Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Tales of Joy, tales of woe

on May 23, 2012

I was surprised to see Joy in her uniform on Friday morning, considering she’d ‘informed’ us the week before that she would take every Friday off. She made my tea and breakfast and got on with her work. There wasn’t very much for her to do as we were out for lunch, and I was the only one home for dinner. Just as well as she had a long day on Saturday.

We left home at 7am on Saturday morning, got to the airport by 7.20 and went to the check-in counter. Everything was going fine – the luggage was the correct weight, the flight was on time – and then the woman checking us in called for her luggage to come back. Just as it was going down the conveyor belt. I asked her what the problem was. She said the flight was over-booked and we’d have to go to a different counter to check-in. Surely if a flight is over-booked the people who are at the airport first should get on the flight?

We went to the specified check-in counter where a Philippino man was telling everyone that the flight was over-booked and they’d have to wait until 8.30 to find out whether they could travel. Joy went to talk to him. When she came back I asked her what he’d said. ‘He said if I don’t go today I can go on the later flight or tomorrow.’ There was no way she was coming back home with us.  

‘Are you mad?’ I asked her (already knowing the answer). ‘Tell him your father is sick and you have to go on this flight.’

That seemed to get her moving so she went back to talk to him and he told her she would ‘definitely be on the flight’. I had a feeling he said that to everyone who asked though. We sat down and waited. Joy apologised for being ‘grumpy’. I told her we were used to it. She said that’s why she goes to church, because she used to be worse before. Good God, I can’t even imagine. She also said that she preferred to work in a house rather than in a flat because in a flat you have to keep pressing for the lift when you want to go up or down. Mental. 

Joy went to talk to some other passengers who were also waiting to see whether they would get on the flight.

‘Mum, can you imagine Dad’s face when he wakes up and sees Joy still at home?’ I asked her. We both burst out laughing. We knew she had to go on that flight or she wouldn’t survive until the next one.

Thankfully, the man didn’t lie to her. He sent home a family of four people in the queue before her, but gave her a boarding pass and took her luggage. Phew.

We walked her to passport control. As she hugged us goodbye, she told my mum that if we didn’t find someone else she could come back. Still crazy, then.

‘Good luck, Joy,’ I told her. She was really going to need it. And good luck to the person sitting next to you on the flight, I thought to myself.

She was only with us for 5 months but she is someone we will never forget. And for all the wrong reasons!

Goodbye, Joy. Hello, happiness!

To read more about Joy, click here.


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