is an intimate portrait of the author’s professional life over a period of nearly four decades. It describes from an insider’s perspective the thrill of being in one of the most exciting career fields for women in the 1960s and 1970’s – an airline stewardess. It captures in a unique way the fun and glamour of a way of life, which the author has dubbed “the wave” -- a wave of freedom and excitement that carried those lucky enough to be chosen for this profession forward through the years.
But times change, and the author poignantly chronicles the toll of time as business realities forced changes in the airline industry and transitioned the job from “what it was” to “what it is” today. She further captures the national tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 and details the impact that terrible day had on the industry most directly affected by the events. She offers a deeply moving personal tribute to the flight crew heroes on those tragic United and American flights.
The years following 9-11-01 saw crisis after crisis in the airline industry, which eventually resulted in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for United Air Lines, one of the world’s largest commercial airlines. The difficulties brought on by the changing business times are chronicled in the lives and attitudes of those who labored in an industry fighting for survival.
The author dissects her own physical and emotional agony over the course of the next two years that culminated in a premature retirement from the airline -- an action driven by a combination of physical ailments, a deteriorating work environment, an adversarial relationship between labor and management, and a concerted effort by the leadership of the bankrupt airline to drive out senior employees to achieve cost savings. She chronicles in a very personal way, the process she went through in coming to grips with this agonizing decision regarding the future and how she dealt with the significant life transition she subsequently endured.
The book is written as a series of intimate personal thoughts and short stories, which span nearly 40 years. Readers will find themselves experiencing a range of emotions as they move through the episodes and thoughts in this book. At times, they will be amused, while at others, they will be deeply moved.
The book concludes with a series of perspectives on the current business environment and offers insights for corporate management about how front line workers perceive their lives, their jobs, and the choices their management made for them -- regrettable choices that airline workers are paying for even today. It also offers suggestions to management on how things need to be improved for the future.
While this book is written about the airline industry, it captures the emotional stress and frustration of many American workers in the depressed economy that followed the events of September 2001. Her insights will resonate with readers in a variety of professional fields.