Flight attendant learns to love despite air rage

FOUR YEARS INTO MY CAREER as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, Inc., I suddenly found it difficult to go to work. The public, as I perceived it, was becoming increasingly difficult—impatient, unkind, belligerent even. Instead of simply suiting up in my uniform for work, I felt as if I had to put on "mental armor," to protect myself from the angryfaces I saw in every aisle. I was increasingly apprehensive before a workday and became more and more reclusive in my private life—wanting to stay tucked away from a public I perceived as a threat.

I even privately cursed my upbringing once. Because I had been raised to be thoughtful of others, I felt I wasn't equipped to live in a world where there seemed to be such a lack of civility. Even my sincerest efforts to be kind and helpful seemed to be met with outright scorn and disdain. I couldn't make sense of it and grew weary of making such an effort when it just seemed to lead to my kindness being interpreted as weakness.

Prayer in divorce court
April 22, 2002

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