Saturday, September 29, 2007

Up and Away

The woman in the blue suit trudged through the airport, her carry-on bag and briefcase wheeling along behind her. She couldn't help but wish that the rest of her life was gliding along as smoothly as those two wheeled cases. Her mind was filled with images of her weekend at home - the screaming matches, the slamming doors, the angry husband, the sullen children. That phone call with her mother and her recriminations.

"You should have known this would happen when you chose a career that would keep you away from your family all the time. You missed your daughter's thirteenth birthday, what did you expect, a medal? Of course they're angry. As well they should be. That damn job always comes before your family." She felt her shoulders sink a little lower. They just didn't understand. It wasn't fair asking her to choose between her family and her job. Of course she loved her family, more than life, but these were the demands of the job. She might just as well have tried to swing the moon out of its orbit as insist on being home that day. Yes, it was a tough job, a demanding job, but she had worked damn hard to get there. Clawed her way up as one of the only women in a man's world. She wondered bitterly if her coworkers' wives berated their husbands for missing a birthday, or if they just accepted it as part of the job and celebrated when they got home.

Her thoughts were heavy as she moved towards the gate, and the smile she gave to the flight crew as she boarded was lacking some of its usual luster. Nevermind. Later. It was time to push all thoughts of home out of her mind and focus on her job again.

She knew that in a few minutes her troubles would begin to fade into the background as the powerful jet engines hummed to life and lifted the 747 high into the sky.

She stowed her bags and sat down, then pulled out her paperwork. She turned to the men sitting around her, her smile stronger now, "Okay guys, time to get started. Everyone ready for the pre-flight checklist?"

"Yes Captain."


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16 comments:

grace said...

I like this one! I am always the only female among pool of men. In my family, I was the only girl until I was 14, in my Engineering class in college and now at work...

Back to the story: I read somewhere that the moment your personal life screws up is a sign your job is doing well. Scary.

gautami tripathy said...

Female empowerment is the need of the hour. They can and do excel in most fields.

Great post..:)

Kathy said...

That's great Robin!

Nancy said...

Well done ... I want to continue reading =)

Jo said...

I don't get her, though that doesn't surprise you at all does it LOL but I'm all for empowering females, I just wish it didn't always need to be on men's terms.

Karen Travels said...

My graduate professor was just talking this week about females taking over the world. It is true we are beginning to outnumber the men as post college grads.

He joked that now that he was retiring soon, he was fine with women taking care of him.

paisley said...

power has many faces,, and i don't know that i could ever find this definition in my repertoire,, but that has nothing to do with its validity...

excellent thought provoking post.....

Robin said...

That's the great thing about fiction, it gives you the chance to express things beyond your own experience. Personally, I left the high power on the road all the time career that I had as soon as I had kids, and now work part-time from home, but I certainly experienced enough of the rat race pre-children to be able to identify and empathize with both the benefits and the pitfalls.

Becca said...

Great story, and I love the hook at the end. It's unfortunate that power in one's career often means so many sacrifices for your family. I think that can be true for men as well as women.

Well done!

Patois said...

Excellent. I really liked it.

Herb Urban said...

Great post. My wife works in a predominately male industry. The stuff she has to put up with that her male counterparts don't is mind boggling in this day and age.

Hope said...

Balance is a Bitch that never sits still! I have to be two people to make everyone happy. I'm still trying to find the conjoined me that can do it all and be happy.

Thanks for the thought.

tumblewords said...

As always...good post with threads of truth ending in a twist at the end. Love it.

beautyredefined said...

Very well written, and not what I expected at the end. :) I'm a female physicist, and I can appreciate many of the same thoughts (though I don't have children).

Josie Two Shoes said...

Power brings with it so many difficult choices, Robin. I thought your story did an excellent job of speaking about that. I really liked it... very real!

Lains said...

Awesome story Robin!! And what working mom hasn't been there?