Women on Top: Rachael Tally
"Women on Top" is an interview series with various women that are living life at the top—literally and/or figuratively—in their chosen field. Remember, it's not always about having the highest position; it's about getting the most out of the position you are in.
It's not about how much you make or where you make it. Life as a twenty-something is a time to grow, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and learn what makes you truly happy. Sometimes that means a career in finance on Wall Street, but more likely it's pursuing your passion, despite the size of the paycheck. At ANNA, we think living your best life means eating that cookie, or two, not feeling even a little bad about it, and following your heart. In this series, we talk to some of our favorite women who make this whole adulthood thing look easy.
What is your job?
When you were 10, what did you think you would grow up to be?
When I was 10, I am almost positive I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I changed my mind almost every day though, so I can remember wanting to be a marine vet, a pediatrician, or an environmental something or other.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
There are so many rewarding aspects of my job. I couldn’t name just one. I absolutely love hearing all these people’s stories. Think about it: when people fly somewhere they have plans or are returning from something big. I get to meet hundreds of people every day, and everyone’s story is so different from mine. I also love being able to make their lives a little bit easier, whether that means they get more pretzels or entertaining a three-year-old child on a four-hour flight.
The most difficult?
The most difficult part of the job is having people underestimate you. Flight attendants’ primary concern is safety, so when there are people breaking certain rules, we have to enforce them. The rules (as ridiculous as they seem to the average passenger) are really there for everyone’s safety. They are federal laws, and they have equal consequences if they are broken. As far as others underestimating my colleagues for a flying waiter/waitress, people are sadly mistaken. The people I get to work with on a daily basis have military backgrounds, multiple college degrees, Master’s degrees, and are mothers or fathers. It is ridiculous the amount of talent I am surrounded by.
What makes you excited to go to work every day?
The people. Getting to work with all these amazing crews (flight attendants and pilots) every rotation is awesome. The uncertainty is always exciting to me. Even when my trip turns out exactly as planned, the cities I get to see every day (the food I get to eat) are crazy. I actually forget where I am in the morning sometimes. For a person that doesn’t mind change, I even love a mid-rotation re-route.
What's a typical work day for you look like?
A typical day for me means ‘commuting’ to work from my home in Birmingham, AL. I always come in a few hours early to my base, leaving me time to either meet up with friends or find an uninhabited area of the airport to read. When it is time for the duty period to start, you meet your new best friends for the next 3/4/5 days. Your ‘crew’ then heads to the plane and performs ‘safety-related duties’ before the passengers are allowed to board. Then the running with the bulls commences. Boarding is the most stressful part of the day for me at least (which sounds ridiculous but you would be surprised). After take-off life slows down a little bit. This is when you can interact with passengers while offering them snacks. This whole process can happen 1-4 times a day. Then you get to the best part: the layover. I am a person that likes to make the most of the layover, even if that means taking an Uber to Niagara Falls alone or getting lost in Boston for three hours. Then it is time for an adequate amount of rest before you repeat it all over again. I try to keep a list of what locals tell me to do in these cities, but I seriously always need more suggestions. However, I would like to mention that I have never really had a typical work day. I have the best career in the whole world, and I can honestly say that I am happy.
Follow Rachael on Instagram @tallyho92!
FEATURE IMAGE VIA SPLITSHIRE