Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jet Blue flight attendant and David Sedaris

The story of the flight attendant who went for the escape chute - and which office worker hasn't wished for an office with an escape chute - made me think immediately of the essay by David Sedaris published in last week's New Yorker:
When I asked another flight attendant, this one male, how he dealt with a plane full of belligerent passengers, he said, "Oh, we have our ways. The next time you're flying and it comes time to land, listen closely as we make our final pass down the aisle."


We're forever blaming the airline industry for turning us into monsters: it's the fault of the ticket agents, the baggage handlers, the slowpokes at the newsstands and the fast-food restaurants. But what if this is who we truly are, and the airport's just a forum that allows us to be our real selves, not just hateful but gloriously so?...

...It's a depressing thought, and one that proved hard to shake. It was with me when I boarded my flight to Portland and it was still on my mind several hours later, when we were told to put our tray tables away and prepare for landng. Then the flight attendants, garbage bags in hand, glided down the aisle, looking each one of us square in the face and whispering, without discrimination, "Your trash. You're trash. Your family's trash."

And that's why David Sedaris makes a living as a writer.