Glamorous but Laborious
Terry Morisson has been an airline stewardess for 6 years. She is 26, recently married. Read her story and say if you like this profession or not.
The majority the stewardesses are from small towns. It's supposed to be one of the nicest professions for a woman — if she can't be a model or in the movies. All the great benefits: flying around the world and meeting all those people.
When people ask you what you're doing and you say "stewardess", you're really proud, you think it's great. It's like a stepping'stone. The first two months I started flying I had already been to London, Paris and Rome. But after you started working, it's not as glamorous as you thought it was going to be.
We had to go to stew school for five weeks. We'd go through a whole week of make-up and poise. I didn't like this. They make you feel like you've never been out in public. At one time they wouldn't let us wear false eyelashes and false fingernails! Now it's required that you wear false eyelashes, and if you do not have the right length nails, you wear false nails. Everything is supposed to be becoming to the passenger.
You do meet a lot of movie stars and a lot of political people.
Stewardesses are impressed only by name people. But a normal millionaire that you don't know doesn't make an impression on you. The only thing that really thrills a stewardess are passengers like Kennedy or movie stars or some political celebrities.
I think our average age is 26. But our supervisors tell us what kind of make-up to wear, what kind of lipstick to wear, if our hair is not the right style for us, if we were not smiling enough. They even tell us how to act when you're on a pass. You're not supposed to walk off with a passenger, hand in hand. After you get out of terminal that's all yours.
They say you can spot a stewardess by the way she wears her make-up. At one time all had short hair and everybody had it cut in stew school exactly alike. At one time they told us we couldn't wear anything one inch above the knees.
It's different now.
Wigs used to be forbidden. Now it's the style. Now it's permissible for nice women to wear wigs, eyelashes and false fingernails.
The other day I had 55 minutes to serve 101 couch passengers, cocktail and full-meal service. You do it fast and terrible. You're very rude. You don't mean to be rude — you just don't have time to answer the questions. You smile and you just ignore them. You get three drink orders in a hurry. There's been many times when you miss the glass pouring, and you pour it in the man's lap. You just don't say "I'm sorry". You give him a cloth and you keep going. That's the bad part of the job.
Doctors tell stewardesses they're gonna get wrinkles all over their faces because they smile with their mouths and their eyes.