Purser, schmurser!

November 11, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Last week, I watched the days tick away as I sat at home on Ready Reserve. I wasn't needed on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. As I watched The List, I knew I was going to be called for an oh-dark-thirty check-in on Sunday, and my Company didn't disappoint, calling me at 10 pm to give me my next day's assignment. I was even smart enough to go to bed at 8 pm that night and get a mostly-good night's sleep--which was a good thing, as I needed my energy with the Purser I was flying with!

Since I was only "good" for one day, I was assigned a Denver (DEN) turn out of Baltimore (BWI). (Here in the Washington area, we cover all three airports: Washington Dulles (IAD) where the bulk of our flying occurs; Washington Reagan (DCA), and BWI). I would fly the first leg of the turn with one crew, and change planes to another crew for the return flight.

At BWI, our Purser had a funky name that sounded like "Taco"....and she had a bad attitude before we even got started! I worked the #2 position on the 757 in First Class with Taco, while two super-sweet stews, Ashley and Sharon (aka "Meemaw") worked in the back. They had flown with Taco before and knew her drill...

Our sign-in was 0613...and our departure was 0713. Bright and early in the morning, right? With 24 passengers in our First Class, I decided to make a nice pot of coffee--while doing our pre-departure beverage service, someone would probably ask for a cup at that time in the morning, right? Taco refused the coffee, saying she wasn't going to "let" anyone have anything until she decided they could. (Huh?) So, she did pre-departures with an inch of orange juice or inch of water in the cups...not even half filled up. Weird--and stingy--and embarrasing--and not very nice to our best passengers. She refused to allow a woman to put her sewing machine in the closet--it was too heavy to lift into the overhead bin. (I hooked the lady up with the closet space when I acted like I didn't know Taco had refused her the space...) She would not take a First Class gentleman's coat when he asked her to hang it up, please. She told him, "The other Flight Attendant is doing coats and jackets." (meaning me) and then she just stood in the galley, doing NOT A THING.

During the breakfast service, she worked the galley and I worked the aisle. She didn't set anything up--not the beverage cart, or juice and water and glassware--everything was in the carrier boxes like when we boarded. I have to give her credit, she did put all the meals in the ovens (Bet that wore her out...) She helped me plate--oh, maybe--four or five meals. Other than that, this chick stared at the tiny 3-inch screen on the video equipment and watch the inflight movie, "Julie and Julia" without sound. She delivered not one drink or breakfast tray, did not refill any drinks, nor pick-up any of the breakfast trays when the folks were finished eating them--she just stood at her jumpseat and watched the movie.

After the service, she pulled out her school books--she told us in briefing that she was working on her Master's degree, so she could get out of the flying business and become a counselor--and sat on her jumpseat during the flight working on her schoolwork.

And, at that moment--I was no longer stressed that I had basically done the entire service for 24 by myself. Nope...it all came together and made sense--her aversion to work, her venom towards passengers, and bitterness toward the Company. Naaaa-aah...I didn't need her help--I was going to let her get as much of her schoolwork done as possible. I want her to graduate with honors as soon as possible. And, to get a high-paying job away from the airline and away from our passengers.

You're welcome!

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November 11, 2009 at 5:13 PM delete

Nice post. Maybe 'Taco' will appreciate the FA career she once had after she realizes the grass isn't greener on the other side. If she can no longer appreciate the fact that her job is about service and she no longer represents your company in a positive manner, than get help her out the door so others who appreciate it (like you) can move up!

November 12, 2009 at 8:40 AM delete

I'll never ever understand why some FAs do many things to make life for their co-workers and passengers so hard when it might be much easier AND more fun to just work together helping each other to do a good job. And if the passengers have a good time,so do I!
I also wish her all the best with her college career...
Hope your next Purser has all the looks and the charms of Cary Grant ;)
Greetings from Austria,

November 12, 2009 at 8:45 AM delete

What's ironic and funny about Taco is that she'll be a paying passenger one day. I hope she'll bless the hearts of other "Tacos" when she becomes a full-fledged customer. lol