Tales of a West Palm Beach
Uber Driver

They tell me they are flight attendants, both of them, on a layover, and I’ve picked them up at a charming West Palm apartment. They’d been here before, but only briefly. Not long enough to know the party scene.

Clematis Street, they heard, is where it’s happening. They’ve picked O’Shea’s to start the evening, and ask my opinion. I concur, and then tell them about all the places open late within walking distance, and what makes them different. They’re excited to check out as many as they can fit into the hours ahead.

On the ride over, I ask about their work, asking if it’s as rough as it seems. I get an earful about how badly the airlines are being portrayed by the media these days. One in particular. Theirs.

“Reporters don’t know the whole story. The man who was removed from the plane (she didn’t say dragged down the aisle) had given up his seat and left the airplane, then ran back on. That triggers all sorts of security,” one said. “It was the air marshals and police who took him off – not the flight attendants.”

“It was a subsidiary airline, too,” the other said; the media paints it all with a broad brush, she thinks.

They lament, “No one ever reports the good things we do.”

I tell them I was too short to be an airline attendant back in the day, but it was my dream job for the travel benefits. “Oh wow. I bet you would get hired now.”

They discuss the height requirement – there’s a reach test. “I bet you’d pass it.”

Flight attendants come in all types these days, they tell me – men and women – short and tall, all shapes and sizes. They note the most important quality is to be a very tolerant people person.

I smile and nod. They obviously haven’t read my rideshare stories.

— JN

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