Turbulent Health Ahead

When I worked retail in college, I didn't have paid sick time. 
If you were so deathly sick the you had to call out, you still needed to make sure that your shift was covered.
When I worked in an office, I did have paid sick time- sometimes. 
But even then, I wouldn't call out sick unless I was actively incapacitated or a danger to the people around me. 
I'm not a wimp. I could handle it. 

As a Flight Attendant, calling out sick is completely different. 
Now, working through some illnesses just isn't an option.  

Last year, I had to call out sick because I had laryngitis. I felt fine, I just had no voice.
Well guess what? Flight Attendants literally aren't allowed to work if they can't be heard- we need to be able to yell in case we have to evacuate an aircraft in an emergency. 

I'm currently out sick with a sinus/bronchial infection. 
I can't go to work with this because my ears won't pop, and if my ears can't adjust to pressure changes on the ground I could very well burst an eardrum at 30,000 feet.
I've burst both my eardrums in the past. I do not recommend it. 

So here I am, grounded by an illness that I would have worked through in any other job.
Forced to drink tea, take lots of medications, and hope that I'll be able to fly by next week because I really love my job. I want to go to work. 

I do have paid sick time, which is a huge reason I can stay in this job long term. 

Being a Flight Attendant can be a physically grueling job. 
The constant travel takes a toll on your body, as does hauling bags, dragging 300lb carts around, hiking miles in high heels, and sleeping irregular hours. 
Not to mention emergencies, hard landings, and turbulence- flying this much is hard on your body. 

Since starting this job, I've had friends who have had to be out sick because they've sprained their ankle, inhaled toxic fumes, fractured a rib, fractured a spine, and more. 
I've burned my hands and arms, strained muscles, and had more blisters and broken nails than I can count. It can get pretty ugly. 

If you're a new hire out there, here's some really important advice: prioritize your health. 
Ask any senior mama and they'll tell you how important it is to focus on staying healthy. 
Use hand sanitizer. Sleep instead of going out for drinks (sometimes). Wear the comfortable shoes once in a while. Sit down and strap in when it gets bumpy. 
For the love of all that is good, drink as much water as you can.

If you're a member of the flying public, have a little understanding for just how physically brutal our jobs can be.

Right now it seems like the media and the internet are conspiring with some of the worst parts of our society to make doing our jobs harder than ever before.

Have a little empathy for us when you're flying.

Better yet, give us the respect we deserve. 

Being a Flight Attendant seems very glamorous, but the reality is that it is physically and emotionally taxing. 

I love my job. It is the perfect job for who I am. I am so proud of the work I do everyday. 

I also go to work every single day ready to handle the worst case possible. 
The scenario you try not to think about when you're getting on a plane is something I've thought about a thousand times, and I'm prepared to handle it. 
Flight Attendants are trained and prepared to risk our lives to save yours. 
All we're asking for is a little respect. 

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