I have heard it said, about how I am ‘enjoying’ on account of my job. I live a life some can only dream about. I fly to exotic places and stay in 5star hotels. My pals say how they envy me, the women that I meet. At the last, I always guffaw. If only they knew. True, what I do does not feel like work. If the truth be told, it is a way of life. But like all lifestyles, it comes with its own pressures and misconceptions.
I remember this flight, it was sometime in 2006, I was travelling to Johannesburg. Walking through immigrations – fast track – I noticed this group of ladies, long-legged beauties all of them. I overheard one of my colleagues whisper that the current Face of Africa winner was in the group. Without giving them a second’s thought I made my way to the aircraft.
Imagine my surprise then, when the same eye catching group waltzed their way aboard. Now I gave them my full attention. There were five of them, and from their height, build and carriage, it was obvious these were models. When one of them asked me to help her stow the cake she was carrying in a box, I saw an opportunity to create a rapport and I took it. Now, I can go from nought to flirt in 0.25 seconds, and as the flight progressed I turned on the charm and humour.
Amazingly it was with another member of the group who I spent most of the flight talking with – the FOA winner. We talked for about three hours, we talked about family, we talked about friends, we talked about work, we talked about relationships, we talked about anything and everything, and we got shushed by passengers trying to sleep. We smiled, we chuckled, we chortled, we grinned and we laughed out loud. Then she said: “I have heard that flight attendants are promiscuous, how true is this?” “I have heard the same about models,” I replied and had her in stitches again. Like all good things, this too came to an end. It was time for another service and I had to return to work. When we landed in Johannesburg my colleagues teased me and asked when I planned to call her and I told them quite frankly that I did not take her number. Later that day at the mall I walked into a clothes store, and plastered everywhere I looked was my friend from the night flight before!
Two years ago I was on a flight to Abuja. When you fly as frequently as I do, you can tell what routes have the finest girls, what time they preferred to fly, and you develop an instinct for telling which passenger was more receptive and which not. For that time of day into Abuja I was expecting basically suits: off the rack suit, bend down boutique suits, custom made suits, all with one thing in common – false airs and an even more false sense of importance. On such flights you simply run service on auto-pilot. I had prepared myself mentally for a flight until this T-shirt and pair of jeans stepped off the bus at the foot of the aircraft. She was something to look at and some. All of a sudden the flight did not look so dull anymore. I sat her in business class, just opposite my seat.
At the time I sat her there for aesthetics, but when she asked why she had been upgraded and I said “Only because you are the finest thing on this aircraft. And because I can”, her smile made it all worth it. Beside that exchange, the only other things I said to her were service related. I know people, and I know people do not expect a free lunch –not even in Freetown. I knew she was waiting for the other shoe to drop so she could blow me off and feel good doing it too. Not happening! In Abuja as she got off, the slightly puzzled look on her face was like music. It only made me smile wider.
A couple of months later on a flight leaving Abuja, this female passenger kept smiling at me with such familiarity, it got me rattled. It took almost till the end of the flight to realise who it was. I went over to say hi and she handed me her boarding pass behind which she had written her phone number. Jackpot! I called her later and we went on a few dates. She was not only beautiful; she was smart, quick and funny. On the whole well put together. As I was single at the time, I thought maybe this was it. Until she called me, and sobbing, told me how she had lied to me about not seeing someone else. According to her, she knew she was going to break up with this fellow, she just didn’t know when. I told her I was willing to wait, but no thank you. And people say I have issues.
Two months ago coming out of Kano, I had all but two passengers on board and was contemplating leaving without them, when I saw them run out from the departures lounge to the bus. From the glimpse I had caught of them I had decided they were worth waiting for. Both were female. They came on board panting and I sat them in business class as there was only one passenger there. In-flight they told me how they were late because one of them took too long with her make-up. I played the gracious host and was not surprised when at the end of the flight one of them asked for my number which I gave her.
Here I am two months later still waiting for her call.
So yes I am ‘enjoying’ on the job, but if I could, there are a lot of things I would gladly DO OVER.