What I Had to Do

A few nights ago I was flying back from Seattle. I’d reserved an aisle seat because I get claustrophobic sitting in the middle, or by the window. But the airlines screwed up and I had to sit in the middle seat. So there I was, sweating and feeling nervous.

There were a lot of babies and young tots sitting in the rows near me. They were crying and screaming. Normally I’d be okay, but the way things were, it was like fingernails and chalkboard. There was also two drunk guys to either side of me angrily complaining about the noisy youths.

I snapped into action. I pushed the button for the airline attendant. He came over. I said I wanted to apply to work on the plane. He said I could go onto their website and fill out an application. They had online access, so I set up my lap top and filled out the forms. I got a quick response. I was hired.

I called over the attendant again and showed him. He asked me to come back to the attendant’s area. They had an extra work shirt with the airlines name on the chest. I put it on. He asked me to serve beverages. I went down the aisle serving sodas, water, coffee, beer and mixed drinks.

I got to the area that I had been sitting at. The babies were still crying. I made faces. I sang silly songs. I did a cartwheel. The babies and tots were quiet. They started to smile. I got everyone in that section to sing, “All Together Now” by the Beatles. Soon everyone on the plane was singing along. Even the captain got on the intercom and chimed in.

One of the drunk guys got up to dance. But he didn’t have balance, so he fell over. I served him some coffee. He sobered up and apologized to everyone. He said he’d hit bottom and wanted to change his ways. Some woman said she was an alcoholic and in AA and she gave him some flyers and started talking with him about the first step.

I continued serving beverages. When I got back to the attendant’s station, the other attendants said I was a natural. I thanked them and said I really enjoyed my time working with them.

I changed back into my shirt and went back to my seat. The babies and tots were napping. The now sober guy was sitting in the middle seat. He smiled and said, “I noticed you were sweating and unhappy in the middle.” I said, “Thank you.”

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