GalleyWench Weblog

Flying through my midlife crisis…

Hanging up my wings

After much thought about many things, from my job to my marriage, and everything in between, I am hanging up my wings.  I am on my last trip now, with two more nights out, Little Rock tonight and Roanoke tomorrow, and I will be done.  I have family in West Texas, and am headed that-away as soon as I can wrap a few things up in Illinois.  There is freedom and change and a much different world ahead of me…and I welcome it.  Good, bad, but never indifferent.  Time to go.

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May 11, 2008 Posted by | 1 | 1 Comment

In uptown, downtown Moline, IL

This is, oddly enough, the part of the job I love the most… being elsewhere.  Moline is part of the Quad Cities, right across the river from Iowa.  The hotel we stay in is right downtown, literally in the Arts District.  Unlike the place I’m living right now, it’s a vital, bustling little town, and I just like it.  I like the way the town feels, the way it breathes.

April 18, 2008 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Frequent Flyer Ratings – Pittsburgh

Possible ratings:

  • 5 props – outstanding, awesome, incredible
  • 4 props – good, well worth the trip
  • 3 props – not bad, not the best
  • 2 props – disappointing
  • 1 prop – don’t bother
  • No props – run, Forrest!

Restaurant:  Mad Mex

Location:  Pittsburgh – 2 Robinson Plaza, Park Manor Drive (kitty-corner from the Hyatt Place)

Web:  http://www.madmex.com/ (the website’s totally annoying-can’t turn off the sound…)

Rating: 

  • Taste – 3 props
  • Price – 2 props

Self-consciously unpretentious, while charging exorbitant prices for drinks and it will cost you $2.50 just to get chips and salsa to the table.  If you really look, you can find a meal that’s under $10, but not much under.  The chicken burrito I ordered was OK-but I had to do a little searching to find the chicken, as the burrito was mostly black beans and rice.  The flavor was good, if a little bland, but if you’re looking for Tex-Mex, this is not the place.  Of course, if you’re looking for Tex-Mex in Pennsylvania, you might be looking in the wrong place anyway.

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Restaurant Reviews | Leave a comment

Gloomy day…

Am in Atlanta, in the Holiday Inn (funny, I don’t feel smarter) 🙂 just outside Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport.  It is a grey and gloomy day here, as well as back “home” in St. Louis.  I’m letting the depressing weather get to me because my Beloved CheeseHead is off to Texas for the next couple weeks, including over my birthday.  Texas is truly my home, so it’s kind of a double blow.  Not only is he leaving, but he’s going to my home, and I can’t!

I also have my six-month review actually ON my birthday.  Trying to get up the energy to do the studying I need to do for that–but I know I don’t need to study much.  I know this job, I know the general operations manual, and that’s what I’m responsible to know for the verbal review.  I will also have a six-month checkride in the next six weeks or so.  A check airman will board my flight during my preflight, without giving me any kind of notice, and will observe everything about how I carry out my job responsibilities.  Again, I have no worries that I know how to do my job.  It’s just one more hurdle to jump over…and a hurdle that I have to get past in order to open up other jobs with the company, should I decide that galley wenching is no longer to my taste.

I need spring to get here.  I need sunshine, and I need the rain to diminish.  Maybe I am being affected by the season…or maybe it’s just not seeing the BCH for two weeks.  I just need to brighten up–and I need the next two weeks to be over and done with soon…

March 30, 2008 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Diet Coke is a very Zen thing…

I should clarify the title above… actually, pouring Diet Coke is a very Zen thing.  Here’s the deal: I serve beverages every working day, both carbonated and uncarbonated.  Every other carbonated beverage, you pour it, you hand it off to the passenger, and you go on to the next thing.  With Diet Coke, on the other hand, you wait for the foam to subside and you pour a little more.  And then you wait a little more and you pour a little more…

Oh, I didn’t give in to it quietly.  I tried everything I could think of… putting the soda into the plastic cup and then adding the ice, which diminished the foam, but made a godawful mess with the splashiness, you know.  Tried tilting the cup and pouring it in slowly, which didn’t work.  Tried everything.  Might sound like a silly preoccupation, but seconds count when you’re trying to serve 50 people in 40 minutes of flight…

But now, I’ve decided it’s one of the many things I’m here to learn, a little patience maybe, or just living in the moment, or just letting the seconds count themselves, I’m not really sure.  So I watch the foam subside.  First the bigger bubbles, then the smaller ones, all happily departing with a murmur you can only hear if you listen very closely, which is hard to do with all the ambient noise in the plane.  And people get all bent out of shape when I put my ear in their drink.  🙂 

So I watch.  And I wait.  And I pour a little more.  And I do it again.  I have to watch the soda, because as a flight attendant, passengers watch you all the time.  You are the floor show.  If I’m looking around instead of at the soda, and I catch them watching me, some universal nonverbal ettiquette demands they immediately look away.  Unless I smile, and then they can smile back.  And bluntly, my teeth get dry with all the smiling…so I watch the Diet Coke bubble and toil away mightily, and I wait, and I pour some more soda in the cup. 

I finally hand it to the passenger in 15A, kick my balky beverage cart into movement, push it three steps, set its brakes once more, and ask the passenger in 16A if I can get them something. 

“Do you have Diet Coke?” She asks with a hopeful note in her voice, and a half smile. 

“I sure do,” I tell her, and I flick open another can of Diet Coke, scoop a little ice into the plastic cup, and I pour.  And I wait.  It’s a Zen thing.

March 24, 2008 Posted by | Zen things | Leave a comment

Weird week…

Got a line for April!  My number on the seniority list is 115, and there are hard lines of flying all the way down to 123, so everyone in my training class will get a line.  What that means is that a) I’ll be working for the same codeshare partner all month long, which makes packing a lot easier, and b) I’ll know what my schedule is going to be all month long, which makes everything easier.  Right now, with what’s called a build-up line, I’m working for all three of the companies that we contract to as a regional carrier, and I still have some reserve days during the month–being on-call, basically…which means almost anything can happen. 

The week was a little odd… working with one of the codeshare companies that I’ve worked for very seldom, so I was kind of constantly off-balance, but everything went pretty much OK. 

March 22, 2008 Posted by | Flying | Leave a comment

Apologia…

Unfortunately, as much as I have loved writing the “GalleyWench Chronicles,” it’s time to modify my language.  I have found, much to my surprise, that I love my job, and I want to keep it.  So, while I will continue to write the diatribes that I hope you have enjoyed to date, I will be keeping them to myself for the time being.  Someday, I might even try to get them published… but not any time soon.  So, my apologies, but the GalleyWench is hanging up the Sword of Truth and driving forward in the Beverage Cart of Human Kindness and Job Satisfaction.

If you’re interested in my political and social humor, you can find that at mydetritus.wordpress.com.  If you’re interested in my post-gastric-bypass experience, you can find that at rnygbs.wordpress.com.  And, if you’re interested in what I’m doing with my writing (about writing…about writing…) you can find that at metametawriting.wordpress.com.  They’re all available in my blogroll at right, and all guaranteed non-scurrilous about my employment. 

While life may be more boring without the GalleyWench’s trenchant opinions on… well, everything to do with flying, you can at least get a regular dose on my trenchant opinions on everything else.  And, since I can finally admit that I’m me… you might even get some photos, etc., to go along with it.  What a deal!  And yes, you do get what you paid for…

March 8, 2008 Posted by | None | Leave a comment