Thursday, July 28, 2011

TMI ALERT: Balloon Stomach and Toothy Nightmares. Jealous???

Oh hello there. 

This is what I feel like

I am having one of those days where I feel sloppy and unmotivated and I really don't want to write but I'm going to anyway because it's always cathartic.

I got my dental cleaning done today and I have really healthy teeth. Which was surprising because I haven't had a cleaning in like 8 years, and then before that it had been at least 10 years. 

One would think that someone who doesn't go to the dentist doesn't care about their teeth.  That is so wrong.  I have the worst teeth anxiety. I have this reoccuring dream where all my teeth are falling out.  But they're not falling out, they're just hanging by one piece of flimsy skin and in my dream, Im getting frustrated and I can't keep them all in my mouth. 

I also get really antsy about possible tartar , so I am known to grab a safety pin and poke around and try and scrape stuff off the hard to reach parts near my gums myself.  Actually, Im not known for that, it's something I have done as long as I can remember and it's one of my naughty secrets.  I guess that qualifies for TMI now doesn't it since it's sort of gross.

Well, now that we've gone into TMI territory, who wants to talk about my womanly issues again?  Oh, oh, pick me!! 

I look like I'm 5 months pregnant.   I am not putting a picture up because , unlike everything else, I cannot find the damn humor in this at all.

I heard today that my ex husband told someone that my pissy phase is so bad that he wouldn't even put a professional wrestler in front of me when my switch flips.  And also warned he new wife not to EVER f*** with me. 

That's kind of funny.  I laughed about it but it's kind of embarrassing because it's like temporary insanity for reals.  Anything can set me off, and like I said the other day, when the pressure valve finally pops, I dissolve into anger, then tears, then I curl up in a ball in my bedroom and cry it out.  Approximately 15 minutes later , I stop crying.  About 15 minutes after that I'm fine again and the next day the period usually starts. Then it's gone until next month and I very rarely get pissed off unless I'm provoked.  It can be done, but it takes a lot of irritation and then I finally choose to get mad and express my anger. These PMDD ish meltdowns are much, much worse and very much out of my control. 
(very personal and somewhat troubling details alert...sorry)
When I was going through my divorce, I am ashamed to admit that I didn't handle it well.  I handled it terribly, actually. I had very scary episodes.  Both times , I woke up in the hospital on my period.  So while I definitely had a choice in the matter, these instances were instrumental in figuring out that there might be something going on other than "I'm insane" because I'm not. 

Now that my life is absolutely easier than it was, there is no financial difficulty, there is no emotional difficulty, I am in love, I am loved, and I have friends to support me, all of the controls (much like a science experiment) are set.  I'm stable.  And these meltdowns still happen like clockwork, once every month, a day or two before Aunt Flo shows up.  It's debilitating. It's embarrassing, and yes I feel shame, but there is absolutely nothing I can do. 

My anger today has been simmering.  I found myself firing off smartass texts in response to people and being very short with the kids.  I know it's coming, and I don't feel like crying so hard my eyes are swollen shut.  I have nothing to be crying about!!

I always take a warm bath when my pains get intolerable, and I glanced at my tub today.  I took a cup of tension tamer tea in there.  I have various potions and bottles and bath salts and they're all boasting names that promise to relieve my stress.  I have aromatherapy lavendar, I have tension salts, I have candles, I have aromatherapy candles, I have a cabinet with hot stone massage rocks, I have 3 different lavendar based oils, all aimed at fixing stress and the only time I ever use them is when I deal with this crap.

Nothing makes me feel as good as writing about it does, for some reason.  I dont know who you are, you brave person making it to the bottom of a rant about my period, but thanks for hanging out with me and being a friend.  I feel better already. 

Love You All The Way To The Moon,

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A History of Craptastic Luck with Cars

All my car troubles, in two years or less. With love.   Triple A is going to drop me because they have to be losing money at this point.

A bus ran over it

It just stopped working

it overheated

I frontswiped it

I sideswiped it.

i dont even know this time


This Can't Be Good TMI ALERT

Warning:  This blog contains references to my period and some stuff about going to the dentist. If you're going to be a whiny baby and complain about TMI, then you're going to need to close your browser now.  If you continue to read, then it's your damn fault and I will not listen to anything you say unless it's good mocking material . Yes I am aware the whole world can read this. That is the point.  Thank you.

Love, Management. 

Okay, so according to last month's rant, entitled WTF, I was going to track my emotional meltdowns.  I usually get a really bad one once every month.  It could be about anything.  It's usually really stupid, or I wil take a valid point and get so up in arms about it that I might find it funny at a later date. Possibly. As long as it's not around "that" time and then it would probably trigger another insane meldtown.  It would be like meltdown squared.  The kids don't even fight with me, they run for cover and sometimes bring alcohol to my room while I'm bawling in the dark. Not kidding. 

The good thing is , is that so far, the last 4 times, I have noticed a pattern and been able to predict it within 3 or 4 days, but I actually have documentation from last time.  So, today or tomorrow, someone's getting death threats.  I've been really good about warning people.  It's embarrassing though when hell week happens on vacation and you're travelling with another family.  I had to do that once and I ended up taking the wife aside and explaining it so that when the meltdown did happen, they would understand.  It happened the next day and no one said anything.  She was really cool about it and even related.

I usually get really angry, really fast, and my emotions explode like a water balloon inside my face, and I say something really mean and possibly with a bad word in it and then I go to my room and jump under blankets and cry as hard as I can for 15 minutes. If I am left alone, I will be okay.  But someone better at least check on me and hug me first or I might think they don't care and throw another hellish fit.  I can't explain it, but the anger is like, psycho angry and it comes fast and hard, and I can't not dissolve into tears. I'm sure I look insane. 

So, tomorrow is my first dentist appointment in 8 years.  The last time it has been over 10 years since a cleaning and the hygeniest ripped apart my gums and muttered under her breath and told me I needed to come every six months.  Turned out I had ZERO cavities and no gingivitis even.  So screw her.  I brush and floss (sometimes floss, only on top, my bottom teeth are so crowded it wont fit , which is why Im getting braces or invisalign in Feb) anyway, I take pretty good care of my teeth and the only reason Im going for a cleaning is because I can't take the impressions for invisalign without a proper cleaning.

If they give me all kinds of attitude, what in the hell is going to happen if tomorrow is D day?  I swear I think I have PMDD, but only for one day of the month.

I'm really scared of the dentist and I'm also scared I'm going to leave the office wearing a bib with all their trays upended and cotton hanging out of my mouth and drool all over my front.

Not good. Not good at all. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The One About the Dead Twin: Airline Stories

First time on the blog, but sitting in archive a while. Enjoy!
Don’t Over-react.
Of course sh*t happens.  It happens to all of us.  A tire goes flat, someone rear ends us, we over sleep.  It’s human nature to screw something up or be the victim of unfortunate circumstances.  In real life, people deal with it and move on because they have no choice. At the airport, people act so irrationally it’s almost funny.  Almost.  Until after work at the bar.  Then it becomes funny when we retell it complete with tantrum reenactment.  It’s just basically a pain in the ass while it’s going on though.
I have seen some of the worst adult tantrums firsthand. I’ve been spat at, swung at, and watched bags get flung across the floor by angry, stranded passengers. I’ve seen holes punched in walls, grown men bawling like babies and sweet, demure women jumping across counters at agents.  Of course, all we do is call 411 and the airport police deal with it. 
There was one particular girl, though, that put a completely new and different spin on over reacting.
This girl wasn’t the violent type.  She wasn’t the swearing type.  She was a bawler.  She missed her connection when her inbound flight brought her in a few minutes too late due to aircraft maintenance.  She was trying to get to Chicago, but there were no seats on the next flight.  She was given meal vouchers and a standby seat on the next flight out.  If she didn’t make that flight, she was going to have to be booked on the first flight of the morning.
The airline would pay for her hotel, since it was the airline’s maintenance issue that caused the delay.  Usually, this situation is inconvenient, but easy to handle.  The fact that the airline takes care of passengers stranded in this manner softens the blow of being stranded.
This girl, however, was not taking things very well.
She came to my flight, which was her standby flight, with her ticket. She was sweet enough at first, but when I informed her she wouldn’t get a seat unless one opened up, she began to sob.
I always feel really bad when someone cries in front of me.  I don’t want them to cry, I want to fix it and make it better, and get them on their way.  I would be totally freaked out if I was stranded in a strange city, especially if I couldn’t afford a hotel.  
I assured her that everything would be fine and then she told me that she had to be on the plane because she needed to be at a funeral at 8am. Her brother had died, suddenly, in a car accident. Not just any brother, her twin brother.  She had to get home and take care of her mom, who she said she was afraid might just die of sadness. 
That’s so sad!!
I assured her that I would try my best and started to go through the inbound connections list to see if I was expecting any misconnects.  We can see who is coming in late, so when you’re running down the concourse trying to make your flight, rest assured, we know exactly where everyone is coming from. We know if you’re going to make it before you even step off the plane based on how far back your seat is on the inbound plane and how far away the gate is.
I was going through that list and I saw that there was an aircraft coming in on F concourse possibly misconnecting a family of five. 
This passenger,  Stephanie  Oscar, with the dead twin brother was number  7 on the standby list.  I felt confident that I could help her.  Only 3 of those ahead of her on the list had even checked in at the gate, and it was boarding time.  The other three did not respond to pages, so I moved her up on the list to number 4. 
She came back a few times to keep checking on the status.  I told her that I thought she would probably get on, but I could not give her a seat until I was certain there would be a seat.  I took her aside and told her about the family, and that I was pretty confident she would get on. She  started crying again and showed me a picture of her brother on her phone. 
I felt really, really, bad for her.  I really wanted to help her.  I almost wanted to cry too.  What would it feel like to lose a twin brother so suddenly?  Would it feel like half of you was missing? How would I take care of my mom if my brother or father was suddenly taken, especially since she lives so far away in New Mexico! I don’t even think I’d be able to sit still long enough to fly…I’d be bursting on the inside and overflowing with nonstop tears on the outside.
I had to help her. I wanted to put her first on the list, or possibly take a volunteer as an oversold situation to help her out.
I went to my favorite manager, the one who backs me up when I break a rule.  He knows that if I’m going to actually ask to break a rule, that there must be a pretty good reason.   I asked him about the flight coming in on F concourse and whether he though those passengers could make it or not. 
Fortunately for them, their plane made up some time and they were already on the ground.  Unfortunately for me, there would be zero forseeable seats opening on the Chicago flight.  I was so afraid to tell her.
Just as I was paging her up to the counter, my manager told me that if I could get a local volunteer who would stay without hotel compensation, he’d confirm her on the flight in their place.    I made the announcement,  found a young man who purchased his ticket that night to save money but really needed to go tomorrow and performed the seat swap in the system. I told her to come get the boarding pass from me discreetly while I boarded the other passengers.
She was thrilled. She gave me this huge hug and then thanked me profusely.  She said that she’d be right back and that could she get my name. 
I gladly gave it to her, and I felt really proud that I had made a difference in someone’s life who had suffered an unimaginable loss. I felt sort of guilty that I had skipped the standby list, but when I pulled up the records, I felt better because the people on the standby list weren’t willing to split from their parties anyway, so even if there were somehow only one seat, she would have gotten it.
I walked down to the jet bridge, and checked with the crew to see if they were ready to board. I received a thumbs up from the lead flight attendant.  As I was walking back up towards the gate, I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket.  I pulled it out and realized that it was a Facebook notification.  I had a few extra seconds so I gave in to the urge to sneak a look at my phone.
“Stephanie Oscar wants to be your friend”.  The message box said.  I hit confirm.
This just kept getting better! Not only did I help someone in need, I made a friend!  Okay , maybe just on Facebook, but maybe we could keep in touch and I could give her moral support and she’d remember me as someone who turned her bad day around.
I decided to sneak another look at her profile to see if she wrote a status update about how great her airline service was. 
I really needed to start the boarding process, but I couldn’t resist the urge to see her profile just for a second, just to see if she mentioned me.  Maybe she would write a letter to the airline and I would get a special award from the CEO.  I’d always wanted to win an award like that because I knew I was the nicest, sweetest, most tech-savvy agent, and I thought I deserved it.  I mean, it’s not that hard to deliver good service, right?  Just be really …….gullible.
Stephanie Oscar is LOLing because the dumbazz airline fell for my tearz. LOLZ. C U at the party 2nite bitchez.  Just now
I looked at earlier updates
Stephanie Oscar is pissed off that she missed her flight, and is now gna miss da party 2nite 1 hour ago
Stephanie Oscar is ready to get wassstedddddd.  3 hours ago
Wait, what?  Why would she friend me on Facebook if she was going to talk about me? Did she think I would wait til later to approve it? Was she that stupid?  Speaking of stupid, I’m stupid.  I can’t believe this is happening. I am not a dumbass. Now I have to work a flight and my feelings are hurt. 
Oh hell no.
I decided that I would handle it calmly, and with a cool head.   Her seat assignment was still on the counter,  that lying, manipulative brat wasn’t on the plane yet, so I definitely had the advantage. 
About halfway through the boarding process, she skipped sweetly over to the podium and sauntered up behind me,  and asked if she could board yet. 
“Not yet, Stephanie.”  I said.  I avoided eye contact and called every zone number until the only passengers left were the standby passengers. 
She stood very arrogantly against the wall and nonchalantly tapped away at her phone, probably making fun of me on Facebook.   I wanted to snatch that phone out of her hand and smash it.  What an asshole she was!
After the plane was completely boarded, it was determined that another plane had been sitting on the gate but the jetway had broken.  There was a group of 7 people on that plane and it opened 7 seats.  There was one person that had been behind her on standby. 
I took her ticket and ripped it, and reassigned the seat to the last person on the list, and then I cleared the standby list for the other 6 seats, for the two parties of three that were originally ahead of her.  I paged them all and handed them their tickets.  I grabbed the paperwork off the printer and slammed the door in her face, but not before saying “Stephanie, don’t worry, I’ll be right back.”
She looked worried but I didn’t care.  I walked the final passengers down, got the door to the plane shut and then called my manager back on the phone and explained to him what I’d done and why.
The first thing he did was yell at me for having my phone in my pocket. It is one of my worst habits. I always sneak looks at Facebook and rapid fire texts when I have a spare second.  Then he laughed and told me he’d be there to back me up.
I waited until the plane backed off the gate, in full view of the window, and I could see Stephanie Oscar looking out in horror and disbelief from the slats in the jet bridge turret. Then I walked slowly up the bridge hallway and opened the door to a very emotional and teary performance.
Mark, my manager, was standing at the gate patiently listening to Stephanie tell him how awful her situation was, and how she didn’t understand how the plane could leave without her.  She pointed her finger at me.
“SHE promised me a seat.  SHE said that I was guaranteed on board, if I just waited until the end. She lied. Your employee lied to me and now I won’t even be there to bury my brother!”
She threw herself into the chairs in the boarding area and sobbed so hard her whole body was heaving. 
I panicked for a moment, wondering if I had gotten something wrong.  She was so committed to this funeral thing, that I was believing her again.  I was starting to feel like a total jerk when Mark printed out the reservation and chuckled under his breath.
“Watch this.” He said, and then walked over and sat next the inconsolable Miss Oscar , who was telling an elderly couple nearby her sob story between heaves.
The elderly couple gave Mark and I hateful looks as she explained how we slammed the door in her face.  I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as I fought the urge to slap Stephanie Oscar.
“Miss Oscar, I’m sorry that you have been inconvenienced, but did you say that you are traveling on an emergency ticket?” he asked casually
“Yes, my brother died in a car accident and I booked a ticket right away.” She said, sniffling and wiping her nose on her sleeve.
Mark showed her the copy of her reservation that she had printed out.  “How did you know he was going to die? This ticket was booked 3 weeks ago.”
She looked at the piece of paper blankly and said nothing. 
The elderly couple aimed their disgust at the silent liar while Mark gave her directions to the nearest customer service counter to get her hotel accommodations.  Since her original flight was late due to maintenance, we did owe her a hotel after all.  Our flight was off the gate and we were no longer obligated to stay there, nor did we want to.   A transatlantic flight had just cancelled and the customer service line was all the way down the concourse.  She could wait in that line, perhaps do some thinking, maybe update Facebook..whatever.I imagine her status should say something like this….
Stephanie Oscar is realizing what a bitch slap karma and a jaded gate agent can deliver if necessary.
She probably would have gotten away with it if she hadn’t tried to friend me online…why she was able to come up with that entire scenario and misstep there, I have no idea.  I have caught people in the funeral lie before, but she totally had me. 

The Moral of the Story:  Over reacting is overrated and lying and manipulating is just a bad idea.


Get the Freak Off Your Phone!

Another unpublished, unedited probably old blog. This one is about a jerk lady on her phone trying to get to Fashion Week in NYC. Spoiler alert: Epic fail.
Pay Attention to the Announcements

It was a Friday night and the operation was actually running pretty smoothly.  I was working the gate for a New York flight and –surprise- the flight was delayed due to air traffic control.  La Guardia is one of the highest traffic airports, makes sense right, because it’s one of the most populated cities in the United States if not the world. 
When a flight is delayed due to air traffic control, it means that there is too much congestion coming into or going out of the affected airport.   Quite possibly, and in the case of LGA, traffic is at a standstill.  It is up to the Federal Aviation Administration, not the airline, to decide which planes get to leave when. 
Most passengers, especially the frequent fliers understand and expect this  when flying in and out of New York City….or rather, they should.   It would baffle me, though, how often people got irrational over an air traffic control delay.
On this particular Friday,  the only area having issues was LGA and surrounding airports..JFK, and Newark.   Again, that’s pretty normal, and when there’s no weather going on, it’s considered a pretty good night.  
The flight was only 30 minutes delayed, and I had been making announcements for the past 45 minutes at the gate.  The flight had been due to leave at 5:30, but had been pushed back to  6pm due to the previously mentioned ATC delay.   All of the other New York flights from that point on were delayed as well, including the other carriers in our airport.
The New York flights are usually full, if not oversold.  If one of them cancels, it throws the entire operation into a tailspin and a calm night turns into complete meltdown the instant the cancellation is announced.  This night was no exception.
I couldn’t believe the flight wasn’t oversold. It was just before Fashion Week in New York City.   Fashion enthusiasts and industry heavy-hitters alike will flock from all over the world to attend this event. 
It was approximately 5:45pm and I was making the following announcement:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for the delay, but the Air Traffic Control department has not updated our departure time.  The board says 6pm, but that is not possible due to the time it would take for me to board the aircraft.  Very simply put, we would need to begin boarding right now to make that possible.  The captain will not allow us to board until the ground stop is lifted so please rest assured I will make another announcement as soon as we get an update. Thank you for your patience. “
As I was setting the microphone back into its cradle, I could see out of the corner of my eye someone charging toward me like a freight train.  She was 6 feet tall and her beautiful face was twisted into a sneer.  She was angrily and loudly having a conversation on her crystal-encrusted BlackBerry.  As she approached the counter, I took a deep breath and waited for impact.
She approached the counter, still spewing verbal venom into the speaker of her PDA. I made eye contact with her, and she switched the phone to speaker.  I could still hear  the person on the other end finishing a sentence.  It sounded like squawking.  She didn’t even tell them to hold on, she just put it down and let them continue.
“How can I help you?” I asked
She glared at me for about two seconds, glared at the departure screen that read 6pm, and then made a dramatic show out of checking her watch. 
“Yes, as a matter of fact, you can help me. You can tell me why the f*** this plane isn’t in the air yet. I don’t have time to be reminding you airline people to do your job so that I can f***ing do mine.”  She spat the words in such a hasty string that I had to back it up and replay it in my head.  It was hard to sort out what she was saying amidst the F bomb and her friend still squawking away unaware she was being ignored. 
When someone approaches me and one of the first things out of their mouth is the F bomb, I immediately bristle and have no desire to help them what-so-ever.   I have to coach myself into responding diplomatically and tactfully.  That process takes about 3 seconds, which I think is pretty impressive.
Evidently, she didn’t think so. Before I had a chance to open my mouth, she began slapping the counter with her palm, the light bouncing off the crystals on her long,  menacing but beautiful  nails.
“Excuse-ay Moi.  Do you Speaky the English?!  I’m talking to you!” she screeched.
The squawking on the phone stopped.  A confused “huh?” came from the other end.
“I’m not talking to you-hold on!” she snapped, and then set the phone, still connected down. The person started asking her what was going on and going “Hello….hello..?” 
My body flushed with hot blood as I reminded myself that everyone travels for a reason and hers must be important.  She must be under extreme stress. 
“Ma’am,  would you like to finish your phone conversation so that I can help you or at least take it off speaker? “  I asked very calmly.  It was a reasonable question and there were more people lining up to ask questions.
“No the hell you can’t” she said matter of factly.  “I want to know why this plane is late.”
She was breathtakingly beautiful, and it was hard to hear such horrible talk coming out of her perfect mouth.  She had to be a model, it made sense because it was fashion week.  Watching her talk like that would be like how I imagine I would react if I saw a unicorn at the zoo with a farting problem.  She was that abnormally gorgeous. It didn’t make sense.
“It’s an air traffic delay, New York isn’t authorizing any inbound flights until further notice.”  I explained. 
“When the hell were you going to say something about it? Or were you just going to let us sit here like assholes?” she bellowed, dramatically cocking her head and putting her hands on her hips.
“Ma’am, I just made an announcement right before you came over on the PA system”. I explained, trying not to be jealous of her flawless skin. I imagine witches to be pockmarked and deformed.  She  was fascinating and confusing. 
“Well, I didn’t hear it.” She said defiantly
“You were on the phone.” I pointed out.
“OH HELL NO!” She bellowed, turning around to see if anyone was looking.  They were. 
She turned back around and flung her ticket at me. 
I apologized for the delay and asked her if there was anything else I could do for her, I assured her that I would make another announcement when the FAA contacts us and that was all the information I had.  It was the truth. 
She rolled her eyes and picked up her phone and said loudly “I’m about through with these f***ups at this airline.”  The person on the other end laughed and said “yeah, they’re all f***ups there, I hate that airline.”
Awesome.  The lady behind her had a toddler, and today that toddler picked up a new word: F***up.
I looked past the tall girl, and made sympathetic  eye contact with the irritated mother.  Everyone in ear shot was leaning forward to hear what this crazy woman had to say.  It’s always like that when someone goes irate.
The lady put her phone down again and pushed her ticket towards me. 
“I want to be booked on another airline.” 
Every airline flying to NYC was on the same delay.  Clearly she wasn’t understanding. Even if I broke a company rule about sending passengers to another airline when it wasn’t necessary, she’d still be sitting in the same airport, in the same situation. 
Fortunately, another coworker had showed up and was communicating with the tower, crew, and keeping the line moving while I worked with this passenger.  I took her ticket and pulled up her reservation.
Her name was Patience.  I can’t tell you  her last name because then I’d have to change the whole thing but I swear on my favorite pair of heels that is what her ticket said.  Let’s just say her last name was Doe.
I told her to hang on one second and I’d take a look in her reservation.  I had no intention of switching her ticket, but it gave me a few minutes to collect my thoughts and learn more about her. Usually this period of silence will help calm down the passenger as well.
Patience Doe.  22 Years old, on a ticket purchased from  Heavily restricted bargain fare, she had paid 165.56 for her round trip.  Holy crap,I thought, that is a cheap frickin ticket. I made note of the website so I could check it out later. 
The email address on file was . Her emergency contact was listed as her mother, and she had flown in today from Texas.   She had missed her first flight because she was late to the airport and the notes in the record from the other agents read like this:
Hmm….well, looks like she’s had quite a day.  Anyone can miss a flight, but the remarks in there told me that she was just as bitchy in Texas as she was being here in the connecting city of Harlot, NC. 
That’s right people.  We rat you out in your own record.  That way you can’t be a complete lunatic to one person and then start all over with another.  
So, I take a deep breath and look sweet Patience in the eye and inform her there is nothing I can do and she’ll have to wait.  She starts smacking the counter again. 
My coworker grabs me and says, “The ATC delay is temporarily lifted, if we board it NOW, you can get Miss Crazy on the plane and out of here and we can get coffee before the next flight. If we can’t board it in under 20 min, it might be delayed again because the landing spots are in high demand—they’ll skip us and move on.”
I grabbed the microphone and made the announcement that we were ready to board.  Passengers started to line up and my coworker started tearing tickets.   I left Patience at the counter to help an elderly lady into a wheelchair in preparation to board the aircraft.
Patience’s parents were overambitious when they named their daughter.  This girl followed me to the wheelchair , her seven-inch stilettos clack-clack-clacking on the linoleum floor as she stomped. 
I wondered what in the world a girl that tall would need stilettos for?  She looked like praying mantis now that I had full view .  She interrupted my thoughts with her shrill, now whiny voice.
“Excuse me, we weren’t finished. When are we boarding?” she demanded
The lady, who was about to get into the wheelchair, looked at her in disdain.  I could feel my anger bubbling up inside of me again.  I could not continue to go back and forth with this person.  Not only was she not listening, she was now interfering to the point that if I gave her any more attention she could potentially cause the flight to delay later or even cancel.  The FAA do not joke around when they say “GO.”  They open traffic slots by reducing traffic…one of the ways to do that is to cancel a handful.  I hadn’t had coffee in like three hours and I felt twitchy. This plane had to leave. For everyone’s convenience and my personal sanity, that plane needed to go.
It was then that the lady in the wheelchair surprised me.
“We can start boarding as soon as you shut your trap and let these nice ladies work.” She hissed. 
Patience had no problem verbally abusing airline employees, but for some unapparent reason, she stood down to the lady in the wheelchair.  She rolled her eyes and walked away from the counter.  I pushed the wheelchair down the jet bridge in disbelief.
As we rolled towards the jet bridge, I thanked the lady for standing up for us.  She very cheerfully said that she wouldn’t take my job “for a million dollars. Not even for a go at George Clooney.”
I laughed, and helped her stand up once we got to the aircraft door, handed the flight attendant , Kylie, her tote bag and thanked her again.  It is spunky passengers like her that can make a hellish flight seem more tolerable.  The one kind person, is the proverbial needle in the haystack that resets your frame of mind and can calm the storm of expletives that run through my head when I have to deal with someone like Patience Doe.
“This is Kylie, Kylie, this is Mrs. Dawe” I said peering at the sweet l ady’s boarding stub.  She’s in  the bulkhead window,  and she’s a sweetheart so take care of her!”
Kylie nodded and whispered for me to wait a second while she got Mrs. Dawe settled.  The captain peeked his head around the corner from the cockpit and said we could take 30 minutes because the next flight to LGA, the next flight of the night was the one up for cancellation, our spot was safe.
I felt bad for the people on the next flight, but I was relieved that it wasn’t my flight to work.  
A few seconds later, Kylie came back with another flight attendant, Fitz, and they huddled me out as close to the door as possible.
They wanted to know what the situation was with Miss Doe. They had seen her stirring things up when my coworker had checked her in. 
Yes, we talk about you if you’re acting like a fool. The flight crew keeps their eyes peeled for possibly drunk or dangerous people, and they also love good gossip.
Fitz rolled his eyes.
“Another one of those cocky girls. I loved Fashion Week until I had to work LGA two days right in the middle of it. Now I dread it and try to trade trips as fast as possible.”  He rolled his eyes and poked Kylie “I only agreed to this trip because you and Bethy are workin’, you so owe me bitches.”
Kylie laughed and pulled Fitz back into the door.  “Allright, bring the rest of them on.”
I nodded and walked back up the jet bridge, pushing the door open and locking it in position.
There was no sign of Patience Doe as we pulled ticket after ticket.  We had the plane fully boarded within fifteen minutes of starting, and she still hadn’t shown up.  We had the airport do an all-over page. We paged her on our area PA over and over. 
I couldn’t help but smirk at the idea that she was about to miss her flight.  Then I realized that by missing her flight, she’d be stuck with us in Harlot longer, so  I got more aggressive with my paging.
I pulled up the next flight to New York. It had been canceled after all, the Captain was right! She really was stuck.  We had a standby list a mile long from people who had either made their way over from the other gate, or had missed the earlier flight.  We could not continue to page her, we were told to shut the door as soon as possible.
We ended up filling the seat with a standby passenger. Just as we were tagging that passenger’s bag, I heard a loud, clack-clack-clack-clack and looked up.  Patience was running in her stilettos down the hall.
I looked at my coworker.  She nodded. 
I told my standby passenger. “You got her seat. You need to make it to the door before she gets to the counter to make this flight.”
He looked back at me “No problem, lady, thanks!” and jogged over to my coworker who tore his ticket, snatched the final manifest off the printer and pulled the door shut.
About 30 seconds later, Patience arrived at the counter, flung her stilettos on top of it and told me I needed to open the door.
“The flight is closed, Miss Doe.”  I said gently
“BULLSHIT!” she yelled.” I see the plane right there.”
My coworker was pulling the bridge away, the door had been closed. 
Safe! I thought. 
There was no way I was going to take the seat away from someone who patiently waited while someone who had a seat and a very inappropriate sense of entitlement acted so horribly.  I didn’t want to be stuck with her, but I didn’t want her to get her way.  I was glad she missed the flight. Once the door on the actual plane is shut, it’s up to the crew to open it again and 95% of the time they won’t unless it’s a situation on board. 
“Miss Doe, the plane has departed. The door is shut. I will put you on the next available flight.”
The next available flight for Miss Doe was not until two days later. She tried everything she could to escalate her situation to a manager, but after I added my remarks to the record, there was no way she was going to get any compensation. Even if there were compensation for Air Traffic Delays (which there isn’t since it’s out of the airline’s control) no one was going to bend a rule in her favor.
She ended up flying standby all day long the next day, getting a seat on the 9pm flight, only to be denied boarding because she spent the whole day in the bar and reeked of alcohol. 


Unpublished, Archived Airline Junk: Gate Agents Own You

Was intended to be an introduction for a book, then my publisher went bankrupt.  Nice.  Enjoy!!
The Customer Service/Gate Agent: (CSA)
The gate agent is undeniably the most powerful person you will come into contact with at the airline, and very likely the lowest paid. 
The gate agent has direct access to your reservation and knows a lot more about you than you may think. 
If you think simply putting you in a seat is their sole job function you are sadly mistaken. With the information contained in your reservation, they are privy to personal details that say a lot about you.  In about 60 seconds I could pull up a reservation and tell whether a passenger was married, where they worked,  how often they flew, their email address, their telephone number, their approximate income, and about 30 ways to screw them over.  Not that I would, but I could.
In the following short narratives, actually, in this entire book, you will discover that the best way to get to where you’re going is to keep the CSA on your side.  Without them backing you, you’re essentially screwed.
Before delving into this topic, it’s important to learn the kind of person you are dealing with. I know you probably want to start reading about all the chaos, which is understandable.  The most useful CSA to you is one who has empathy and expresses compassion.  In order to have the CSA empathize with you, they need a clear understanding of what is going on with your situation through calm, rational communication. 
It may be hard to be rational when your plane is delayed and you’re about to miss the job interview of a lifetime.  Screaming your head off and verbally abusing the agent may make you feel better and earn you street credit, but it’s not going to get you to your destination.   
In any given irregular ops situation, there are potentially thousands of other people in the same airport sharing your frustration, many of them taking that out on the front line employees.   This is not the first time nor the last time a CSA will hear how much you hate their airline or may never fly them again. As soon as you walk away, the next person in line is ready to berate them.  It’s unfortunately, the norm.
So, one tip I can give you is to flip the tables and empathize with the agent.  They have quite a bit on their plate as well, and if you really want to be noticed, have a shred of humanity.
Most irregular operations happen at night, when flight choices are limited and inclement weather seems to be the biggest problem.  Here is what your typical CSA is dealing with based on my experiences.    If you ,at any point, think to yourself, “If they hate their job, they should quit.” , then you are exactly the type of person who can learn from this book.  

LOW PAY, UNDESIREABLE SCHEDULE:  If your flight drama is at night, then the employees on the floor that night are the least senior.  Particularly if you encounter trouble on a Saturday or Sunday.   Most airlines are unionized and seniority is everything.
The night shifter may have a start time of 5pm with a scheduled end time of 10pm, but in the airline world,  the end time is whenever the drama is over.  The morning shift agents are always relieved by the 5pm starts, but there is no relief for the night shift until the 5am day shifters return. Therefore, if chaos ensues, they are stuck there as long as you are, regardless of babysitter availability, transportation, or any other seemingly valid reason.
Your typical night agent will be a part-timer. Airlines cut capacity and full time employment to save on overtime and benefits.  Working part-time for an airline is a bitch.  You end up working more than the full-timers due to all the mandatory overtime in the wee hours.  There is much turnover because most new hires walk off the floor after they get tired of being treated terribly by  passengers , other employees, and management.
You would need to have at least 10 years of seniority with an airline before you even began to think about the possibility of holding a cushy day shift. The day agents that have done their  time have survived plenty of layoffs and mergers, have been battle-tested and will insist that the lowly new hire put in their time as well.  
When I was working for the airline in 2010, I’m sad to admit that my income was low enough to qualify myself and many of my coworkers  for food stamps and other government aid. We did get a benefit package that included insurance coverage and free, unrestricted space available flying for ourselves and our immediate family members. 
To find a part time job that offers health benefits is rare in the current economy , but to be able to fly anywhere in the world for free is unique only to the airline industry.  The traveling is addictive and why most people stick it out and find ways to make it work.
It was not unusual during my time in the industry to work an entire shift without food, drink, or a bathroom break.   Even though the union mandates certain break times, if you walk off and leave a passenger or coworker with an unresolved situation, you would be reprimanded severely, and would have to follow a strenuous and impersonal grievance system to restore your good standing. 
The later the flight drama starts, the longer your agent has been and will be on shift. The bigger the plane, the longer the flight, the louder the crowd, your agent can empathize.  If you’re stuck, they’re stuck.  
Personally, I never expected sympathy or even understanding from a passenger.  If you kept your cool, you were going to get out.  If you treated me with respect,  you were a rare bird and I would move the moon for you.
I can’t speak for all agents, but I can say that breaking a company rule to get a passenger somewhere wasn’t an option unless I had a passenger worth getting written up over.  The following are stories of passengers who weren’t exactly on my good side and the cardinal rules they broke to get there.


How Does That Work?

Hey everyone, I am supposed to be doing something else right now and I think if I clear this question out of my head, I'll be alright.  And by "clear the question" I mean post it online and get validation that it is a valid, normal query. 

I've always wondered, how do people work in environments like Monkey Joe's deal with work when they have a really bad headache. 

I don't know if I'm normal but I get a lot of headaches.  I get so many headaches that I should buy stock in Excedrine Migraine.  When I go to London, I may or may not find buying Nurofen Plus (it has codeine in it and is sold over the counter there) as one of the highlights of the trip. I may or may not go to like 3 different Boots pharmacies in the same trip and also at the airport. 

I'm pretty sure my headaches are because of my crap eating habits and my caffiene addiction.  It could also be that I hate wearing my glasses , hate wearing my contacts, and am too chicken to get LASIK.

Whatever the cause, I get them, and I get them so bad they're debilitating.  I am so afraid of having a headache that when one even hints at starting or I eat something that I know is going to cause a headache (Pizza kicks my butt every time), I will take Excedrine Migraine as a preventative measure. 

I know that you're thinking I'm a damn drama queen right now, and to this I say "Are you new here?"

Anyway, I hate headaches.  Also, Nurofen Plus may or may not be a dream come true for monthly female related cramps.  Is that TMI?  Sorry...well not really, you're still reading.  Your fault.   Again, are you new here?

Okay, so now before my train of thought almost completey derails into something else, I have to tie it back to my original question:  How the hell do people work at Monkey Joe's when they have a headache.

...and also Perfumania.  I don't even go in there.  And also Juicy Couture. And Hollister. And all of those stores that assault your senses with loud music and their overpowering signature perfume of the month they are hawking. 

I'm pretty sure I would hate those jobs. 

Oh lordy, my son is asking for tokens now. Apparently the bounce house appeal only lasts fifteen minutes and I may or may not have squandered valuable working time.


Repost: Tales from the Airline Days: The Captain Who is Full of it Blog

Oh, yes.  These seem to hold their value.  Enjoy. This is about two years old as well....


       Hi! I’m Shannon, FLY ME!!

Current mood:  froggy
Good morning and welcome to Flight 000 from Here to There!

Before we take off, I’d like to remind you to fasten your seat belt and make sure you read the safety disclaimer at the top of this blog.  Objects in this blog tend to come from left field, so please excercise caution when reading. For your convenience, we have provided barf bags in the seat cushion in front of you.
Please note that copying , tampering with, or forwarding my blog is against Shannon Policy and all violations will be ridiculed and then b*tchslapped for quality and training purposes. Also, please note the X button at the top of the page. Although a change in topic is not anticipated, ADD can occur at any time, so please click the X if you are easily confused. Please click your X before assisting the person next to you.  We adhere to a strict carryon policy, so if you have brought aboard excess negativity, we ask that you check it at the door.  An agent will be by promptly to administer the required FUA* procedures. 

As always, Thank you for flying International DisastAir, and we hope you join us again for a future blog. 

*FUA - Foot Up Arse procedures as mandated by section F article U in the inflight manual, see your agent for details
:) I know, I don’t know where I come up this this crap..

So anyway the other day I was working some flight to somewhere and I was having a hard time with the captain.   He was one of those people that was a little rough around the edges -  - the kind where you can’t really tell if they’re joking or not when they say something harsh. He kept saying that the lavs needed dumping and I had called utility a few times and they said they were on their way.  He looked at me like I was either stupid, or new, or both and then directed my attention to the panel of buttons that was on the bulkhead of the galley. 

As the flight attendants looked on, he pointed to a button near the bottom of the display.  This is the button showing the amount that is in the lavs.  You are telling me they have been serviced, but the bars here *presses button* show that there is quite a bit of fluid in the tank.

I’m pretty sure you all understand what fluid he is referring to, but in case you aren’t, it’s POOP.  It’s all the poop and pee from all the people that flew in and out and back and forth on the plane. I have no idea how big the tank is or how often it gets dumped.  And until today, I didn’t know that there was a button that could show me how much heat the plane was packing down there.

He then tells me that if utility had already come, there would be no bars. Therefore, I am BSing him.  Then he told me he was renaming the button the Shannon button.

With that, he went into the lav and slammed the door, chuckling.

He seemed to be very annoyed and rude.  I looked at the flight attendants. They shrugged and said he was hard to fly with and to ignore him.  I asked them what buttons were named after them? They laughed and continued to prepare the galley for boarding.  As I waited for a call back from the tower confirming that the lavs would be serviced before pushback, the captain came back out of the lav.

He gave me a sneer and stood in the galley, waiting for the soda he’d asked the flight attendant for.

Without thinking, I pushed the Shannon button and said "Let’s see how much is in there now!"

The bars had actually gone up noticeably.  Without thinking, again, I said "Wow!! Look how much is in there now!! You must have been REALLY full of shit!!"

The captain’s face went from sneer to frown and from red to white within seconds.   The head flight attendant burst out  laughing and he snatched his soda and went to the flight deck without a word.
For the first few seconds , I was a little remorseful about what I’d said, but the flight attendant was laughing so hard she had tears. Two other flight attendants came to the front wondering why she was doubled over and crying, confused looks on their faces.  When she got her composure, she informed me that he had been an A-hole for the last three days and this was their last day flying with him. Never before had they seen anyone render him speechless. He’d been owned.

The flight deck door was shut and as the plane pulled away from the gate, when I actually had enough courage to look at the cockpit window , the captain held up a sign written in sharpie in HUGE letters on the back of the flight release "YOURE INCORRIGIBLE" and then a sad face and pressed it against the window.

I was pretty sure that word is fancy talk for "b*tchy", or perhaps paralell to the Jewish American Princess I didnt know I was known as last’s what webster says:

..(?)in-'ko?r-?-j?-b?l, -'kär-..
adjective : incapable of being corrected or amended: as a (1): not reformable : depraved (2): delinquent b: not manageable : unruly c: unalterable, inveterate

I don’t know if I really pissed the guy off or not, but I made up my own theory.
confuscious say he who talk big poo take big poo.

Gotta get ready for work!! I picked up the night shift tonight on the condition that I would be the b*tch to London instead of Frankfurt tonight. (Love Pam Ann humor!) Hope they kept their word!
Love and Fun Buttons!

Tales from the Airline: The Disney Themed Fatal Nut

This is an oldie but possibly one of my most famous postings, the pageviews on this one were over fifteen thousand. I have no idea who in the hell clicked it because I hadn't learned how to track my blog then and that blog is no longer up.

There's a lot of shop talk here, so let me help you.  SNN is the airport code for Shannon Ireland, and I was known as SNN to my airilne "fans". This Airline Blog I had got me into hot water quite often but they never could fire me for it because I never used my name or the airline's name.

Pax is airline speak for Passenger.  I think that's all I saw in there but feel free to comment with questions and always make sure you're alone if you're at work because this one will make you LOL. For reals. :-)


The Disney Themed Fatal Nut
Current mood:  bouncy
A few nights ago, I was working the late flight to MCO(airport code for Orlando). Our plane was delayed inbound from Punta Cana. It was going to be about an hour late. We were using a 757, though, and they tend to make up time in the air. The inbound plane had already made up a good half hour - 45 minutes and would possibly gain another 15 as long as we got it back out at the newly scheduled departure time of 11:00.

I got the usual barrage of core questions,
(Are we ontime? Are we boarding? Is the plane here? Is this flight actually gonna go? Can I get a free upgrade, I'm on my honeymoon )

... and the conversations I had with all the passengers went something like this: (keep in mind , I've probably made a million announcements explaining the situation complete with arrival time)

I'm pretty patient, but all of the questions can usually be answered by taking a look around and using common sense. With the exception of the upgrade for various reasons.

I hang up the microphone after another announcement chock full o good info. Pax walks over, looking pissed off and confused.

P: Excuse me?
SNN: Hi!
P: Are we boarding yet?
SNN: No, we're delayed
P: Oh, is the plane here?
SNN: (stepford stare) (looks behind self) No, it isn't. It's almost here though.
P: Where is it?
SNN: It came from Punta Cana, it's in range, we'll board it as soon as we get it deplaned and serviced
P: So, it's broken?
SNN: No, it's on its way
P: Where in the air is it?
SNN: (blank stare) I don't know, exactly, it'll be on the ground shortly
P: How do you know
SNN: The pilot just called in range
P: Well can't you just ask him
SNN: Yeah, no. It just goes in the computer
P: So, we're delayed then?
SNN: Yes.
P: What time is it leaving.
SNN: (looks behind self at sign that says 11) That would be 11.
P: Is it ACTUALLY gonna LEAVE?
SNN: As far as I know.
P: You know, I hate your airline. This happens all the time. Every time. You know, my kids have been waiting to go to Disneyworld for their whole lives. This is very upsetting to them.
SNN: I'm sorry sir.
Pax walks away. I'm pretty sure Mickey the Mouse does not stay up until 11pm, and certainly not midnight, which is the new arrival time. Pax speaks with presumed wife.

New Pax walks up. Flight attendant walks up at same time, just to shoot the breeze while we wait.

New Pax:
Excuse me.
SNN: Hi!
NP: Yes, my son has a Fatal Nut.....(puts one finger up to signal either "one second" or the number one) and then looks at the floor in deep thought and wanders off....

I look at my gate agent coworker, who looks as confused as me. What is this Fatal Nut? Is it contagious? She shrugs. I look at the flight attendant. He's got a smirk as if he knows what Fatal Nut is. We go into the jetway to discuss it.He tells me what he thinks it is in HIS world.  Ohmygod it can't me that.  We decide either she's crazy, or she got a call on her bluetooth. And she is trying to tell us that her son will die if we serve him peanuts. We all have a laugh at the various possibilities of the legendary Fatal Nut disease. And we go back outside.

Passenger 1 asks if the plane is here yet.
A quick glance at the window says nope.
He advises me that his kids are getting very upset. I look over at the little girls, about 4 and 6 who are coloring on the floor. We look back at him. He's looking like the only one losing his temper.
He begins to ask for upgrades due to inconvenience. We point out that the whole plane that has been inconvenienced will not fit in the cabin. He asks for a seat for himself. What an ahole! We offer it to him for $100 dollars. He is offended. He slaps the counter. He wants my supervisor.
Supervisor is dealing with 400 misconnects in customs. No can do.
He wants free headsets. No movie on this flight. Free drinks? No alcohol in coach this late.
He's pissed and he's slapping the counter now, and pacing back and forth, and telling me how useless the airline is. Meanwhile, the Fatal Nut lady is insisting to my coworker that her son will die unless we make sure no passengers have peanut related food onboard.
Coworker is advising her that at some point in this airplane's life, there were peanuts served and residual oil may remain. Also, this is an Orlando bound plane and we can't remove the inevitable peanut butter crackers, sandwiches, celery sticks..etc from the snacky bags. She's mad now too.
Disney Dad is pacing and loudly proclaiming our incompetence and we are upsetting his daughters. I walk over to his daughters.

Hi!! Are you gonna go to DISNEYWORLD???
Daughters; YES!!
Mom smiles, looks tired
Are you gonna see MICKEY?
Yes! and CINDERELLA!!! AND ARIEL AND SNOW WHITE! the girls are hopping up and down , competing for attention. Dad is wandering back over.
I asked them if they were gonna have breakfast with Cinderella. their eyes get wide.
I told him how they can have pancakes with Cinderella, and Snow White, and even ARIEL too!
They get all excited and hop up and down.
Mom smiles, looks worn out.
I ask them if they've ever been to Disneyworld and if they'd planned their character breakfast. They say yeah, they just don't know what day they're doing it on.
I tell them it's super cool and to have a good time. Dad is still annoyed, but quiet. Mom thanks me, and the girls are hopping up and down.
As the plane comes in and deplanes, and we keep getting the same questions over and over again about boarding, I have a renewed energy in what I'm doing.
The Fatal Nut lady decides to risk her son's life by boarding the flight amidst the peanut threat, the girls think I'm their new best friend and I've calmed Dad down. If he thinks his kids are upset now, wait til they get to the mouse house and figure out that you needed to plan the Character Breakfast no later than 90 days ago.
Sometime during Pluto's Princessless Bucket O Chicken lunch, he'll figure out what a toddler meltdown really is. If he's lucky enough to get overpriced tickets to that.

The moral of this story?
People look crazy talking on Bluetooth, The Peanut Allergy drama is overrated, and DO NOT give me unnecessary drama after ten pm when I am Starbucks deficient.


Spa Night Can Get Ugly

Good morning everyone!! I thought I would gift you with this lovely picture of me getting my skin prettied.  Although it was more fun to plaster that mint mask on and go horrify children with it.  That thing is really freaking ugly isn't it?  LOL. 

Huge thumbs up to Vikki Kicklighter (who has the coolest name ever)  that gave me that awesome Just Married tank top there.  I wear it every night almost.  It makes my chestal area look huger than it is.  I really appreciate that.  David wont let me wear it out though because it sends mixed messages.  LOL.

What am I excited about this week?  Well let me just tell you.   Adam Levine is what.  I am going to Maroon 5 this weekend with my friends Tami and Sean and we have the rock star seats right up front.  T Minus 7 days!! Can't wait can't wait can't waiiittt!!!

Oh, and there's also that Kings of Leon / Band of Horses thing on Friday the 5th.  I hope I can rally enough energy for both shows. 

Do you guys ever fantasize about your favorite musician, artist, celebrity, whatever will make eye contact with you and bring you on stage so that you feel validated for being their very best, most special fan?  Well, I think something is wrong with me because while I am a big Adam Levine fan, I basically would just want to be noticed because it's like Awesomeness Bingo.  I get damn determined to meet a performer or get backstage and I usually succeed but the rules are this: No cleavage showing.  No acting slutty. No telling lies.

Adam Levine is off limits because he's my celebrity cheat.  Do you play that game with your spouse?  It's not really a game as much as it is a complex builder.  David likes Kate Beckinsale so we don't watch Kate Beckinsale movies.  She's really hot and I can't focus on the movie because I'm afraid Kate is arousing my beloved.  And then I'd get really mad and go dye my hair brown or something .  LOL . (that's not really what happened, swearsies but it's funny cuz I'd totally think about it) Poor David though, I actually might be able to worm my way backstage because Im good at that.  So, for that reason, I am not whipping out a press pass or acting like I'm a somebody.  Tuesday, I will just be Shannon and I will need to find a way to balance complete excitement with total disinterest.  I wish Adam would gain a potbelly and then I could just say he's not amazing anymore.

He's not as amazing as my lovely husband.  I'd never cheat, but Adam is the only celebrity that makes me feel love tingles.  Justin Furstenfeld is brilliant to me, and I am emotionally invested in Blue October, but Adam tickles my heart with his lyrics.

Anyway my son is watching Titanic again and I got sucked into the drama of the ship sinking.  I hold my breath when Jack and Rose do every time.  And now my thought process is derailed and I am oxygen dificient.  I fear this is the end of this posting.