I'm now finished with day five out of six in my workweek....tomorrow is my Friday in spite of it being Sunday on the earthly calendar that most of us use. Here's what my 11,319 mile workweek looks like. I run into all sorts of tawdry folks in my journeys. Mostly happy, not all. Many travel for business, quite a few for pleasure. Some are more than self-sufficient, a few need a helping hand or two. And that brings me to yesterday, SAN-PDX, the last leg of a long, busy trip. A lovely African-American woman in her 80's is the last one to be wheeled in her chair down to the aircraft door. Nice big smile and a gleam in her eyes. Her blind eyes, I soon found out. She couldn't see. I met her at the door with some sort of a smart ass comment...per the usual. The flight was full as I helped her to her seat -- 6C, the first row of coach just behind First Class. But she was concerned. "They usually let me sit up with the pilots," she said. "Sometimes they even let me fly the plane," she continued. I play the game well so I went along with it as I shuffled with her down the aisle. "Honey, I don't think this is the right direction to sit with the pilots," she insisted. "No," I told her, "I've got a lovely leather seat for you....it's much more comfortable." So, we get her seated and give her a special briefing given to "anyone unable to reach an aircraft by themselves in the event of an evacuation."
The flight was busy with lots of special requests, "Can I have's......" and such. About three-quarters of the way through the flight the lady next to her signals to me that she needs to use the washroom. So, I start through the process of getting her out of the seat. It's quite an ordeal when you're in your 80's, you know. She's sporting a lovely winter scarf around her neck with "Obama" written about a hundred times on it. So, of course, I had to ask loudly (so that the entire next five rows could hear me) who she supported for president. I love stirring up the pot. She's got a hold of my two arms and we're doing a very slow shuffle forward to the First Class lavatory. About the time we're in the center of First Class, she asks me my name.....I tell her. She wants to know how to spell it. I tell her it's _____, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger -- "And, I must say, I do bear a striking resemblance to Arnold," I tell her. (Remember she can't actually see me.) Well, it's at this point that all twelve of my First Class frequent travelers break out into giggles and smiles. I still can't believe they couldn't see the similarities between Arnold and me.
I get her to the lavatory door. And, you see, we're not required to actually help with the "bathroom process," if you get my point. We only help folks to and from the lavatory, that's all. "But," she exclaims, "I'm gonna need help inside....who is going to help me?" Um, well, what am I going to do now.....tell her that I'm not required to help her? So, I call one of my co-workers from the coach cabin from her duties on the beverage cart. Christy helps me out and says she'd be glad to assist. So, I'm trying to make sure that my First Class folks are all fed and watered before I scamper back to coach to work on the cart while Christy is with our little lady. But just as I'm squeezing past them, I hear a bit of a continued conversation. "Okay, I've got your pants down now....all you have to do is sit straight down onto the toilet," Christy says to the lady. "Oh Honey," the lady says, "I ain't gonna sit, I'm gonna Hovah!" I'm still laughing. All in a day's work. And to think, she wanted to help the pilots fly the plane.