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.
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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