Working the Skies: The Fast-Paced, Disorienting World of the by Drew Whitelegg

By Drew Whitelegg

Prepare for takeoff. The lifetime of the flight attendant, a.k.a., stewardess, used to be supposedly as soon as one in every of glamour, unique go back and forth and sexual freedom, as lately depicted in such motion pictures as trap Me in the event you Can and consider From the pinnacle. The nostalgia for the gorgeous, carefree and ever worthy stewardess might be unearths a longing for easier occasions, yet still doesn't sq. with the tricky, difficult and infrequently risky activity of state-of-the-art flight attendants. in keeping with interviews with over sixty flight attendants, either male and female exertions leaders, and and drawing upon his observations whereas flying around the nation and out of the country, Drew Whitelegg unearths a way more complex career, person who in lots of methods is the crucial task of the fashionable age the place existence strikes at list speeds and all that's sturdy turns out up within the air.Containing full of life snap shots of flight attendants, either present and retired, this ebook is the 1st to teach the intimate, illuminating, humorous, and infrequently harmful behind-the-scenes tales of way of life for the flight attendant. Going behind the scenes, Whitelegg ventures into first class, trainer, the cabin, and lifestyles on demand those women and men who spend week in and week out in international towns, slumbering in resort rooms miles from domestic. operating the Skies additionally elucidates the modern paintings and exertions concerns that confront the fashionable employee: the calls for of full-time paintings and parenthood; the downsizing of company the USA and the ensuing exertions lockouts; lowering wages and hours labored; task lack of confidence; and the emotional toll of a excessive pressure task. Given the occasions of September 11, flight attendants now have a particularly poignant set of tense issues to control, either for his or her personal defense in addition to for these they serve, the passengers. Flight attendants, initially registered nurses charged with getting to passengers' clinical wishes, now locate themselves donning the hats of therapist, safety safeguard and secret agent. This final set of initiatives pushing a few, as Whitelegg exhibits, out of the enterprise altogether.

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Additional resources for Working the Skies: The Fast-Paced, Disorienting World of the Flight Attendant

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Airlines have realized this, and since 9/11 have targeted these qualities in an attempt to shed staff, especially older workers. Modern Workers in a Postmodern World Without being too grandiose, it would not be out of place to think of flight attendants inhabiting a quintessentially postmodern world. Postmodernism, perhaps best illustrated in films such as Memento and Blade Runner, celebrates and embraces the fleeting, the transient, and the superficial. 75 Flight attendants live in a world of constant coming and going, shifting characters and time zones, in airports and hotels that look almost identical the world over, forming relationships with workers and passengers alike that end as soon as they have begun, smiling at people whom they might actually sooner slap in the face, working within a family that is often more supportive than their real families back home, never quite sure when they will get wherever it is that they are heading, arriving in cities at an earlier time than they took off from the last one, and invariably running late.

They were rugged and temperamental characters who wore guns to protect the mail. They wouldn’t even speak to us during the first couple of trips. 27 Yet women stewardesses quickly became indispensable. 28 Naturally, they also found love and eventually marriage, the latter of 38 | Briefing which immediately grounded them because by the mid-1930s most airlines insisted their stewardesses had to be single. Meanwhile, movies such as Air Hostess (1933) conveyed similar — if more dramatic — themes, and by middecade stewardesses were also beginning to appear in advertisements, not just for airlines.

Not in the physical release only, but in a mental freedom which swept the brain clean of cobwebs and gave one a perspective which made such tragedies as broken hearts shrink from mountains to molehills. —Vida Hurst, Air Stewardess, 19341 One evening in January 2005, I was driving northbound to LAX on Interstate 405 with a United flight attendant, Rebecca. Rebecca had spent most of the day worrying and venting about her job and what the future held. Would her new Denver base be an improvement on her old one in Washington?

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