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Be Kind Mission Day Seventeen

The alarm crowed at its usual hour-before the sun arose. I was sleeping soundly in a nice, comfortable, warm hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

My flight to Charlotte was wonderful. Passengers were chipper, and my flight crew I worked with was fantastic.

The next flight I worked to Tallahassee. When he boarded the aircraft, I greeted him warmly, with my usual, "Welcome Aboard!" He grunted as he took his seat.

When I sat in my jumpseat for take-off, he was staring at me, and it was quite the intimidating stare. He just would not stop staring at me.

When we did beverage service, it was the same thing. It was a stare that I had not had in a long time, and it was beginning to make me uncomfortable.

I greeted him during the beverage service, and was quite kind to him, even though I was very uncomfortable.

It was a rather interesting situation, one I hadn't encountered.

I remember when I lived in Hawaii and I stared at someone for a long time, and after class one day she approached me and said, "Your stare really bugged me. It was inappropriate, and you stared at me for a long time." When I remembered that, I began to laugh at myself.

All he was doing was staring at me! Nothing more, nothing less-just like I had been doing to her.

What would Mother Teresa do?

"Take time to think, to pray, to laugh." This is a quote from her book I am reading.

It's interesting to me that when I find myself in these challenging situations, if I think about it long enough, instead of allowing my feelings to get in t he way, I begin to laugh at myself-and my own ludicrous feelings!


Day Sixteen Be Kind Mission

I sit in the Charlotte airport at 6:00 in the morning. I'm in uniform-not being paid. I am on call, what they call hot reserve.

It's early, I have not had Starbucks yet, and I go to concourse B to turn on my laptop. Before I can even get to the plug, I see coffee cups on the floor where I am about to sit. I see newspapers in empty seats where travelers used to be, and I begin to clean.

I ask myself why I am doing this. Why am I cleaning opm-other people's mess?! Passengers do not want us to treat them like children, yet this is precisely how they act when they leave trash in their seats. There are plenty of trash bins all over the airport. They could even bring it on the air craft with them and hand it to the flight attendant who would be glad to put it in her trash bin. Yet, they leave it there, in their empty seat as if to say, "This is someone else's job, and not mine."

What does this teach their children? What does this say to a flight attendant like me, who is cleaning up their mess, with an attitude, and not getting paid.

These could also be passengers that end up on my aircraft, and I have no clue that they were the ones who left their trash in the empty seats. Trash left behind.

Trash left behind. I don't think God has come back to earth and the rapture has occured so they have a good excuse. It's just rude, and I must be kind at all times-especially in uniform.

What would Mother Teresa do?

I just read in one of her books that there is no shame when we ask for help. I really needed help with this one. I really needed a dose of my own advice inside my head as I cleaned up opm.

Her quote for the day: "There is no shame when we need guidance of help."

I asked my higher power-God-for help that day, and He did. He gave me inner peace and gratitude of heart as I continued to clean.

Thank goodness that we can ask for help in our internal Spirit when we need it. We can also ask other's for help, and not feel ashamed!


Day Fifteen-Be Kind Mission

He stood in front of the flight deck-texting. It was right after beverage service.

He knew that I had specifically asked people to wait their turn to go to the bathroom-he did not comply. My flight attendant I was working with almost ran into him because his toosh was up against the flight deck door, and he was oblivious to her coming backwards into the galley.

I walked towards him and said, "Sir, please don't crowd the flight deck door." He said, "Sorry to be a bother." He gave me a dirty look, and went back to his seat.

When he left the aircraft, I smiled and told him to have a good day. He grunted. I don't think he was happy with me.

After 911 don't people know that they shouldn't crowd the flight deck door.

Now, on every flight, I make an announcement to specifically not crowd the flight deck door.

Will they comply?

Will I be kind, even if they don't comply? That is the question!

What would Mother Teresa do?!

"Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love and kindness."


Be Kind Mission Day Fourteen

My husband's alarm clock went off at 5:00 am, because I had to be at my gate at the Charlotte Airport at 6:45 am.

He brought in the coffee, as I got ready. We ate canteloupe for breakfast, and headed towards the airport. It was a beautiful Winter day, yet close to Spring-St. Patricks Day!

I was working the flight to Louisville, Kentucky. I was working with a very nice young lady named India...yes, India. My favorite country-where I worked in 2005 to help with tsunami relief work! She and I were getting along great, and chatting up a storm when we worked.

As we did the beverage service, an Indian woman was reading a book called, "The India Calling." Oh, what a great flight, I thought to myself-all this India reminder! I loved India!

As my new friend India and I chatted about India, India went to collect trash. As she did, one woman said, "Who are you and the other flight attendant gossiping about?!"

What?! My new friend India said, "We weren't gossiping, we were having a conversation."

When India came back to the galley to tell me what she said, I was completely horrified! I wanted to go punch her! The nerve of her judgment towards us! What does that lady want, for India and I to be enemies or something? If two flight attendants talk now a days, does the message come accross like we are gossiping?!

Not all flight attendants are gossips!

I wanted to go yell at her.

I thought to myself, "I have to be kind to her when she exits the aircraft?!" What would Mother Teresa do?


"Take time to think, to pray, to laugh." Mother Teresa

-Oh, the humor of it all. The fact that just because two flight attendant's were actually getting along, and talking she thought we were gossiping! Ha. Ha. Ha!!!!!- I wish I had that attitude when it actually happened, instead of waiting to research what my heroin would do!


Be Kind Mission Day Thirteen

I was in Scranton Pennsylvania. The alarm went off at 6:00 am. I had lost an hour of sleep, and knew this was going to be a long fifteen hour work day.

I made my way down to the lobby to have breakfast. A guy in the lobby smelled so badly, like cigarette smoke. Come to think of it, the elevator smelled like dirty feet. Woulld this be a day of bad smells?

Could I be kind in the midst of a bad smell day?

Two women in the lobby smiled at me, I did not smile back.

I got my eggs, sausage, coffee and yogurt and began to feed my stomach.

My husband called, to tell me he had missed his flight to the Outer Banks. He was going there to get some stuff for me. Boo Hoo!

I hung up the phone, the smelly guy walked by me again. I stood up and moved.

When passengers began to board the airplane to Charlotte, I couldn't believe it when that smelly guy was on my plane! Now, I HAD to be kind!

I did my best to avoid him most of the flight.

Man, it sure is hard to be kind when you don't want to be kind.

What would Mother Teresa do?

"The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. Being open to what God wants to give will always be a greter challenge than what we want to give others." Mother Teresa


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Be Kind Mission Day Twelve-Thursday March 10, 2011

I awoke at 7 am with my husband beside me in Charlotte, North Carolina. I drove him to work and had the truck for the day. We are new in this city and don't know our way around, so it was my job to explore. I love to explore.

I found a Panera Bread with the help of the GPS.

When I walked into Panera, the cashier walked right up to me and said, "Would you like a rewards card?" There was no morning greeting, no hi how are you, just that. End of statment, end of story.

Of course, I was annoyed already.

I hadn't been to a Panera in years and now I know why.

I said, 'No thank you-I'd just like coffee.' "We have great breakfast sandwiches, and we stop serving breakfast in twenty minutes." No thanks was my reply.

I got my coffee and the Hazelnut was running low and at this point everything was annoying. I forgot all about my kindness mission since I had been off work for two days!

Suddenly, I was at Panera for an hour and then another surfing the web.

I ordered lunch-bean soup in a bread bowl. The annoying lady was still there.

After eating, I realized I had mis-placed my car key and began to freak out. Guess who I had to turn to for help?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uh-can you say 'I' was humbled!

I went up to her nicely and asked with kindness if anyone  had turned in a set of keys. She said no and began to look with deep concern.

She was nice after all.

I found my keys in the bathroom and went back to the lady and thanked her.

I drove around Charlotte for three more hours, and went back to Panera. She was still there. She offered me a 99 cent treat.

I got a cheese danish, and shoved it in my mouth.

What would Mother Teresa do?

-"If you judge people, you have no time to love them"-Mother Teresa


Be Kind Mission Day Eleven March 6, 2011

My alarm went off at 5:00 am, and I boarded the shuttle at 6:15. We arrived at the Greensboro airport at 6:30 and made our way through security. When we got to the aircraft, I did my usual security check of the a/, as well as putting seat cushions down, putting up tray tables, opening overhead bins, crossing seatbelts, and much more-while not getting paid until up in the air.

We boarded the a/c on time. We pulled out of the gate..and we sat and sat and sat for what seemed like forever.

Suddenly the Captain makes an announcement that there is a maintenance problem, and we have to go back to the gate.

I heard the groans of the passengers, I saw the rolling of the eyes, and I knew this would not be fun.

Could I still be kind, not getting paid, dealing with angry passengers who have connecting flights?

Fortunately, this was a big airplane and I was working with a wonderful woman. Between her and I, we made coffee, served each passenger with a smile and did the best we could.

The first passenger said, "I am meeting my daughter and we are going to Cabo San Locos, what's the chance of me making my flight?"

The next passenger said, "Is this normal? Does this happen often?"

One by one, as I served them, not getting paid, I answered their questions-with my other co-workers friendly, warm demeanor.

Suddenly, without warning, the Captain makes an announcement, "We are going to have to deplane."

Did I mention we were having a severe rain storm in Greensboro? When we opened up the a/c door, the galley got sort of flooded. There we stood, soaking wet.

Ugh. It was not fun.

I was still kind!

Each passenger deplaned, the Captain stood there extending his apologies. One woman yelled at him as she got off and said, "Thanks to you, I'm going to miss my cruise." He handled her quite well, and said, "It's nothing personal, maam, this is only a machine."

Several passengers got off the a/c and told the Captain what a great job the flight attendants did!

After thirty minutes, the problem was fixed, and we were able to re-board. One woman got on the a/c , (the woman going to Cabo San Locos,) and begged us to let her put her big bag in our personal flight attendant closet. We moved our bags, and put her bag in the closet.

One lady saw what was happening and yelled, "If I miss my flight, it is her fault!"

Oh brother!

We finally left Greensboro at 9:10 am, and landed in Charlotte at 9:50, about two hours late. I listened in the back with each person's complaint and spoke to them with kindness and compassion.

As each passenger deplaned they told us we handled the situation with excellence!

When I looked at my pay for that flight, I was only paid for about forty five minutes. I started the day at 5:00 am, and I literally only got paid for the flight time.

This really is a mission right here in America.

Being kind, when it's difficult.

 “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
Mother Teresa


March 5 2011 Be Kind Mission-Day Ten

Awoke at 5:00 this morning in my husbands arms in Greenville NC. I had to make the 8:30 shuttle, but couldn't sleep.

Scheduling called me at 8:15 to tell me they had 'modified' my schedule.

I had Monday off, and my husband and I had plans. We are trying to relocate to Charlotte. I am now working Monday, and I am at the mercy of my job.

It's not like a regular job, you can't just say 'no.' You have to work the modification, if you are in the middle of a trip, and are on reserve. I am in the middle of a trip, and am on reserve.

So, off I go, into the wild blue yonder. I'll now be in Savannah Georgia Sunday night, without my husband, staying in a hotel not in his arms.

Was I kind to them? Yes, I sure was-even though it was hard.

"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle; I just wish He didn't trust me so much"
Mother Teresa

(we have heard this quote before, but did we know it was my heroin who said it first?!)


Be Kind Mission-Day Nine

Was on regular reserve today which means that they can call me within two hours for a flight. They called me at 6:45 am and told me to be at the gate for Greenville by 8:45 to work three flights today! Yippee!

I got to the gate eagerly and early. I boarded early, we shut the main cabin door early. Everyone was happy and feelin' the love when suddenly we stopped! WE just totally stopped!

Several minutes went by and the Captain made an announcement saying, "Sorry folks, from the flight deck, we can't take off until Air Traffic Control releases us because of weather."

I got the looks, and the rolling of the eyes from fifty passengers and 100 eyes all looking back at me!

One by one people called me to their seat. "What about  my connection?" "We can get you a speedy cart upon arrival." Next person, "There's no bad weather, it's clear in Greenville." "I apologize sir for the inconvenience, we have to wait for clearing from ATC before we can go-and from the feaderal weather patrol." (Or whatever they call themselves."

Another lady, "They told me they would bring my boarding passes onto the plane for Orlando before we took off, do you have them?" "No, maam, I apologize."

I made coffee and began serving coffee and water. All the while, I'm not getting paid!

Captain says, "Laura, can you make another announcement, we are still waiting on weather and air traffic control."

I made the announcement.

People drank coffee, and water and began laughing at the absurdity of it all. Yes, laughing! I couldn't believe it. They told me I was doing a great job being kind while the Pilot was in the flight deck! I laughed as I passed out water and coffee. People were so kind to me, as I was kind to them.

What a novel idea!

Kindness-it really does work!

One guy even had compassion on me when I told him that I was getting paid half my pay for the flight because it was only a 35 minute flight. He said, "You mean they won't pay you a full hour?" "We only get paid for fly time." I said.

Finally, the Captain called me and said we could take off. We were an hour delayed now because of weather!

Upon landing in Greenville all passengers as they left said I did a great job and they enjoyed the flight! Many missed their connections, but overall it went well.

Mother Teresa is right!

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

"Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength."

Mother Teresa


Be Kind Mission-Day Eight

March 3, 2011

When I fly I am happy, free and glad. When I don't fly, I'm snappy, silly and mad.

The alarm, (two of them just to be sure I get up,) went off at 4:00 am. I rolled out of bed, and made it to the shuttle by 4:30 am.

When I arrived to the Charlotte Airport Starbuck's was calling my name. By 5:05 am, they weren't open yet-was my watch wrong? They should be opened at 5:00! If I've gotta be at the airport on time, surely starbuck's does!

I got my coffee and went to the business center. I was already annoyed at the carts that drive around with those beeping noises. The day before those carts had given me a migraine-yep, after sitting in an airport for ten hours-you'd have a migraine also!

So, when I went into the business center to ask the guy if he could let me into this quiet room he said it was for paying customers only!! "But, I'm a flight attendant," I said! He said, "I don't care. You have to pay."

So much for special perks!

So, back to the noisy area I go. Although, I did find a quiet area-not so quiet. It was, though, quieter than where the noisy carts were. I began to listen to my cd's. Some guy walked up to me and said, "Could you put your headphones on, it's a little loud." I said, "Could you put yours on? I don't have any." He sighed heavily and put his headphones on.

I had to listen to loud, noisy carts, get bumped by starbuck's, and deal with his attitude all by 5:30 in the morning! Shew, it would be a long day.

It sure was! I didn't get called until 10:15 for a short one hour flight to Ohio. I was filled with glee, delight and joy when boarding all my passengers. I bet they wondered what I was up to, I was so chipper! Remember, I had been sitting at the airport for days, hours and it seemed so delightful flying in the air!

Ah, I'm learning so much about this being kind thing. I think I'm only kind when I want to be! I think that's most of us.

By the time 3:30 pm I was exhausted, and not from working hard, but from sitting hard! The hotels in Charlotte were booked because of some basketball game. I had to rent a car, to get to another hotel. When I went to rent a car, they denied me because I didn't have some ungodly amount of money in my checking account. So, I had to take a shuttle back to take a cab to get to the hotel. The cab driver was from Africa where my husband had done a missions trip!

Oh gosh, I was too tired to be kind! However, I knew I was supposed to be kind to this man. So, I began chatting with him. He said that if the hotel he was going to was only two miles away, he wouldn't take a cab, he would walk! That was when I asked him where he was from! He told me all about Africa, and asked me if my husband had been a missionary to Africa. I told him yes, and that my husband had loved the African people.

I tipped the cab driver 6 bucks-and I never tip that generously. However, I thought, "What would my heroin do?"

Maybe, just maybe, six bucks will make a difference in that man's life!? If not, it sure did make a difference in mine, giving it to him!

Ah, now, Lord, I wish I had more than enough funds to tip everyone in the service industry six bucks!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa~

Be Kind Mission Day Seven

March 2, 2011

My schedule for the day was to be on hot reserve-ready at the aiport-from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm. Ten hours of not getting paid until they call me to fly.

So, I sat in Charlotte at the airport, and waited. I prayed, I hoped. I called scheduling. I did all I could, and never got a call.

When I called them to check out for the day-it was definitely hard to be kind. However, I was kind to them, but needless to say I took it out on my husband when I called him-for no good reason..:)

I then had to pay for a hotel room for the night.

So, we'll see what happenes tomorrow. Another day of hot reserve. Can I be kind when I don't get my own way?

The be kind mission travels on!

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa


Be Kind Mission Day Six

Flight from Augusta, Georgia to Charlotte, North Carolina Monday February 28, 2011

When we landed in Augusta at the charming, smalltown, brick airport I thought, "How charming, how hospitable, how adorable." I was thrilled at the airport. We arrived at the lovely Double Tree Hotel and everyone was quite hospitable-we even got a warm cookie to greet us!

The next morning, at 4:30 am, I awoke and got ready for my day. We got to the Augusta airport, and walked to our aircraft. I got on board, walked up those stairs with my bags, and did my security check. I put all seat cushions down, crossed seat belts, and put up tray tables. All this time, not getting paid. (We only get paid for fly time...remember?)

When the gate agent asked me, "Are you ready to board.?" I said, "We need some ice, please." He said, "I'll bring you some ice, are you ready to board?" I said, 'When I get my ice.' We were already early, and I knew we'd be boarding early. We need ice not just for drinks, we need ice for emergency situations, and every gate agent brings me ice-without attitude.

Several minutes later, his manager comes out and brings me my ice. He then says to me, "Did you tell the gate agent you wouldn't board without ice?" I said, 'Yes, we need it for emergencies, and we can't leave without it." He said, "Don't ever tell a gate agent again you won't board without ice." I was completely aghast!

He handed me my ice rudely, abruptly and rather quite mean. Needless to say, I bit my tongue, but was not kind to him.

After he left, I found it a challenge to be nice when I boarded my passengers-not getting paid to even board them. My passengers would have had to wait for ice whether or not they were on the aircraft. The gate agents just want the passengers out of their site and to move onto the next plane.

It was just ice!

The pilot told me I handled the gate agent well, and to not let it ruin my day.

I started being kind to the passengers on the aircraft, and did get a customer compliment sent to  my manager.

I find it is a challenge to be kind, in the midst of adversity and rudeness.

Mother Teresa
"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it."