Miles's Reviews > Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet

Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole
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's review
Sep 10, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

If you're thinking about an exciting career in airborne customer service, this is the book for you! If, like me, you are not considering becoming a flight attendant, it is hard to explain why you would even pick this book up, much less read quickly through it in fascinated excitement, as I just did.

I guess this book answered a question that we all must have asked, but never really pursued, as we are served a diet coke or commanded to take our seats. Who are these people? What are their lives like?

Heather Poole provides the real deal, the inside scoop on the glamorous flight attendant life style. And, man, is it ever not glamorous. Who would do this work? And why?

You know how much flying sucks? OK, now imagine that it's your job, and you do it for 30 or 40 hours a week, and have to smile and pretend you like it. Then imagine you get paid really badly, and have to hot bunk it (share a bed) in dingy flop houses spread around the country where fellow attendants come and go at all hours of the night. Now imagine the passengers, the whining, complaining, needy, rude mass of humanity, who hate flying as much as any sane person would, and who you must passify, calm, and herd. Then imagine the polyester uniform you must wear, and the hair and makeup codes you must conform to.

If you do this kind of work, you do get travel benefits. Sort of. But they don't sound very generous, and of course every time you use them you have to do what? Get on another stinking aluminum tube and fly. No, ladies and gentlemen, this is a truly awful way to make a living, and we can only shake our heads in wonder at Ms. Poole's excited telling of adventures and misadventures over her 15 year career in the sky. Good on her, for creating a very readable memoir. She's got some real war stories. I loved the awfulness of the life she described. But I don't think she thinks her life is awful. I believe that she thinks it's been a rollicking good ride.

I guess that's what you'd want your flight attendant to feel - that this is a pretty good life, all things considered. So it's all good. Thank you Heather Poole for sharing your experience of work.
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01/30/2016 marked as: read

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