Thursday, October 28, 2004

For What It's Worth

Where have I been? Thanks for asking. Well, that's a long story that I will attempt to shorten as best I can. After spending 30 years in an industry to which I gave every thread of my loyalty and my effort...I was downsized. No recrimination, no bitter words about the circumstances will I offer. Been there, done that. Make no mistake, it sucks, but sometimes that's just the way life goes.

After crying in my beer (more of which than I care to remember) for months, my wife showed me an ad in the paper for flight attendants. Flight Attendant? Yes, that was precisely my reaction as well. But the more that I considered it, the more I became enchanted by the idea, so I went to the interview. Actually, it wasn't that easy. Up to the morning of the interview, I was unsure as to whether I wanted to go. After all, I'm male, I'm straight and as such, I do not exactly fit the profile of the garden variety Flight Attendant. In addition, I'm nearly (though not quite, thank you) twice the age of most of those who enter such a profession. After doing some research, I found that the "profile" for Flight Attendants has expanded considerably over the years. I decided that I would give it a try, even though this was something I never envisioned myself doing. I've always loved the exhilaration of flying and I've always loved travel in all forms so I gave it my best shot and well, my best shot seemed to be adequate. I was selected for 8 weeks of training, which took place clear across the country. The great adventure had begun, and what an adventure it has been.

Before I go any further, I must make an important point. My wife is truly a saint. I know that this transition has been incredibly difficult for her, but her perseverance has enabled me to do something that I have found to be terribly fulfilling and, might I add, a great deal of fun. The job has required me to live, at least part of the time, in another city. Fortunately, I am only 175 miles from home, but it complicates life in any number of ways. It requires her to spend most of the time alone, and take care of the house and the yard by herself. We keep in constant touch by cell phone, but to say that it is not difficult in the extreme would mischaracterize the situation. Her understanding, her confidence, her trust and, of course, her love are my most cherished possessions.

I would also like to offer my undying gratitude to my family and friends for the physical help and the moral support that they have given me during these months. They all pitched in and moved me into an apartment and donated objects and food that has made my "home away from home" much more tolerable.

As a result of this life alteration, I have taken an enormous pay cut but I have found untold wealth in the love and friendship of those closest to me. I'm a pretty lucky guy and I know it.

In short. After spending nearly 30 years in an office, I now fly around the country for a living. After nearly three decades of excruciating predictability, I honestly do not know where I will be this time next week and you know, that's fine with me.

That's enough of the personal stuff. There is ranting do be done, and I must be getting on with that without any further dawdling.

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