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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďAll that Glitters is Not GoldĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Bright Lights, Big City
By Bob Truesdale


After flying for a major airline for twenty-five years as a Flight Attendant, youíd have thought I would have gotten used to hearing, ďOh that sounds so exciting! I always wanted to do that. You must go to some wonderful places!Ē I just nod and smile. Yes, Iíve been all over the world. Yes, itís nice to pick my schedule and have lots of flexibility. And yes itís really nice to visit Florida in the middle of January, as I live in upstate New York! But there is another side to this Ďglitzyí career few ever see. I have to drive to Albany Airport in New York (forty-five minutes) to wait for a plane to my hub in Philadelphia. I must fly stand-by which means I only go if there are open seats, and quite often there are none! If not, I sit three hours and wait to do this all over again. If I do make it to my hub, I often sit in the airport for several hours waiting for my trip to go out. I do not get paid for any of this travel or waiting. Sometimes we (Flight Attendants) have to rent cars or stay in hotels, at our own expense, while weíre trying to get home.
I have stayed in some very nice hotels in exotic places, but one thing remains constant. Iím always alone. If I choose to go out with the crew, I have to sit there watching them drink and shoot the breeze about worldly chatter and slanderous talk. So I usually hang by myself. Another city, where only the names of the streets and restaurants have changed. Yes itís nice to have some alone time with God but often it gets very lonely. If youíre in Europe, cell phones donít work to call home to friends or family. Often we get to our overnights long after midnight so itís too late to call home anyway. Sometimes I workout, alone. I walk around the city or in a mall, alone. I eat every meal by myself. When Iím home for three or four days, every else is working. So once again, I do everything by myself. There are times when I must fly weekends and miss church. Most oftentimes, I canít get involved in church activities that occur mid-week because Iím out of town. If thereís inclement weather, it can take me two days to get home and Iím not getting paid for any of it.
There are pluses and minuses to every job and endeavor. Iíve learned not to envy those in other positions because too often we focus on the baubles without realizing the challenges. Just look at Hollywood. I know God has me on the airplane for a reason. I ask Him to shine through me before each flight. Iíve gotten to share His grace and truth in countless ways over the years, and that more than anything, has made it well worth it!

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This article has been read 409 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart02/02/08
This is a great reminder that things are not always as they seem.
Beth LaBuff 02/03/08
You are definitely on topic with this. You have opened my eyes to the other side of the flight attendant's life. Isn't that the way a lot of seemingly glitzy things are.

A few paragraph separations would make this a bit easier to read.

I like your title for this. Your entry is very thought provoking.
Joanne Sher 02/04/08
You've definitely given me a new perspective on the job of a flight attendant. This is a good lesson for all of us, no matter what our "job." Keep writing!