Continuing on with the parody of entering the Airline world, back when the dinosaurs roamed, and First Class served meals on real china…….not made in China……..
My adventures with this airline flew me across the country miles away from my family and landed me on a small island in the Caribbean. It is pronounced Cah-RIB-Be-an…if you are to be a local. Most folks take on the pirated Johnny Depp’s annunciation: CARE- a -BEE-an. Well, if Johnny Depp was pilfering Puerto Rico when I was living there who in their right mind would focus on Grammar……
My first stop before heading off to the assigned base in San Juan, was a six week layover in Miami for training. I managed to meet up with another chosen trainee on my flight to Florida, as she was from Oregon, and after chatting for what seemed like eight hours, we decided to share a cab to our hotel; The Villa’s. aka….Stew Zoo.
Ms. Oregon and I were not accustomed to cabs and neglected to add a tip to our fare as we wrestled with our chump change laughing at the bottom of our purses. The driver stood in disbelief as he fingered the coins and darted after us yelling something in Cuban. Ms. Oregon turned around and flipped him an added gesture with her free hand. I stopped to dig deeper in my pockets while Ms. Oregon was long gone halfway down the walkway to The Villa’s. I was left with Scar face wielding and empty open palm in my direction. I felt my Airline funding from my parents was dwindling before I even started the job…..
When we entered the Hotel, the lobby contained two genre’s of patrons: “New Stews” and ” Lot’s of off the cuff men lingering after a busy day at Hialeah Race track. The “Stew Group” sat in a designated mosh pit and awaited their Commander and Chief to assign their rooms and deliver vagrant instructions. I was hoping to room with Ms. Oregon, but ended up with Miss Midwest.
While unpacking our allotted one suitcase only, my roomie and I went over the itinerary and rules for our six week stay:
1) There will be Three meal times: 8:00am Breakfast, 12:00pm Lunch, and 6:00pm dinner. Should you miss any of these time you will not be allowed in the cafeteria, and no compensation for missing meals.
2) There is a curfew: In rooms by 9:00pm and bed check at 10:00pm. Should you not be present during these times you will be sent home.
3) Never miss class, unless there is an emergency or illness.
4) Never miss your assigned Fam Flight. Familiarization flight, there is only one, and no make-ups.
5) No bringing anyone to your rooms. Cause to be sent home.
6) There is one day dedicated to make-up and hair, must be present and abide by the Airline standard.
7) There will be random “Weigh -ins” at the Airline’s discretion.
8) You must present yourself professionally at all times, remember you are representing the Airline.
9) No alcohol.
10) Welcome aboard “The Wings of MAN”. See you at 8:00am sharp!
My first week there I broke rule number one.
We had some free time and I went to the beach with my roomie. We managed a ride out there and did not secure a return trip back to The Villa’s. We were about eight miles from our Villa and it was getting to the dinner hour. Most of the trainees came with a minimal amount of money as the airline suggested, and thus money was to be used to secure your living quarters when you settled at your new Base. Not for shopping. My roomie and I used some of it in a few designer stores that screamed our names out as we passed by. We bought new outfits during our “free time” at the beach. We also realized we were short funds for a cab and the clock was ticking for our nightly room visit by the Airline Gestapo.
As Miss Michigan and I started to walk , and she was complaining about “not getting back in time”, and “getting thrown out in our first week”, and “these stupid shoes are killing her feet”. I wanted to stick my thumbs in my ears, but decided to flag my hand out and trail my thumb along the roadside towards traffic. My roommate was horrified and slapped my hand down and proceeded to lecture on “deaths of hitchhikers”. I told her who in their right mind would mess with two sunburned girls wearing new designer clothing?
I stuck my thumb out again. She slapped it down..again. I slapped her hand back and there we were having a hand slapping conversation along the roadside dressed in Miami white pants and matching peach tops scuffing our decorative jeweled sandals. As we stood there slapping Patty-cake, a vintage beige Bentley pulled up with a shaggy haired bespectacled -what looked like an aging rock star- behind the wheel and he asked us if we needed a ride.
I grabbed the door handle and then said “yes” before Miss Michigan objected. I tugged her too tight top into the back seat and blurted a “Thank you” to the driver. He asked our destination and I told him “The Villa’s”. He asked if we were Flight Attendants. I said yes we were and we needed to get back to our rooms before curfew.
Our ride was not that long, and started out in complete silence. My roommate kept darting hate stares at me and whispering heated words about , “Duct tape and Pick axes in the trunk……”.
The shaggy driver asked us if we “liked music” and stated he had “started a new band” and would we “like to hear his tape”. Simultaneously we said Yes. Miss Michigan leaned over to me and exclaimed in my ear: “Music soothes the savage beast”…apparently she still had shades of Ted Bundy running through her head.
The driver and I conversed about his new band and as we were getting closer to our destination I asked him about his Old Band. His former band. As he pulled into the back parking lot of The Villa’s and stopped to let us out, he turned around and said: “Oh.. I was the key-board player for The Doors.“.
I popped out of the car and smiled at my roommate. Ray Manzarek was our driver. THIS is why you buy designer clothes when attempting to hitch hike…..
As it turned out we made it in time for bed check, however, we neglected to eat anything and my stomach was aching. Mostly because I could have held intense conversations with Mr. Manzarek about Jim Morrison, but, instead, chose to fan off the continuum buzzing in my ear from my mid-western roommate about Hitch hikers and Serial killers.
It was my stomach growling that lead me to break rule number two………
( to be continued…)