Thursday, 20 October 2011

Airport Week - Landing Positions

And so we cap off a week of laziness with a small snifter of new material. Airport steward was definitely one of the more unusual temp jobs I had; one that was also equal parts amusing, tedious and infuriating. The repetitive nature of the shifts was unavoidable - you were there to ask people the same question over and over again and, by nature of that, to have the same arguments over and over again about what you could keep. That said, the arguments were the exception to the norm. The norm being a sort of mental resigned shrug that is oh so typically British.

It's a mindset that says a multitude of things:- resignation at the way things are; a weary acceptance that we don;t have the power to change the ways are in this sort of situation; a determination to just get through it so that the real part can begin and a mild shared irritation at the shuffling of the queue. If any job exposed me to the English at their most Englishy, it was frisking people for contraband before they joined a queue.

It also highlighted the way in our minds work with regards to authority. A bright yellow jacket combined with a walkie talkie and suddenly I went from Mouth-Breathing Temp to The Man Who Knew Things - even amongst the people who knew I was just another Mouth-Breathing like the rest of them. What was even weirder was that, the more that people deferred to me, the more I felt like maybe I did know stuff (even though I wasn't allowed to talk into the walkie talkie thus rendering it into just a walkie).

It was an interesting week of a different type of temping (paid well for temp work, too) but I'm glad it was only brief. Much longer and the sheen of novelty would have worn off and the tarnish of repetitive tedium would have set in.

1 comment:

jenny_o said...

A walkie-talkie without the talkie is just wrong.

I trust it didn't affect your self-esteem for life?