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8 Struggles Flight Attendants Would Never Tell You

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8 Struggles Flight Attendants Would Never Tell You

Flight attendants are known for appearing put together and able to easily assist you with any needs that might come up during your flight. However, you might be surprised to learn there is a lot more to a flight attendant’s shift than may appear to the untrained eye. It can often be messy, tiring and frustrating. It is an unglamorous job, but someone has to do it. Here are just eight of the struggles your friendly flight attendant has to deal with during your flight:

1. We deal with a lot of bodily fluids on a daily basis

Flight attendants have seen it all and are usually unfazed by cleaning up vomit, pee and poop on a regular basis. The plane lavatories can get foul quickly, especially on long-haul flights and we go into automatic mode when they need to be cleaned up, which is often. We also clean up after ill passengers who could not always make it to the sick bags in time or children who have had accidents.

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2. We need to use disinfectant religiously

We know that the airplane is a breeding ground for germs and how important it is to constantly sanitize ourselves and every surface we come into contact with. Whether we are handing out drinks or using the lavatory, we know that millions of nasty germs are always being exchanged. When we run out of hand sanitizer, we have been known to use alcohol to clean our hands from any lingering bacteria.

3. We easily get bored during our downtime

Handing out drinks and pillows is only a small portion of our job, and there is a lot of free time, especially on longer flights. You can only play games on your phone or read a book for so many hours during the flight. We love it when passengers come and chat with us when we are standing around, because it provides stimulation in an otherwise very long shift.

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4. We are constantly jet-lagged

Flying constantly through new time zones, we never have a normal bedtime and our internal clocks are always off. We try to get sleep while on the ground, but it never seems like enough. If we are extra tired and dazed, it is a combination of lack of sleep and an off-day, so please try to be understanding.

5. We had to practice to always appear pleasant

Service with a smile is our motto, but it is something that we have practiced and perfected over time. It is hard to be “on” during the entire shift, but we try to appear pleasant, despite difficult passengers and situations that are bound to arise.

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6. We have a hard time maintaining long-term relationships

Frequent flying and quick overnight layovers mean that life on the road can be rough for relationships back at home. This industry is known for its fair share of one-night stands and no-strings-attached relationships.

7. We have a hard time maintaining a social life

Having minimum time back at home, we have a hard time finding time for our friends. When we are at home all we went to do is sleep or have some quality alone time binge-watching the TV shows we’ve missed. When you are in a job that requires constant social interaction, it is hard to embrace extroverted tendencies back at home as well. Plus, due to our wonky internal clocks we often flake on the plans that we made.

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8. We are physically drained from always being on our feet

This is not a job for those who think it is an easy position where you just get to hand out drinks and fly around the world for free. The job of a flight attendant demands you to always be on your feet for a good amount of time, whether you are preparing the food cart or walking up and down the aisles to assist passengers in their seats.

Featured photo credit: Flight attendants/MIKI Yoshihito via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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