Tonight I face what I dread the most: a Turn.
Now, I'm sure most people who aren't all up with airline lingo are scratching their heads and going "okaaaay..." A turn means I go there, I turn right back around and I come back.
Easy Peasy right? WRONG!
For this is no ordinary turn, this is a Georgetown Turn. Georgetown, Guyana that is. Guyana is Venezuela's next door neighbor, but it's best known for being the home of a cult where everyone was murdered by drinking poisoned KoolAid back in the 70's. What a legacy right?
Anyhow, come about 12 tonight I will plaster a smile on my face, quell any negative emotions I may have (there's going to be an awful lot of quelling going on) and I will play the role of the happy, ditzy flight attendant who would just love to offer you chicken or pasta and yes sir, it would be my pleasure to get you one more drink... All while smiling and looking vapid, because sometimes that's the only way I can deal with people - to just forget I have a brain and smile because otherwise I'd be in the aft galley weeping my little heart out.
There's a beauty to military flights that's missing in commercial passenger flights. I prefer military and I usually do everything in my power to not do commercial. I have all kinds of excuses: the main one that I usually throw out is the thing about just liking to look at all the pretty boys... and yes, this is true because oh my god some of them are smoking (F22 Raptor pilots are some of the most beautiful creatures on gods green earth) but there's more to my enjoyment of military flights then just the eye candy. They're polite, they can take orders and if they step out of line there's always a superior officer there to straighten them out pretty damn quick. Also, they are some of the most intelligent and thoughtful individuals I've run into - not all of them granted, but I can usually count on at least having a few interesting conversations on a military flight rather then a commercial flight. The military knows we're all in this together, commercial passengers see us as more of their servants rather then someone who is stuck in the same tin can as they are.
I want to be nice to them, hell, I like being nice. It's why I can't work in the graphic design industry in New York anymore (for various other reasons too, but that's one of them). I want to help people out, but they make it so difficult sometimes.
With a turn you can't look forward to the destination. The plane will land, the cleaners and caterers will come onboard and the flight attendants, after having stocked up on alcohol in duty free and Roti in the shops right outside the airport, will take themselves off to a remote part of the plane, curl up into a little ball and try to get a few winks of sleep before the 'I'm a happy ditz' smile must yet again be plastered on.
And people wonder why I'm grumpy when I get home after these flights...
As an aside, if your curious to see a few photos from the troop transports I do, I have some up on Flickr