Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Flighty Attendant.....

One of my former students became a flight attendant after college. Bless her heart, she was always a little............air-headed.

I'll call her Shelley. That's not her name.

Her mother, also a teacher, was mortified that when she went for her college interview, one of the committee members asked her what type of books she liked to read.

Shelley likened reading to volunteering for a root canal.

She said, "Nancy Drew?" Yes, it was a question.

But she finished college, which is more than I can say for many of my former students, and that is NOT a commentary on my teaching ability. It's mostly a commentary on where I taught at the time.

She became a flight attendant for Delta, which I thought was the most glamorous, coolest career a young single woman could have. Particularly a young single woman without a brain.

Shelley and four of her flight attendant friends had apartments in five cities. They split the rent for each one five ways, and it was like each of them paying for her own apartment. But in at least five of the cities they flew to and out of, they had a familiar place to lay their heads instead of sleeping in hotels. I thought it was ingenious.

One of the cities where they had an apartment was New York City. You'd have to know Shelley to grasp what a leap that must have been. Small town girl goes to the big city.

Shelley's mother had told her over and over again to keep some cash on hand at all times. But like many......most.....young girls, Shelley didn't pay a whole lot of attention to her mother's advice. I really have no room to criticize on that point.....I rarely have cash myself. But this was in the days before debit cards were everywhere.

One night when Shelley was in New York, she got called in for an early morning flight that she had not been scheduled for originally. She got up and got ready, donning her crisp navy blue uniform and preparing her hair and make-up as expected. She had no money for a cab, so she got on the subway.

Shelley knew when she got on the subway that there was no way it would get her to the airport in time for her flight. But she had no money for a cab.

So she stood there on the subway in her crisp navy blue uniform, impeccable hair and make-up, crying her eyes out because she knew she wouldn't make the flight.

In the words of Larry Munson, "Get the picture....."

It's 3:00 AM. In New York City. On the subway.

A stranger asked her what was wrong. I'm sure that in addition to telling her to keep spare cash on hand, Shelley's mother had also told her not to speak to strangers on the subway in New York City at 3:00 AM. Shelley didn't listen to that advice either.

So she told him.

This stranger put Shelley off at the next subway stop and gave her money for a cab to get her to the airport in time for her flight.

At 3:00 AM. In New York City. On the subway.

Man, I love that story.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

I love NYC. I'm not sure where the reputation came from that they are the rudest city. When I lived there, I had a ticket for a Circle Line cruise but got myself turned around and I was on a public bus and knew I wasn't going to make my cruise ride. I was so frustrated and the bus driver heard me bemoaning the loss- and instead of dropping me three city block to run to the dock, she drove right up to the pier and let me off. I didn't miss my cruise... New Yorkers are awesome!