Friday, November 28, 2008

DNF List

DNF.... This little acronym is starting to take a VERY important part in my life at work. Can you guess what it means? I'll give you a little hint with how a trip went about 3 weeks ago.

This is part of my last posting... that happened on Nov. 10th... I had a co-worker of mine who just happened to commute from a VERY long distance (ok it was Australia) and during our LONG delay on the 10th he had an issue with a passenger. He stated to us, agents, captain and whoever else would listen that either 'That lady goes or I go'. Well no one really knew what the lady had done... so the captain and everyone else decided to let her go... this particular coworker (f/a) decided that he was going to go too.

The next day we had our departure pushed back REALLY late and finally when we were on our way... this is what took place:
During boarding I asked this long distance commuter if he was going to direct (help people find their seats) and he responded that he only spoke English and therefore wasn't going to direct.

After takeoff the FO wasn't feeling well and he pulled the #5 (galley f/a) into the cockpit because it was an emergency. I had just brought up the 2nd pickup cart to the mid galley when my friend f/a #5 Jamie asked if I could go into the cockpit quickly because the captain too wasn't feeling very well. I went right up into the cockpit. I was up there for at least 5 minutes. When I came out, my coworkers had already started the service and were halfway finished. I asked if help was needed and was told to just pickup. This LD commuter came up to f/c and slammed the customs forms on the counter and said "Why don't you do these, since you are sooo good at it" and walked away.

I picked up one side of m/c and was about to complete the other side when the LD commuter insisted that he pick up. I said ok... In the meantime of picking up.... Jamie had already passed out the customs forms. We also had a passenger who was drinking wine. We comped him 2 bottles and I charged him for the additional 3 due to the delay. Towards the end of the flight I was changing the videos and this LD commuter spoke across the f/c aisle... telling me that he needed to speak to me, 'NOW'. I walked up front and this guy who stands at least 5'9 or so... asked if I was going to meet w/ my supervisor when we got in... due to my late signins... and I said yes. He said we could go together.... I said ok..

Then what happened next totally caught my off guard. He began yelling at me... (in front of the #1 & #5) telling me I was the most uncooperative f/a in 20 years. I didn't do what I was told ( When I said this is not the time nor the place for this... can we talk about this later w/ our supervisor)... he laid into me saying it was 'all about me'... etc. At that point I knew there was nothing I could do, but wait until he was finished....

After he finally left... I was visibly upset... shaking, trying not to cry, etc. My other coworkers tried to help me calm down. I tried to avoid him the rest of the flight... until the end. Another coworker who worked for TWA for 35 years and AA for 6-7 years had talked to him... he apologized to me.

So with this story being told.... in my 7 months of flying IMA (Miami International) and having 3 BAD experiences w/ coworkers.... I have created a DNF... this acronym if you haven't guessed yet means... DO NOT FLY list!

BTW I did talk w/ my supervisor later that evening about this incident. I have to say that in 10+ years of flying I finally have a supervisor that is professional, smart, compassionate, etc. She stated she was going to have all options available to this person to get help. She also apologized for his behavior!. She also removed my 2 late signins... All I can say is that I'm happy to finally have a decent supervisor at AA and some f/a's really are CRAZY!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Augh.. Mechanic Woes....

Ok, things shouldn't be too stressful when working a flight right? SOOOO not the case! First off, commuting in on the same day as my trip shouldn't be a problem however unless it is on the SCAREBUS... I'll save that for another posting!

I got into MIA with just enough time to run off the plane, clear customs, go to operations to get my manual and drop off my 'big' bag, run through security to my gate just in time for boarding. At 4:15pm we got everyone boarded and were happily on our way to PTY, Panama when after flying for 30-45 minutes the captain came over the intercom. What the captain said was that we were having a mechanical problem with the aircraft and that we needed to return to Miami. Now after just taking off our A/c was completely full of fuel. The captain then announced that we had to burn off fuel before we returned to MIA due to being 'heavy'. This last announcement was followed by groans of our passengers.

I had already started passing out customs forms and decided to continue to do so and answer questions on the way. After 2 1/2 hours we returned to MIA. By now, people were already upset, tired, angry, hungry (does anyone come prepared anymore?) and just plain confrontational. We tried to answer questions to the best of our capability and when maintenance took our a/c out of service we reminded everyone to purchase food on the way to the next a/c, since we would not be serving any food on the way to PTY.

Finally at 8:30pm we got a new a/c. We got everyone boarded and were ready to go except this time it was a problem with catering. In f/c we were supposed to have served a full dinner service complete with a large salad, bread, entree of pasta or beef filet but only had our beverage carts. After waiting for catering bring incorrect item after incorrect item we choose to leave without the needed supplies to complete a service in both cabins. I have to give credit to my coworkers for being creative and able to work with embarrassing situations! We finally took off at 10:30pm. I have never heard passengers yell... 'We want to leave, Let's go, etc.' We landed in PTY at 12:45 am. It was a VERY LONG day!

I have to admit that it is extremely difficult to be in situations such as this, however there is no reason or excuse to harass, abuse and treat others with disrespect. That is exactly what we experienced. More than one of my coworkers were 'threatened'. For me.... waking up at 4am to help J leave for a trip, sleeping 1 more hour and then getting ready for my flight at 6am... it was a VERY LONG, TIRING, EXHAUSTING, DIFFICULT day!