As for how the job affected their mental health, on a scale of 1 to 12 (with 1 being "I'm cool" and 12 being "You probably had to slide this test under the door of my padded cell"), most ended up with a score of 6 or higher. In total, 17 percent of flight attendants showed signs of psychological distress. The biggest complaints were low job satisfaction and sexual harassment by passengers.
Then there's the being-away-from-home part. If flight attendants have families, they might as well leave them all in the woods and hope some kind wolves raise them, because they're going to be staying in hotels most of the time and spending about 80 to 90 hours a month in-flight. That's not counting the time they spend waiting in the airport and things like that.
"Each day I picture myself strangling all of you with this."
And, of course, if we're going to talk about flying, we have to mention terrorism. (It's a law. Listen carefully next time you see Starscream on The Transformers.) Nowadays, flight attendants have to be trained to spot suspicious activity and, in case shit gets real, they have to know self defense as well. Plus, if someone gets sick or hurt, they have to be fully trained in first aid and CPR. How much is a free flight to Barbados once a year worth to you?
Then there's the everyday stuff. Like everyone else who works in customer service, flight attendants have to put up with dickheads, some of whom will apparently do things like kick them if they don't bring another drink. Only it's worse, because airline customers are probably going to be some of the shittiest to deal with, since no one likes all the bullshit that goes along with flying.
"Sir, I'm gonna need to see your balls right now. Both of them, please."