep up.

  4. A. Chatziantoniou

    This applies for a lot of people who travel a lot for their work.
    My colleagues always showed their envy about my frequent trips to a lot of European cities.

    Then I told them that my day looks like this:
    05:00 raise and travel to the airport
    07:00 board the plane
    10:00 arrive at the destination
    20:00 leave the office
    20:30 check in and some food

    Normal day abroad:
    Work from 08:00 to approx 20:00 or 21:00

    Last day
    Take an evening flight and be home around 21:00 or 22:00

    And while they are having their social life and partners/friends at home the reality of the business traveler is to stay alone in hotel rooms typically having dinner alone. Yes once a while there is some social activity or the chance to get to a museum/site/free time but this does not happen every day.

    This helped me to get them back to reality and all of a sudden they were less romanticizing my job.

    I assume the life of air crews is the same: long hours, exhausting work, timezone changes, lack of social life and once in a while some time for yourself.

    So I don’t envy you, and the haircut is a necessity wherever it took place.

    • Caroline

      Dear A. Chatziantoniou,

      A lot of the frequent flyers I talk to on board, tell me stories simular to yours. I started to pass these on to all those people who tell me to dream of a job which brings along a lot of travelling. Not to demotivate them, but to give them a glimse of reality. A major difference between airline crew and business travellers is that arriving at the destination our work is done till we catch our next flight, where your work starts -or continues, considering all those people who work hard on board as well. I find that rather admirable and I guess one needs to have endurance and a strong character to keep up.

  5. Marco

    Hi everybody,Sorry but I couldn t think at a better method to look up for a KLM Stewardess who I saw 2 days ago on the flight from Amsterdam to Venice  (21-08.11). I’m a frequent flyer but I had never flown with KLM before and I must admit that I was very impressed by the service on board. On top of that there was a lovely, patient and super gentle hostess who made smile each passenger on board…I believe her name was Marijn but not being datch, but Italian, I probably misunderstood her name.So if somebody could help me out to have her contact I would appreciate; in case that wouldn t be possible for privacy reason I would completely understand.Thanks everybody,                                                 Marco

    • KLM

      Hi Marco,
      Good to hear that you enjoyed your flight to Venice with KLM. For privacy reasons we cannot give you any contact information about our crew members. However, we will pass your feedback to the appropriate department. They will be able to sort out the right name of the cabin attendant to give her the compliments.
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope to see you again on board of one of our aircraft.

      • Makelibo

        Hi,
         
        the flight number was 1665 on the 21/08. I believe her name was the one i wrote above.
         
        Thanks for the reply and in case she were happy and she’d like to directly answer me here is my email address: makelibo@gmail.com
         
        Thanks agian, Regards

  6. Marco

    Hi everybody,Sorry but I couldn t think at a better method to look up for a KLM Stewardess who I saw 2 days ago on the flight from Amsterdam to Venice  (21-08.11). I’m a frequent flyer but I had never flown with KLM before and I must admit that I was very impressed by the service on board. On top of that there was a lovely, patient and super gentle hostess who made smile each passenger on board…I believe her name was Marijn but not being datch, but Italian, I probably misunderstood her name.So if somebody could help me out to have her contact I would appreciate; in case that wouldn t be possible for privacy reason I would completely understand.Thanks everybody,                                                 Marco

    • KLM

      Hi Marco,
      Good to hear that you enjoyed your flight to Venice with KLM. For privacy reasons we cannot give you any contact information about our crew members. However, if you give us the flight number we will pass your feedback to the appropriate department. They will be able to sort out the right name of the cabin attendant to give her the compliments.
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope to see you again on board of one of our aircraft.

      • Makelibo

        Hi,
         
        the flight number was 1665 on the 21/08. I believe her name was the one i wrote above.
         
        Thanks for the reply and in case she were happy and she’d like to directly answer me here is my email address: makelibo@gmail.com
         
        Thanks agian, Regards

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