Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Friendly Skies

A couple years ago, I was flying to Las Vegas to visit my mom and sister for the weekend, and I was just not feeling well. Flying has never really been a problem for me - I've never had to become intimately acquainted with an airsick bag or anything - but that night I was really struggling. When the drink cart came by? I tried sipping on Sprite. Snacks? Yes, I'll gnaw on a few pretzels. It was helping a bit, but I was still feeling lousy. For the first time in my life, I actually pressed the call button to bring an attendant over.

The man who came to see what I needed was short, bald, and tubby 'round the tummy. But more importantly, he had a kind smile and didn't seem annoyed that I had required some sort of assistance. "Would it be possible to get some sort of a wet cloth or something to put on my head?" I asked. "I'm just feeling a little sick and I think it might help."

"Oh dear," he said, looking concerned. "Unfortunately, we don't really have any cloths or anything like that, but I could wet some paper towels for you." I said that would be great, and he went to get some for me. As soon as I put them against my forehead, I began to breathe a little easier. After a few more minutes, the same flight attendant came back again to ask how I was feeling. He also offered to bring me some more Sprite or some Ginger Ale, and when I said, "If there are any more pretzels-" he immediately offered to bring me some. At the end of the flight, I thanked him for helping me, and he brushed it off easily. "I just hope you're feeling better," he said.

So, to that man, whose name I sadly don't remember, thank you. I realize that your job is a thankless one, and that you're often stuck in the skies with whiny, obnoxious human beings. But I want you to know that this nameless, faceless passenger is grateful for your kindness.

And feeling much better - thanks.

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