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.
So 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!