January 19, 2009

Jetlagged & Jostled

I have a case of nuclear jetlag at the moment... it's soooo bad... been a long time since I had jetlag this bad! I suppose it's a combo of some super-busy flights, early morning and red-eye flights, and the summer heat. (I don't sleep so well in summer)

Yesterday I got in from my latest trip, the last leg of which was an all-nighter red-eye, at around 8am and I zonked out immediately. I was so tired on the flight that I started doing really dumb things like trying to pour OJ into coffee cups instead of the glass. I nearly fell asleep landing. Of course I've filed a report to the airline- most of us did. The trip we worked is not for humans!

I was so tired I can't recall how I actually got home (I drove, but can't remember actually doing it). I collapsed into bed, pretty much kicking off my uniform and shoes onto the floor, didn't even bother putting pyjamas on. I think I even went to sleep with my stockings still on, well they were on when I woke up, sooo... and naughty of all naughties, I didn't take my makup off first.

Even after 8 hours of sleep I feel like crap, went out to get some sunlight and it seemed to help a bit. Have a day off today so hopefully I'll feel vaguely ok to actually enjoy it.

Doanli posted recently about a big pet peeve of mine- 'personal space violation' (lol sounds like a speeding ticket, doesn't it?!)

Now of course on the job, I have my personal space invaded on a daily basis- I get tapped on the shoulder, the elbow, have my sleeve tugged, people getting right up in my face, not doing as I ask and waiting when I'm trying to pass by with a tray of drinks, instead choosing to push up against me and squish past in a highly personal manner! (Guys this is directed mainly at you- I do not want to feel your bits pushing into my backside as you 'pass' me in the aisle- I KNOW you do it on purpose!!!) Especially when I ask you to wait while I pass but you do it anyway. Next time you'll get hot coffee on your jewels, I swear!!!

Anyway, I digress! :P

Doanli's post reminded me of a recent time in Singapore. Normally I love Changi airport- it's so efficient- free internet, those groovy moving walkways, duty free delivered to the aircraft to save me waiting... but this time the duty free store was hell crowded, and I had 10 minutes to get all my stuff and leg it to the plane. (Of course half the moving walkways were broken on that day- sob!)

I grabbed the booze, cigarettes & chocolate, headed to the counter and lined up. Got to the head of the queue only to have some guy lean across me, waving money at the cashier like he ws in a Mumbai market and saying 'here here, I pay you now' and really getting into my personal space. (Aside from the fact he was totally cutting the line) It was so wrong, he smelt really bad and kept pressing up against me and saying 'go away' had no effect either. (Must really learn how to insult in foreign languages)

The cashier told him to queue up, but he didn't get the message. My dirty looks didn't get through either (he was practically sitting on my back, cheeky bastard) so I had to take matters into my own hands and ram him with my trolley bag. After paying for my purchases, it was impossible to leave through the exit lane so I had to do a u-turn and fight my way through Mr Impatient & all of his ten zillion countrymen, all of them also trying their luck in cutting the line! God I love having a solid wheelie bag/cabin bag combo- it cleared a path through them in two seconds flat and probably left a few bruised toes in its wake.

Well, I can't be late for boarding now, can I???? ;)

Ok I know I know we cabin crew are meant to be tolerant and all that, fine, I get it, some cultures this is ok but I draw the line at being on the fourth date in the airport queue ;P

Note- photo of sleeping crew is example only and not affiliated with any of my colleagues


  1. Dang, I would have passed out in that situation, TT...I've got claustrophia really bad.

    I think I need to go back to what my grandpa used to do when confronted with smelly people next to you..he had a handkerchief that he sprinkled cologne on..and he covered his nose with it..ha! He was a great man, I miss my grandpa!

    Another funny thing to do would be to fart "in his general direction". Or have a device that sounds like a fart...see how fast you can clear a queue with that. :p


  2. Ha, guess I *am* jetlagged... didn't even notice your typo ;)

    Omg, that is awesome... of course, crew aren't new to the idea of 'cropdusting', but doing it in the airport? Hilarious!! Might have to dish out some smell of my own next time!!! :P

  3. Being on the 4th date in the airport queue??HYSTERICAL!!! I love it, though it might be the 3rd date for me....

  4. Don't understand about writing to the airline about the flight. I would guess it is either legal or it isn't. Again, guessing that when they draw up the roster, they are aware of the rules limiting crew time. Will be very interested to hear what y'all get back in terms of a response from the airline.

  5. As crew we can file notices to say this XX flight is pretty hard on body from a safety point of view. Generally it goes through the Captain who signs off an ASR (dont know exactly what the acronym stads for) that goes directly to the Authorities in charge (GCAA in Dubai)... and these issues hve to be adressed. In some countries we do not have unions so it could be a long process before they change things for the better.

    As for Wheelie Vortex, I agree, I have injured more than one in airports as well as tipping perfume stands over without even noticing.

    Red-eye finishing off in the afternoon are the worst (reminds me of Chennai, dep at 0240 am, back in dubai at 0200 pm, no sleep, no rest, full flight, full service, and crazy pax).

    As for cropdusting, my body is uber-tolerant to Chicken Mankhani and masala, so never had the guts to actually drop one in the aisle or in a duty free shop for that matter !

  6. Lol Heather...

    Fin, yes duties may be legal but it doesn't mean they're advisable. The airline is legally bound to investigate if a number of crew complain... some flights have been changed in the past because of this- sometimes it means caryying an extra crew member so each can have a break (sometimes it's so busy we don't get one otherwise) or having the crew deadhead one way and operate the other.

    The funny thing is, the trip we flew is illegal in the reverse direction!

    Airboy, red eyes aren't so bad if you get off at the other end, it's the turning around and coming home which kills me! This one especially as you leave when you'd noramlly be off to bed :(

  7. Ouch, that sounds horrid Tray!! Rest up and stay home! No outing at Hay St. Mall for you today! =P

    Hopefully the company does something about your fatigue report!... Over at my side they take such things quite seriously and they actually take action! Having a captain head the whole fatigue reporting thing does help too!

    *btw, where did you get the pic of the sleeping f/a? Her door isn't even armed! lol!

  8. I don't really know where to start! So I'll simply state that you are a very entertaining writer.
    As for male customers violating your personal space - probably the only effective remedy would be to grow a moustache - but, this could have less than desirable consequences with your social life.
    Hope the jet-lag is brief and that you and George are taking to the skies soon

  9. PSV - a old git that I work with leaned in and through he was funny yesterday

  10. Ah the glamour of international travel! NOT! It's a worry that you FAs are that tired because that could really affect safety. Not to mention beverage selection!

  11. I had the attempted queue jump happen in the reclaim-gst line in Sydney. The best bit was when he jumped straight to the counter to try and get his money ... they wouldn't let him because it was within 1 hr of his flight departing. Funny!


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