Last week was pretty brutal. Actually, brutal is an understatement; it felt more like getting a blow job by someone with braces who doesn’t know how to cover their teeth with their lips.
Ouch is right!
But that’s not what I am here to talk about. Now that I am an author of books (you know I love saying that), I save all that personal friendship and relationship drama for future books. And trust me — it’s full of drama, disappointment, and mistakes that two people can never come back from.
Anyhoo… back to my story.
Weather messed up air travel in the Northeast last week. Lucky for me, I missed most of it. I was flying around California during the worst parts of the thunderstorms, but that didn’t stop me from having to help with the recovery efforts once back on the east coast. And by help with recovery efforts, I mean really providing an amazing experience for my passengers. Especially the passengers who sat in airports for eight hours and eventually had to shuffle back home after their flights were cancelled.
You know what — people get pissed the fuck off when that happens.
While boarding a flight from Florida to New York, a extroverted woman sat in 1C. She was epic. Amazing. With her bleached blond hair and dark skin, I knew we’d be friends the moment she said, “I’m watching you, Joe. I need to make sure you are up to the task to handle all this. That’s why I sit up front, it’s the best seat in the house.”
I loved her. I laughed. I said, “Oh honey, you have no idea. I was born to handle you.”
Instant love. Seriously!
The boarding was chaotic, but every flight out of Florida is a fucking mess. We had passengers fighting on the jet bridge, other passengers holding up the boarding process to move clothes from one suitcase to another, and some nasty lady who walked on and stuck her nose up in the air because it was taking her to long to get to her seat. She was nasty.
I asked, “Good morning. How are you?”
She blurted out, “I’d be doing better if ya’ll could get this line moving faster.”
I snapped back, “Don’t be mad at me. Be mad at all the passengers standing in front you.” Then I looked over at 1C and she was giggling like she was watching the movie theater scene from Scary Movie. The one with Regina Hall, Shakespeare In Love, and a bottle of hot sauce.
If you don’t know it – stop reading my blog and go watch it. I’ll wait…
Are we good? Great. I’ll continue.
Once this lady was out of view I leaned into 1C and said, “Who let Nene Leakes on the airplane?”
We both erupted into uncontrollable laughter. Then I had to remember I wasn’t at a club and put my game face back on. She laughed so hard — shaking in her seat, “I was thinking the same thing, Joe. You are crazy.”
I looked up to see a very handsome young man boarding the flight. He reminded me of a younger version of Michael Beach from Waiting to Exhale. You remember him, right? The one married to Angela Bassett’s character. The one who got his car and clothes torched up.
Damn, I love that movie.
When he stepped onto the airplane I said, “Welcome. Don’t fall asleep because I like that hoodie and I might be peeling it off you while you sleep.”
Probably not the smartest thing to say, but I was still high on my laughter with 1C. I tell you, sometimes I forget where I’m at when I’m on the airplane. Almost 9 years and I have yet to receive a complaint letter. I must be doing something right. He laughed, “You know what? I am so mad at this airline right now and you just made my day.”
I added, “Awesome. But I wasn’t lying about that hoodie.”
Later in the flight, I found him seated in the middle of the airplane. I approached him and knelt down so we were at eye level, “So, what happened?”
He explained to me the details of his cancelled flight in one Florida city, how he had to drive three hours to another airport, and that my airline hadn’t given him the best experience over the phone. It happens. Someone might have been having a bad day on the other end of the phone. I have bad days all the time. I am not here to judge other departments at my airline.
Well, I am — but not right now.
I sympathized with him and the fact that he was on his way to Germany to spend his anniversary with his wife, who was already there.
“I feel terrible that you’ve had this bad experience.”
“It’s not your fault. I’m telling you, when I walked on this airplane, your attitude and kindness changed my entire perspective.”
“Well, I wanna do something else for you.” I didn’t tell him that included a quick hand job in the lavatory. Figured that was best for an inside thought, “Can I buy you a drink? What do you drink? Liquor? Beer? Wine?”
“Really?” He seemed shocked I was offering him a free drink. “Oh man, I don’t care. I like everything,”
“Nice. Me too. Okay, I’ll be right back.”
When I got to the front I leaned into 1C, “You remember that fine guy that walked on and I wanted to take his hoodie?”
She smiled, “Oh yes, he was fine.”
“He’s had a bad day and I’m going to buy him a drink. What should I bring him?”
“Bring him a beer,” she smiled big, “you know what, Joe? I can’t wait to fill out that survey they send me. I’m gonna be writing, ‘Joe is the best,’ that’s what I’m gonna write.”
I grinned, “I’ll bring him a beer and a shot of Jack Daniels. He will love that.”
When I walked back to his seat, I placed the can of beer and Jack Daniels mini on his table with a cup of ice, “I know this doesn’t make up for you having to drive three hours today to catch this flight, but I hope it makes you a little happier.”
His smile brightened up the entire airplane. I have never, in all my years as a flight attendant, experienced someone so happy about a kind gesture. Writing this out makes my heart race because he was so grateful and thankful.
He also stated that Jack Daniels was his favorite.
When we landed, and he made his way to the front galley, I extended my hand to shake his and he said, “Hell no. You get a hug, man,” And this big straight dude wrapped his big arms around me and hugged me so tight I thought I was going to bust out of my uniform.
And that’s literally how I ended a really fucked up week!