Well Greg, I'm not a flight attendant, but I've worked in the airline business and I definitley want to apply for a job as an F/A after finishing the university (yes, I hate my major, I rather do something interesting for a living). So I think I can give you an answer.
a. You basically do the same thing every day....day in and out...for your entire career (how many different ways are there to serve a coke?). Seniority is not what I'm talking about because you're still serving stuff out of the galley--just possibly out of the forward one.
The thing is that you're working with people, the metal tubes are the same but your job is to work with the people inside and that's always a challenge (and it's interesting too), there are always different situations that arise that make every single day at work unique. I never ever had a boring day at the airport, the only times things got boring was when flights were lightly loaded and there wasn't that many people to work with.
b. The pay...at any grade...basically sucks. Admit it. I don't know any f/a's that live well on what they make. And I know a few (and have lent money to a few as well!).
This depends on your prioroties, but since I live in a run down third world country (well not that much but...) AM
pay decent salaries (starting at about 20,000$ a year), even if they're not enough to make you rich, how much money do you need?? I can honestly tell you that I don't need that much, sure i'd love to have a million dollars in my bank, but if I don't then it's no prob... If you wanna have a fancy house and a fancy car, then of course, an F/A job is not for you, but if you don't care that much and draw satisfaction from other things in life, then it doesn't really matter that much.
c. It's not a great use of any intellectual capital (a highschool graduate can become a f/a). Do you have other interests/business/hobbies to keep you occupied.
No, but an intelligent person is much better on the job.. there are many situations that require quick thinking, gut insticts, lots of critical thinking, it's not all serving drinks and throwing peanuts. Some culture can't hurt during conversations.
d. There are plenty of jobs that require travel that do not have these limitiations. I fly for free too...cause I fly 300,000 miles each year. Just on the 'sitting' end.
True, but it's different when flying is a way of life, when it's part of you're every day and your life pretty much revolves around it, it's not just getting from point A to point B.
e. Is it as physically tiring as it looks? Or do you get used to it.
Having to be on your feet and walking around all over the place for 8 1/2 hours is indeed tiring as it looks, but there's no choice but getting used to it.
f. Are there time when you actually hate the travelling public? What do you do?
It's hard, sometimes some people just push you over the edge, but in my experience, the vast majority of people are a pleasure to work with, it really makes your day when you can help someone out with a problem, making their day a bit better at least, nothing but a heart felt "thank you" to make your day, you just gotta draw on that to help you out when you're getting nagged at.
There are many arguments for and against.... but it's just up to you to decide wether it is right for you, if one chooses to follow another more profitable career, good, if somebody chooses an F/A life, great too, it's simply a matter of personal choice.