HOW DID I GET HERE???

By day I am THE Senior Manager of Compensation. Most people don’t even know what that means. My husband’s brain explodes when someone asks him what I do. I could try to explain it to you but you really don’t care. You would probably stop reading and never come back. Sometimes I wonder how I got here. Sitting in my office, bored out of my mind, thinking to myself, “listen, I get that you want to hire your girlfriend as your secretary and pay her $200k/year. But I don’t care enough to fudge data for you.” Thinking back, my journey went a little something like this:

Hey! Congratulations on your college degree! That’s awesome. Now, I’m going to need you to find that super, amazing, high-paying job in the next few weeks or you’ll be labeled a failure and embarrass your parents making them regret the financial investment they’ve made for the past 4 years. Thank you!

For those of you who are still in college or even high school, get ready. It’s coming.

Growing up I heard a rumor that in order to be successful in life one HAS to get good grades, go to college, graduate from said college and, if one does that, one will have mounds of gold coins falling from the sky and a money tree will sprout from the backyard of the perfect picket-fenced house that you’re magically issued upon graduation. Rainbows and unicorns will follow you for the rest of your life while feeding you cotton candy, you’ll never gain an ounce of weight, and you’ll have your own pep band follow you everywhere just like Dan did in the old Starbucks commercial.

{ENTER REALITY STAGE RIGHT}

Ouch, Reality! That freakin’ hurt! GAH! MOOOOOOM! Reality just slapped me in tha fah-aaace!

Only mom didn’t get out her wooden spoon. Or even put reality in a time out. Not. Fair. What everyone forgot to tell me was that I was now expected to put in my time.

{Um, no, you must have missed my degree.  I’m here for the CEO position, not the Administrative Assistant.}

Most of us don’t graduate with a killer resume. The smart ones are really good at lying. Some have rich parents that set up a trust fund. Others have parents who own their own company. I was too dumb to lie, not lucky enough for a trust fund, and my parents probably wouldn’t have hired me even if they did have their own gig. So I had to start from the bottom. With a degree in Romance Languages no less. What tha face, Erica. No one knows what a Romance Languages degree is!!

“OH, you wanna teach?? You should teach!”

NO! I spent all four years of high school plotting my escape! I don’t wanna go BACK!

“Well, then, what are you going to do?”

I wanna be famous I want to end world hunger and adopt all of the orphans and I want to rescue dogs and I want to save dolphins… How am I supposed to know??  I’m 22!

Um… I’ll move to Italy for a bit while I drink a lot of wine, eat too much pasta, and spend some time with lifeguards named Luciano while I ponder the direction of my life. {B.T.Dubs, the answers to ALL of life’s questions are hiding in Italy.}
I spent the next year applying for EVERYTHING. I had no idea what I was doing.

{Project Manager of a construction site? Sure! Although, now that I think about it, hard hats mess up my hair and dirt isn’t really my color, so… I’m going to have to pass on that.}

Finally in April (almost a FULL YEAR after graduating from UGA) I had a job offer. As a flight attendant!!! {Yay!!! I’m going to see the world and be pretty and-}

{ENTER REALITY STAGE LEFT}

Ok, Reality, stop. I swear to everything sacred. You touch me again and I’ll punch you in the throat. Seriously. Not even joking.

I was on ready reserve for the first few months. THAT means starting at 4:30 AM schedulers can begin calling you to go wherever they need you to go for up to 3 days. And you have two hours to get to the airport. Remember that thing in a previous post about me not being a morning person? AND you only get paid from wheels up to wheels down. Plus, have you tried being pretty at 4:30 am? Mm-mm. Not gonna happen.

To top it off, I worked for AirTran. So I didn’t get to see the world. I got to see a lot of Bloomington, IL. Sometimes, if I was a really good girl (not very often), I got to see Baltimore. {Hi, I’m in Baltimore.}

I knew it was time to hang up my wings while on a fateful trip that was supposed to make a quick stop in Orlando to pick up passengers then head to Chicago for the night. Simple in and out (Heh, y’all know why I’m giggling right now). As soon as we landed in Orlando we saw the backup. There was an 8 hour flight delay. So I grabbed myself a snack and the crew sat on the plane to wait. That was at 12pm. At 11:30 am the flight was finally cancelled (because the crew timed out) after the passengers had already been lined up 3 times to board the plane. The passengers were so homicidal that security had to escort us off the plane and down stairs through a back passageway so that we wouldn’t get hurt by the passengers who were, at the time, throwing stuff. We had to spend the night in a hotel that was being remediated for mold after a hurricane (super stinky) and we had one of the first flights out in the morning. A mere seven hours after the flight was cancelled. Which meant about 4 hours of sleep. The next morning we were super lucky to get another group of incredibly angry passengers on their way to Buffalo, NY (aka, the land of hospitality). They were so angry, in fact, that the Captain had to threaten that the next person to cuss or throw anything at the crew would be removed from the plane. We finally took off; things were ok, then BAM. One of the flight attendants passed out cold. Once I got home and recovered from that flight I quickly called the boss I had as an intern in college and switched professions to the more stable Human Resources. (Sure there was the time we had to notify a convicted murderer that he wasn’t getting a janitorial job because he was convicted of felony murder, and the time a woman came to the office and threatened us for not hiring her so security had to haul her off but at least I wasn’t stuck in a metal tube 35,000 feet in the air with the crazies).

However, I learned a lot during my short time as a babysitter in the sky:
First of all, be nice to your neighbor. Not all flight attendants should be trusted to get you safely out of an unsafe plane and the person next to you may be your only hope. If you piss them off you’re screwed.

{You know I’m right.}

Please don’t have a chip on your shoulder while flying. The flight attendants didn’t delay your flight or lose your bags. No one is out to get you. In fact, no one wants you, The Douche, on the plane. We want you off the plane ASAP. Better yet, if you could just not board at all that would be stellar.

{Oh, yes, Sir. I’m so sorry that you are mad about being stuck on the tarmac for six hours. Actually, I’ve been stuck for six hours as well and I’m currently missing my dad’s retirement dinner, my mom’s 50th birthday, my grandparents’ 100th wedding anniversary, and the birth of my first child. And I’m not being paid right now as you are cussing me out so… The person you want to address that harshly worded letter to is Mother Nature. She works in our corporate office, although she may be out today. (She travels a lot). If this is an emergency, you are welcome to pop the tail cone, walk across the tarmac, climb that tower over there, and speak to an Air Traffic Controller. Also, I’m going to need you to back up to a distance where I don’t smell your horrible breath or get a facial from showers of your angry spittle. Thanks so much!}

If you act like a douchebag you will be made fun of. And probably someone will spit in your drink.

Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls. A few have pegged me in the arm but none have knocked me out and for that I am grateful. HR was an interesting surprise. Not one I would have picked for myself intentionally but it was a curveball I could hit. Hopefully I can hit the next one, too!

I don’t like it when balls come at me that I can’t hit.
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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