The airlines have a strict rule about not showing up for a flight.

A “No-Show” would be subject to termination in some airlines.

Keep this in mind as I tell you this tale.

I Thought My Cabin Crew Career Ended

I was living in Ypsilanti, Michigan- about a 30 minute drive to the airport. I was flying early morning and was used to leaving my apartment when it was still dark outside.

On this particular morning I woke to the sun in my face!

What!!?? I jumped from bed and looked at my electric alarm clock. (This was before cellphones existed) It was blank- meaning we had lost power.

In fact- all the clocks were blank.

No electricity. I grabbed the phone. No phone service!

I was in a panic. Oh No! I had overslept. And no way to call Crew Scheduling.

Jumping into my uniform, grabbing my makeup bag- I raced out of the apartment to my car.

I remember my heart pounding in my throat.

I could only pray- “Please God- No!”

Along the way I found a pay phone. (Again before the age of cellphones) I think I dropped the change 2 or 3 times before I got my nerves under control. I got ahold of scheduling to find out my trip had indeed left, with them having to call out a reserve.

I needed to call my Supervisor!

Now I knew- I was going to be fired.

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I called Marlyn Main- the base Supervisor. When she answered the phone I know I was crying.

Between sobs I said I just called to say goodbye. She asked what happened.

I told her about the power outage, the phone being out, and how sorry I was to loose my job- saying all this between sobs.

Marlyn Main was quiet for a moment- then said words I’ll never forget…

“Take today off, without pay. The company believes you can be rehabilitated. Start fresh on your next flight. And Marcy? Buy yourself a wind up alarm clock!”

After hanging up I stood for a full moment, staring at the phone in my hand.

The relief was overwhelming. I think it took another hour for my heart rate to return to normal. And about that long to stop crying- this time from relief.

About an hour after I returned home the electricity and phone came back on.

For some reason I was always tongue tied around Marlyn Main. She had a commanding presence about her. But she was fair and compassionate.

I spent the rest of my career forever grateful for her kindness and understanding.

Life Is Indeed An Adventure. And some of those difficult moments remain in our memories as a reminder of kindness shown by another.


Have you ever been a in situation when you knew you would lose your job? Tell us about it in the comments.


This story submitted by Marcy Padrta “The Nun”  who has a 39-year career in the travel industry, and was posted on her blog.

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