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Director / CrewI’m Louis Theroux, here to discuss My Scientology Movie. AMA!

Mar 7th 2017 by Louis-Theroux • 47 Questions • 1403 Points

Using a throwaway for obvious reasons...I worked professionally as a flight attendant for a major airline and travelled all around the world. I've got plenty of stories to share so ask away!

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/tuS3b

Q:

Hi Louis! Couple questions;

How much do you put on a character? In what ways did you find your ideas/subjects and how did you cement your style?

-from a couple of doc "attempters"

A:

What happens if you accidentally damage the merchandise? You return for new stuff or notify the customer? You have to pay for damaged goods?


Q:

That sounds like a cop-out answer, is there any statistical proof to what you say and that refugees are actually not to blame?

A:

What was protocol when your team would find passengers attempting to uhhh... join the club at an altitude of 5,280 ft?


Q:

Great question. I think I was more conscious of being "in character" in some of my earlier work back in the Weird Weekends days. I believe we all play roles in life and especially at work. Clearly when I am making documentaries I am in the role of a reporter so I am not being the "me" you would see at home. In terms of ideas and subjects, it was always just stuff I found interesting, usually because they embody some deep areas of emotional angst or aspects of life that go the heart of who we are as people. Usually in a moral sense.

A:

It happens quite often actually, and we don't need to pay what was damaged. Sometimes the packers will put 20 pounds worth of items in a brown bag and it will just break. When this happens, I call the customer and let them know that the bag is broken but the items are sill in good conditions, if I notice that an item has been damaged I will tell the customer and return it to the warehouse, if it's just the box of the item that broke, most often the customer won't care, but if they do, we just issue a refund. I also tell them that if the item is damaged because the box is closed and I can't open it, to call support and tell them, but before they call support, I already told them so they know whats going on.


Q:

Here's a government webpage that discusses the issue in-depth and even provides sources: http://www.government.se/articles/2017/02/facts-about-migration-and-crime-in-sweden/

A:

We would literally just have to tell them to stop. We'd knock on the door. There were people trying to hook up during flights in their seats too. Basically, you find the flight attendant most comfortable walking by and telling them to stop.


Q:

Are you going to say anything about the 3 documentaries coming out this year? :)

A:

I'm actually a TOC agent that you or the customer would talk to when something like this happens. I've noticed that drivers usually seem frustrated at having to call us and I was wondering why that is


Q:

I think it's sad the government had to create this webpage, but am really glad they did. Just gave it a quick read, and found it very informative. I'm sure I'll link to it in plenty of discussions like this.

A:

Did you get to use the slide escape ever?

How awesome was it?


Q:

Three docs about crime in America. Murder in Milwaukee; sex trafficking in Houston; and opioid addiction.

A:

Man, with all due respect, YOU GUYS ARE THE WORST! Literally, you guys are just a middle man that work from home and issue tickets to dispatch between with us delivery drivers and Amazon Dispatch. If Amazon would add a feature to our apps to contact dispatch and leave notes, it would make our lives WAAAYYY easier. I am not saying you exactly, but 99% of the time whatever we say or do even though it's only on-road support, it's out of your reach except trying to contact the customer, you guys do have a better way or more numbers to call from to reach the customer, but besides that the same exact answer is: I am doing the notes to send to the station.

And telling us if it's an attended delivery and we still have to do other deliveries to wait for the customer or re-attempt delivery is something that we don't have the time to do. The other day I contacted support, the agent told me to NOT mark the packages as undeliverable and to continue my route and re-attempt, I marked it undeliverable regardless. It counts towards me if I make that delivery late.


Q:

I'm glad you found it informative.

A:

I never used the slide but we had to during training. You get electrically shocked every time you do it. Static shock. Not electric shock. You know when you touch someone and it goes DING. That was it.


Q:

Hi Louis. Love your documentaries. Have you ever kept in contact with anyone you met?

A:

How does one get into this?

Do you think this is more or less lucrative that Uber driving?


Q:

Are you employed by the government or a private agency? What does a typical work day look like for you?

A:

I can't help but hear Archer's voice when I read this question


Q:

Lots. But not all. Too many.

A:

Comparing it to Uber, it depends. I average between $23-27 an hour, the good this that it's guaranteed pay, even if you don't get a route, you still get paid.


Q:

Private agency, although the government are shutting us down so it won't really matter soon.

Work varies greatly from day to day. Usually my job is simply to be there in case anyone needs help with something or just wants to hang out. I guess you could say I'm whatever they need me to be. I'm a friend, a parent, a teacher, a therapist, etc. Some days I barely do anything while others I'm working so hard I almost collapse.

But in general, I come in, read up on what I've missed since last I was there, then check if there are any tasks that need doing, e.g. remind people about appointments, book meetings, purchase medicine. After that's all done, I spend the day hanging out with people and then document any meaningful interactions I've had. If someone's been showing improvement with behavioural issues, I write it down. If someone's been feeling down, I write it down. If someone's been skipping class, I write it down. It's extremely important that everyone on the staff is aware of what is happening in everyone's life so we can be as efficient as possible.

There always needs to be at least one person at the accommodation at all times, so some days I'll be spending the night there. We have a bed in the office and facilities for any daily needs like hygiene or food.

A:

OH! I do have another one....

I went with another flight attendant on her layover. We go to Hawaii, just Waikiki. I stay out with this one guy and we hook up in the ocean while some guy doing the sandcombing with the electric thing is watching us the whole time.

I try to get back to my room but there's two Sheraton hotels and he dropped me off wasted at the wrong one. $2 fireball shots so I'm out of my mind.

After being in the ocean, sandy, make up running, dress is wet. I get dropped off at the wrong hotel, go to my room and knock on the door. Some asian guy answers and he's like "uhhhhh who are you?".

Ends up with me walking around Waikiki at 4am, wasted. At one point I had to pee so I went on these steps, fanned out my dress and started walking around and peeing.

Afterwards, I thought some guy started following me so I popped into all these places and this guy is going into all of them after me. So I went to the help desk at one hotel because I have no idea what's going on. Walking around sandy, wet, and wasted...with some guy following.

They helped me out and got me a cab to get me home. When I woke up the next morning, I still had sand on my face and it was all over my bed so that hotel desk must have been like "what HAPPENED to this girl?".

I don't know how I walked around that much and still had all this sand on me.

On the flight back, there were no empty seats so I had to sit in the flight attendant jump seat, which is the one you fold down and sit against the wall in the back or front of the plane. I was so out of it though that I just curled up on the floor in the galley and slept for 4 out of the 6 hours of the flight probably with sand still in my hair.

I did see a sea turtle during that trip. So that was a highlight. All around a win.


Q:

Hey Louis, how do you manage to keep your cool around some of the people featured in your documentaries, for instance The West Boro Baptist Church members or the Nazis in Louis and The Nazis? Have there been times where you've blown up or nearly blown up at these kinds of people or have you always managed to stay calm?

A:

How much of that is going to gas, insurance, etc?


Q:

Is that 1% statistic because immigrants make up less than 1% of the population or is it because police stopped going into migrant controlled ghettos?

A:

Why would you knock on the door to your own room?


Q:

I get asked this probably more than any other question! It doesn't take much effort to keep my cool. It takes more effort sometimes to lose my cool - to raise the pressure in interviews. But I do my best. I guess I'm not a confrontational guy.

A:

In my case, the car I drive, is not expensive, cheap to maintain and gives me between 25-29 mpg. I pay $330 every 6 months for insurance and separate around 20% of daily pay towards car maintenance, tires, etc.


Q:

Police have not stopped going into any neighbourhoods, and the proportion of undocumented people in Sweden compared to the proportion of dispatches that have been made against them does not imply a disproportionate amount of crime on their part.

A:

Because I was sharing it with the other flight attendant.


Q:

What is your opinion on the no context louis twitter/facebook accounts?

A:

At what point do you know if we did or did not tip you? What % are no tips?


Q:

I know there has been a lot of controversy about if the people migrating are actual war refugees or just people from impoverished countries in the area taking advantage of the situation.

How does Sweden verify, if the person in question says he lost every piece of ID?

A:

And the other flight attendant was actually an Asian guy. Whole thing makes sense.


Q:

Very funny. I've only seen the Twitter one. Didn't know about he fb one!

A:

We can only see the total amount paid (hourly pay = tip). If the delivery was a one-hour delivery from our warehouse in Springfield, VA. to District Heights, MD. and you were the only stop in that delivery block, then we know who didn't tip. If it's a route with several stops, we don't know who left tips.

I'd say 65% out of 100% of customers do leave tips.


Q:

The process looks something like this:

The refugee in question applies for permanent residence in Sweden. He claims he's from country X and that life there is so dangerous he can't possibly go back. He is then questioned on the details of his story. What village is he from, what specifically was dangerous about his situation, what family members does he have that are still in the country, are they alive or dead, etc. etc.

The department of migration now does two things: One, it does research to see if his statements check out. Has he described the village accurately, is it under threat, etc. Two, it cross-examines his answers at a later date to check for inconsistencies.

If the person has not given strong enough information to support his position, his application is denied. I have seen many examples of this. For example, one person I've worked with was denied asylum because he couldn't name the province his village was in. Another was denied because he didn't know the names of the neighbouring cities. They are very, very thorough.

A:

I joined another FA on her trip because it was a nice layover, I wasn't working, so shared her room. I went to the wrong room which was the Asian mans before finally finding my way back to ours


Q:

After filming how strong was your friendship with Jimmy Saville? Do you look back and see hints of his past?

A:

Typically, things like making you wear a uniform would violate independent contractor status. Has there been anything like that that you are expected to do?


Q:

Greetings! How did you get started with helping refugees? I'm about to graduate from college and would like to get into a similar field. Where's the best place to start?

Side Note: I'm American and trump is cutting funding for refugee assistance which will likely make it more difficult to help.

A:

What was the craziest thing you've witnessed on the job?


Q:

Oh man. It was complicated. Not really a friendship. But friendliness for sure. You need to watch the follow up doc I made "Savile".

A:

Amazon doesn't give us a dress code, actually they tell us that we can wear whatever we want. There's people that do it in suit and tie and woman who wear REALLY shirt skirts and flip flops in summer.


Q:

I just emailed the boss of the accomodation, got invited to an interview and was hired on the spot.

I don't know how it is in America, but in Sweden this industry is painfully understaffed. Most responsible adults could probably get a job here. I also know for a fact that several of the higher-up positions are filled by people who started on the "ground floor", so it's not a dead-end job.

A:

Craziest thing I've witnessed is...it was an actual mechanical error where there was a decompression. So that's crazy in terms of actual flying.

We lost air pressure and they had to drop the plane to normal level which is under ten thousand feet. The whole cabin started fogging up because when you lose the pressure it suddenly goes from hot to cold. Luckily the junior pilot knew what she was doing and was able to level out the plane :-)

With people...there was only this one family on a flight and they were the worst family you could ever imagine. While we were taking off, one of the girls decides to tell me she's terrified of flying. As soon as we take off, that's when she decides to get up and walk to the bathroom. So they're switching seats this old time and sitting on each others laps. Just the weirdest family.

They decided that putting napkins in cups would help with ears popping and were just sitting there, the whole family with cups on their ears...and they kept asking me when they were going to be able to see the Hollywood sign. That was the biggest thing where it felt like too much.


Q:

What was your read on Mark Rathbun? After seeing My Scientology movie I was left struck by both his proud willingness to brag about how "powerful" he was within the world of Scientology, whilst simultaneously not wanting to face up to the damage he caused whilst doing so.

It left me wondering how much his word could be trusted, both in terms of his power within Scientology and his complicity in their abuses. Your film certainly coloured my attitude to his role in the Going Clear documentary too.

A:

Can you run side businesses or promotions as an independent contractor? (If you're wearing a suit/tie, for example, could you also advertise for a local tailor while performing deliveries?)


Q:

How would you describe Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 3 words?

A:

Wow.. the decompression thing sounds nuts! At least all was well in the end

Lol these tourists 😂


Q:

Marty (aka Mark) is a complicated dude but I think he is being truthful when he describes himself at being at the top of the tree in Scientology. One of the things I enjoy in the movie is the journey we go on together and the way he wasn't shy about calling BS on me - his "emotional availability".

A:

I guess you could, but if Amazon finds out, or a customer complains, it can get you in trouble. I'd rather just advice to do the route.


Q:

You're welcome, Manchester

A:

Alright signing off for now but will check back later and answer questions...


Q:

Are there any topics you'd like to revisit like you did with porn and the westboro baptist church?

A:

I'm not certain, but I think it would be Amazon that would be in trouble if they have any restrictions or penalties on freedoms allowed for independent contractors. They couldn't for example prevent you from putting a large wraparound advertisement on your own delivery vehicle (like say "BUY BOB'S TACOS") for a different service, right?


Q:

Well lets start about that ceertain someone and his statements.

Is there a fear level in certain swedish suburbs that was not there before the latest wave of immigration (lastv 10 year)from war torn countries ?

A:

Is it true that planes exist?


Q:

Yes but I have to be careful not to get too caught up in my old stories. I'm curious about the ones involving children. Would love to follow up with Lamb and Lynx from my show on neo-Nazis in California.

A:

I think it's more of ethical stuff.

I've been in Lyft rides where the drivers try to sell me whatever they have a side-gig and it gets a little uncomfortable.


Q:

I suppose you could say that. I myself lived in one of the more, shall we say, "unstable" suburbs in Stockholm about two years ago, and there were times where you would definitely feel unsafe. But whether or not you can pin that on immigration is trickier. For instance, in the last few years we have had a complete restructuring of the police force in Sweden, which is generally considered to have made it less effective. There's also an argument to be made that the actual criminal element of these suburbs is made up of a very small amount of people, and that the majority of residents are law-abiding citizens. And of course, there's no such thing as no-go zones in Sweden.

There are other arguments, like how suburbs have become very segregated or how our school system doing worse, but discussing those might just be a bit overkill.

A:

Planes exist. What do you mean?? I don't understand. EXIST?? Planes do exist. Yeah.


Q:

What is the most scariest moment you've had while filming a documentary?

A:

that brings up the idea of using your delivery vehicle simultaneously for lyft and amazon. doable?


Q:

There are other arguments, like how suburbs have become very segregated or how our school system doing worse, but discussing those might just be a bit overkill.

Those two issues have political causes, and are not related to immigrants. But since immigrants often start at the bottom of the ladder, they usually are the ones who suffer the negative consequences the most.

A:

I have a fear of flying, especially during take off. What are some things I should know before my flight that'll comfort me?


Q:

Auditioning for a Norwegian cruiseliner!

A:

There's a dude in our warehouse that does Amazon Restaurants deliveries in Northern Virginia while also doing Uber Eats at the same time. Multi-tasking at it's finest.


Q:

Yes, that was what I was trying to get at. Sorry if I was being unclear. I do not consider these to be arguments against immigration.

A:

Xanax.


Q:

Hey Louis! How do you feel about the 'personality cult' that seems to have formed around you in recent years (especially in the UK)? Do you find the university societies and cushions with your face on flattering or weird?

A:

Do they explain why drivers can't see the delivery instructions? I live in a gated complex and about half of the drivers have to call, and others somehow figure out the gate code. Typical explanation is that they cant read delivery instructions until the delivery has been made. That makes no sense to me, but I'm sure they have a reason. Is it because they don't want drivers reading their phones while driving?


Q:

On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?

A:

I have a fear of flying, especially during take off. What are some things I should know before my flight that'll comfort me?


Q:

I like it.

A:

It happens, the app does have some glitches where sometimes we can't see the notes left until we are actually in the delivery place or at least a quarter mile away from the delivery stop. We have made several feedback notes on that issue and we keep getting the same canned answers over and over again, so I guess that they are actually fixing that issue.

You could, as a last resort, write on the delivery address of Prime Now Orders the gate code before the street address. That way you are guaranteed that we will see the code before the address.


Q:

There are films I can just put on and watch at any time, and there are films I like to dedicate an entire day to just watch and soak in. Of the former, my favorites are probably Groundhog Day or Master & Commander. Of the latter, anything by Takeshi Kitano or Werner Herzog. Sonatine is probably number one.

A:

Honestly though, we're really well trained. We go through 6-7 weeks of just evacuation training. Every kind of emergency you can think of. We're so well trained.


Q:

What surprised you most about Scientology while filming?

A:

Do you make enough if i only tip $1 or $2? I have struggling college student friend that wants to ask.


Q:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODw7o34Vdbk&

Is it normal for journalists to need police to escort them out of immigrant neighbourhoods out of fear for their safety ?

A:

We've all encountered "restaurant secret menu" type posts on social media that usually turn out to be 90% junk or isolated to one specific location of a chain or whatever. I've seen a few for airlines as well, but don't know how much of that is believable either.

That being said, what would you say are five tips for travelers that are legit and many people don't know to do, but would make their flight more enjoyable or more memorable?


Q:

The level of vitriol directed at ex-members, and at Marty Rathbun in particular. When you see it yourself, the nastiness is unreal. In the name of religion!

A:

We make a minimum guaranteed. If the driver is using a 2007 Prius then he's making good money, but if the driver is using a BMW X5 to deliver packages, well maybe he might need the tip. Tip as much or as little as you feel like. The Amazon app will tell you the recommended amount depending on what you are ordering. If you are only ordering $20 worth of stuff I know it doesn't make sense to leave a $5.00 tip. So yeah you could leave $2. I also might add, we can't see who left tips or not.


Q:

Similar things have happened, yes, and it is a very disturbing development. There have also been reports of firetrucks and ambulances being pelted with rocks. These are real social issues and they need to be dealt with.

The problem is that these are social issues that aren't necessarily relevant to a discussion on immigration. Like I mentioned in an earlier comment, crime is usually traced to socio-economic situations and not culture or country of origin, and there have been many political issues in Sweden independent of immigration.

These issues are not swept under the rug or ignored in Swedish media, they are simply contextualized in a different manner to how the FOX news report did.

A:
  1. Bring the flight attendants chocolate when you get on the plane, especially if it's a long flight. In Chicago, bring them popcorn. That always goes a long way. They'll remember you and you'll be taken care of for sure.

  2. DON'T try to go to the restroom when there's turbulence. There were so many guys that would end up peeing on themselves because they thought they could handle the turbulence and then they'd come out with pee on their pants.

  3. Don't eat the food. It's just not good for you.

  4. Bring your own little mini bottles of alcohol, it's allowed. Just don't let the flight attendants know.

  5. Again...use the bathroom before you get on the fucking plane. I don't know why people don't do it. They'll come on and the first thing they have to do is use the restroom. You know that's the worst possible area to use a bathroom.

Also...don't take your shoes off and walk bare foot....and know that people change diapers on the tray tables.


Q:

I heard a podcast with you and Richard Herring that was an incredibly tense listen. Was that all for show or was there actually a tension between you two after he used the word 'pathetic'? And, if so, what is it about him that managed to get under your skin after the church of Scientology tried and failed.

https://m.soundcloud.com/britishcomedyguide/richard-herring-lst-podcast-69-louis-theroux

Edit: Added link

A:

I know that your example was to highlight the fact that a Prius will be achieving better gas mileage than an X5, but you literally could not have chosen a more backwards example to portray someone who is struggling and "might need the tip."


Q:

Are you aware that an American media TV channel "Fox News" is creating make believe Swedish experts to talk about how terrible and dangerous Sweden has become? How do you feel about these "experts"?

A:

people change diapers on the tray tables.

Really? I understand that when you have a child you need to get things done, but that's similar, in my mind, to changing a diaper on a table at a restaurant- seems disrespectful.


Q:

Ha ha! No tension! I think we were joking around!

A:

A Hummer could beat the X5.

Edit: And believe it or not, people do deliver in Suburbans, Ridgelines, Dodge Durango R/T, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger Hemi, BMW 5 series and 3 series, Mercedes E350 and other high end/gas guzzler cars.


Q:

I think I laughed for about five minutes straight when I saw that they had been interviewing "Nils Bildt".

A:

Yeah! It's awful! And then they try to hand it us while we're giving out drinks. We hate when people do it.


Q:

Can you recommend some of your favourite documentaries/documentary subjects to anyone that wants to get kickstarted on a documentary marathon?

A:

I'm English, so my view on tipping is different to Americans.

When placing an order the app adds a recommend tip that would have to be manually removed.

If you're a great driver, on time, friendly, and helpful then you deserve a tip. However if you're late, missing items, generally unhelpful then you don't. However the app asks me to provide a tip before I have received the service.

Is this just a local custom difference?

I'd prefer that the delivered message asks me to rate and tip the driver.


Q:

Hello, who do you think would win in a fight between James Franco and Dave Franco?

A:

Not trying to be that guy or be a fun sucker here, just want to present the facts. Number 4 is technically true the way you wrote it, anyone can bring alcohol onboard the A/C, but drinking their own alcohol per the FAR's (Federal Aviation Regulations) is illegal.

14CFR § 121.575 Alcoholic beverages. (a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him. (Source: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=9d44397fe14f0fe4366f769cf9d2956c&r=SECTION&n=14y3.0.1.1.7.20.3.31)

Is the FA going to get a FAM or have the police meet the A/C because your drinking your mini, of course not (reportable for failure to comply however). But it is illegal.


Q:

Dude, that was answered in an earlier post. Scroll up.

A:

In the U.S., you have up to 24 hours after the Prime Now order was received to change the tip. It's probably the same over in the U.K.


Q:

In a fistfight I don't know, but in a bathingsuit contest it'd be Dave hands down.

A:

If you bring your own champagne or wine from Duty Free, which people do when they are celebrating sometimes, we are allowed to serve it to you. I had seen people with their own minis and the most we ever did is tell them to stop or try to take them from them.


Q:

Is it safe to assume they are reading this AMA?

A:

Since you're traveling a lot just wondering what you like to listen to? Music, podcasts?


Q:

What is the best you've seen from a refugee case (as in good people who need help) and what is the worst (as in people that you question if they should even be their)?

A:

im sorry but on a 36 hour flight im taking my shoes off


Q:

yes.

A:

I have SiriusXM, I listen to mostly music and talk shows including news. (Hits1, Hip Hop Nation, Alt-Nation, 90's on 9, Pop2k, CNN News, Fox News and Comedy Channel)


Q:

Most people from Syria have a good case for staying, and most do get to stay. I've met many kind people, but the ones I'd consider "best" are the ones I know will handle life in Sweden well. The ones who take their education seriously, quickly learn the language and are responsible and mature.

The "worst" is I suppose the people who come from countries that just don't get you asylum. Albania is the one I've seen most often. Only 2% of applications from Albania get approved, meaning that resources spent on those cases would be better spent on cases that will actually grant asylum. Still, they are here for a reason and I would never go so far as to say they're leeching off the system, but they do contribute to overburdening the system.

A:

Take your shoes off, I just wouldn't walk to the restroom without them! The floors are the dirtiest!

I've had a very elderly lady with her care taken getting sick on herself, I literally thought she was dying, but her care taker said she was ok, and on the floor. We just put this powder over the mess then they vacuumed it between flights.

Babies get sick, grown men pee on themselves and the floor, and I've never seen anything but a vacuum used on those floors.


Q:

How often do you find that your views are challenged or changed during the making of your documentaries? Do you have any notable experiences of it that you are willing to share?

A:

Nice, who have you been listening to as of late?


Q:

So what happened last night in Sweden?

But on a more serious note, what has been the most surprising thing you've had to deal with working with the refugees? And what's been your biggest difficulty?

A:

Flying through Chicago this month. What popcorn from where?


Q:

I felt more open to the idea of "canned hunts" for trophy animals after I did the show. It's not my cup of tea but compared with industrial farming it's nothing like as bad and probably helps keep stocks of animals healthy.

A:

Honestly, I got the new song from Alessia Cara and Zedd - Stay on repeat in my head. It doesn't go away.


Q:

I got black-out drunk and mained Hanzo all night long.

It was not my proudest moment.

As for your serious question, I think the most surprising thing has probably been just how normal you realize that these people are once the circumstances of their being here stop being as relevant to your interactions with them. Especially the minors. Before they are refugees, before they are Hazara or Syrian or Ethiopian, before they are Muslim or Christian, they are just kids. I double as a substitute teacher, and I see the exact same behaviours in school as I see in the accommodation. They have rebellious phases, they get depressed, they fall in love, they discover new hobbies and interests. They very quickly stop being refugees and start being simply people.

The most difficult thing I've had to deal with is kids who regress because their applications are rejected. Once you know you're not going to stay in the country much longer, you stop caring about anything. I've seen people lock themselves in their rooms for days on end, neglect school and work and friends, and sometimes even become suicidal. What's worse is that there is very little we can do to help them. We can't tell them everything will be alright and that they should hold out hope, because it won't. They've been rejected. It's over.

A:

Garrett's Popcorn Chicago Mix. It's at the airport. It's by the dinosaur.


Q:

Have you had time to reflect on the relationship you had with Jimmy Saville and regret it? Love your work and everything you do!!!

A:

I work for Frito lay in Lorton just down the street and it's killing me. I'll PM you if I apply in case there is a referral bonus in it for you


Q:

Was I in Sweden last night?

And that's incredibly humanizing to read. It's easy to just sort of quantize them under a title and stop thinking of the normal life issues they deal with like the rest of us do, only the issue that brought them there.

And what percentage of the refugees do get to stay? What do you do to attempt to ease the transition once they find out they had been rejected?

A:

It's by the dinosaur.

I hope that's a unit of measure. I would very much like to order "one dinosaur of popcorn."


Q:

Yes. A lot. Making the follow-up doc last year was easily the most stressful thing I've ever done.

A:

There's no referral bonus for us drivers, but thanks tho.


Q:

I don't have the specific numbers, but if you're from Syria or Eritrea, you're basically guaranteed to get to stay. The threat of living anywhere in those countries is so real that there's no question you need asylum.

Other countries aren't as lucky. A lot of Somalians get rejected because their claims are usually hard to substantiate. "Al Shabab threatened my farm" they could say, but the Department of Migration might decide that said farm is too far away from common Al Shabab areas of operation to be a feasible target for them, and so you're sent back. Afghans also struggle, because if they can't prove that they're from an area that's especially dangerous, the DoM has to assume that the threat-level they face isn't high enough to justify asylum and send them back.

Once someone has been rejected we try to do everything we can to stop them from becoming self-destructive or passive. We encourage them to keep going to school, keep seeing friends, keep participating in activities arranged by us. Sometimes that simply doesn't work, however, and we can't do much beside watching them slowly wittle away until finally they're sent off.

A:

Haha. There are replica dinosaur bones in terminal 1, concourse B at ORD


Q:

Thank you so much for doing this. Massive fan.

Couple of questions, if I may.

1) What do you do to relax?

and 2) What has been your scariest moment when making your documentaries?

A:

How accurate is this video, in comparison to your job?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu2SG9XExFw


Q:

What are your thoughts on the murder of Alexandra Mezher?

A:

Do you remember your least favorite pilot/pilots to fly with? What'd they do to gain the title?


Q:

1) cook 2) for physical safety, the skinhead music festival caused me some anxiety

A:

Spot on! Including using the container as a ramp to flip cars over while driving on the other side of the freeway.


Q:

It was an absolute tragedy, and she shouldn't have had to be in that situation alone. I consider it a failure on the part of the people she worked on that her safety wasn't adequately considered. Any experienced worker knows when a situation requires extra hands, and this one definitely did.

Do I worry that the same could happen to me? No.

A:

There were always ones that would be inappropriate. One carried extra pantyhose with him in case we 'got a hole in ours'. That's creepy. That's weird, right? That's not nice, it's weird.

There was one pilot who had a tendency to brag at bars about how much he made but would never buy a round at the bar. We all would, but he wouldn't.

There was one I was in love with. He had all of these death metal band stickers on his crew bag and flew with a guitar with him. Slaughter Nuns was one of the band names. Something like that. He was my favorite because he was the nicest.


Q:

Hi Louis!

Have you ever struggled to keep your composure during filming and remain professional? Out of disgust or for some other reason?

And do you think Donald Trump will write an angery 3 am tweet about your SAD! decision to create a documentary surrounding him? Would you respond to it if he did? How would you respond?

Thanks for doing such fantastic documentaries and covering such interesting topics. I can't think of one time I've heard any criticism about your docs. Keep doing you!

A:

Did the people get their dildos by the afternoon though?


Q:

True 1/3 Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes ?

A:

Every banged a pilot during flight ? Or a customer ?


Q:

I'm pretty good at keeping my composure. Sometimes it's okay to laugh or get annoyed. I did an interview with a plastic surgeon who specialized in "phalloplasties" - making penises. Something about him made me laugh. But he was okay with it.

A:

At every block we deliver them. Butt plugs were on high demand the first and second week of last month.


Q:

I don't think so, I haven't ever heard about that.

A:

No. I banged another flight attendant but it was on a layover. Not as good of a story but planes gross my out so I'm afraid of whatever I would get from going to the bathroom on a plane let alone banging on one.


Q:

Is there anything about Savile that hasn't been revealed publically that would surprise us?

A:

Do you set your schedule like uber or do you have a set weekly schedule??


Q:

This was in an article from January based on an investigation made from an institution under the ministry of justice so it seems pretty legit.

Link:

Article - did not find it in english

http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/bra-kvinnors-otrygghet-alarmerande/

About the institute

https://www.bra.se/bra/bra-in-english/home/about-bra.html

A:

Most memorable celebrity/famous person encounter?


Q:

Wow. Tricky question. Probably a lot.

A:

We have what is called offers. Amazon sends out offers throughout the day and if you are available to work the shift that they are asking you, you just pick it up. When no offers are available it looks like this

When there are offers available it will show up like this

And you can accept or deline the offer if you want to work it or not, like this

Disclaimer: Some markets pay more than others, some pay less than others.

Edit: Messed up imgur pics, fixed.


Q:

Brå is a trustworthy source, so there's no questioning its validity.

I had not read this study, it's very valuable (and quite disturbing) information. Thank you for sharing!

A:

Rita Ora! She was on a flight and

We're doing first class service. Rita's assistant is in the back of the plane and she keeps coming up to her in first class. So we're like, "okay you can't keep coming up". We understood but had to say "alright now that's enough". So we stuck her assistant in the back of the plane so she couldn't help with what happened next...

No one can really come up to the front bathroom in first class unless the back is blocked. Some guy goes rogue and walks up to the front and we see him just...staring...kind of...So we go up to check it out and we see that Rita's boob is just hanging right out.

Luckily no one saw besides him because she was in the very back of first class. We tried to put a blanket over to cover the boob. She had on this button up shirt. She's passed out...her boob fell out. It's literally just out. So we tried to put a blanket over her but she kept taking it off in her sleep. We kept coming back and the boob kept coming out.

Like...why? Why don't you want the blanket on you? Can't you tell it's out??


Q:

Hi Louis

Are there any specific personality traits or weakness that the church exploits?

A:

Are you worried about being replaced by drones?


Q:

So is it true that you guys put refugees in luxury apartments while living in crappy apartments yourself?

A:

Which airline is the worst to work for?


Q:

The process of bringing in new members is sometimes called "find their ruin" - find the soft spot of vulnerability that Scn tech can "fix". But it varies from person to person.

A:

Not really, it will take Amazon quite a while to produce the amount of drones needed. Plus Washington D.C. is a HUGEE No-Fly zone.


Q:

Actually several accommodations are being shut down due to cuts in the budget and we're not really sure where everyone is going to stay.

And my apartment is quite nice, thank you very much.

A:

I can imagine Spirit would be the worst to work for...any one that you have to clean up the plane by yourself.


Q:

Hey Louis, seen MSM already, loved it. Can you elaborate on your music tastes, as it's a side of your life I haven't heard you go into much (beyond "Groove is in the Heart"). After watching most of your documentaries available online, I've come to asociate them with plinky plonky latin jazz (like the weird weekends theme), to the point where the jazz at the beginning of MSM made me think "shit, this is a proper louis theroux FILM, isn't it?". Have you ever considered a documentary on the effects of fame on musicians etc? Anyways hope you're well, keep the documentaries coming, keen to see the one on comedians you discussed with richard herring on rhlstp! Thanks :)

A:

Does it annoy you if I ask you to wait a minute and take the big green cooler bags with you? I hate having them sitting around my house since they are so big.


Q:

You said that the increase in sex crimes from 2015-2016 can be explained exclusively by Swedish legislative changes regarding sex crimes.

Could you please tell me exactly what sex crime laws were changed during that time period and how they would cause such a notable increase in comparison to previous years. How exactly do you believe that these specific legaslative changes had a larger effect on your countries crime rate than accepting in thousands of impoverished people who treat women like livestock?

Also, hypothetically, if you knew that migrants were committing rapes at much higher rates than native Swedes, would you feel any guilt about your compliance in it all?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

I like hip hop and rnb maybe more than people realize. I'd love to make a doc on R Kelly.

A:

I can't speak for everyone, but for me, I don't mind. There are Amazon trucks that have set routes every week to go pick up Fresh totes from the customers houses. If you just set the totes outside eventually someone will take it. It might take up to two weeks after your Fresh delivery to get the totes removed from your house.

You can also request the totes to be delivered attended - meaning that there needs to be someone present at the time of delivery and we take the totes back to the warehouse and just leave the stuff that you ordered in plastic bags.

You can also fold the totes by opening the tote and lifting the black pad down below that says Amazon, it i'll fold very slim. If you have totes with insulated bags, you can just fold the insulated bags and put them all inside one fresh tote. Like this

Edit: Imgur keeps putting all pictures into an album automatically.


Q:

For instance, in Sweden, multiple accounts of sexual assault will count as individual charges. If you rape someone multiple times, it will not be filed in court as one instance of rape but rather several.

Also, the definition of rape has been broadened considerably. For instance, if you feel unsure about sleeping with someone, and afterwards felt like you weren't okay with it, that can be considered rape.

Most rapes occur at home, and the guilty party is often someone in your circle of friends or family. That fact hasn't changed in Sweden.

Now, I'm intrigued by your phrasing of the hypothetical question. Why would I feel compliant in migrants committing rapes? It's not my fault that Sweden is complying with international law on accepting asylum seekers. Not only that, but my job is to actively help refugees integrate into society and become law-abiding citizens. In your hypothetical scenario, am I not fighting the good fight?

A:

I would say just wear your seatbelt during it. We go through turbulence regularly. The pilots are aware and it happens all the time.


Q:

What was it like growing up with Adam and Joe? Do you have a favourite memory of your time together, either as teenagers or as adults? This never fails to crack me up

Please tell Dr Buckles that I love him, bye.

A:

How much do you have to lift to be an Amazon driver?


Q:

We used to go and see cheesy horror films in the West End together. I remember one called The Stuff that was about an attack by monster that resembled frozen yoghurt.

A:

Terms and Conditions claims up to 50 pounds, that said, we might have orders that weigh at total of 200 pounds or even more, so we need to do several trips from the car to the house or apartment.


Q:

It seems like neither source is discussing refugees, and both in fact support my overall position on immigration and crime. Socioeconomic factors are more important variables than ethnicity or country of origin in explaining crime rates.

A:

787! Dreamliner. So pretty.


Q:

Hey Louis. Thanks for doing this AMA.

Was there ever a time during filming for the Scientology movie that you felt you were getting 'sucked in' and starting to see their point of view?

A:

Do they loan, or can you bring your own dolly to help with that?


Q:

I haven't been on one yet. Do they keep the humidity higher than other planes?

My favorite is the 747

A:

I was kept so much at arms length by the Scientologists that the greater risk was getting sucked in my the "antis".


Q:

They let you use a cart from the warehouse to your car to put everything in the car. After that, you are on your own.

You can get little dollies from Costco for around $20 that fold and are small, but thats up to the driver.

A:

They filter the air so it's not the dirty recycled air


Q:

If you had some kind of family secret / something that had been swept under the rug would you have still made the documentary? Are you at all worried about them coming after your family?

A:

Yeah, i have a question.

Where's my stuff?


Q:

No, humidity. as in how dry do your sinuses feel after riding in a 787 vs other models?

A:

How do you know I don't have a secret!?


Q:

In the warehouse, as soon as you pay for it, we will deliver it!

A:

Yea! It has higher air humidification level so it's all around better air so it helps with your sinuses!


Q:

What was the most challenging part of making the documentary?

A:

Is there a minimum of required hours that you work each week? Or is it more like Uber where you choose when you want to work?


Q:

what do you do when you're on land in between flights?

A:

Coming up with the idea of doing reenactments and figuring out how we could make them be something more than a stunt.


Q:

Yes, you can work when and how long, as long as they have offers or shifts available for you to work. Just because you go to the warehouse doesn't mean that you have stuff to do.

A:

I would also go out by myself. I didn't go out with the crew because they just go to the hotel bar and get wasted. I would like to go on adventures.

You don't get long layovers all of the time. A lot of them are only about 10 hours.

During a layover in Baltimore, I'm at a bar by myself drinking a dirty martini. The bartender set me up with a guy who said he was from Amazon or Google. I don't know what it was but they apparently had a project going on there.

We go out boppin' around town from bar to bar and drinking. He's like 50 and I'm like 22 at the time. I'm a vegetarian but I guess at some point I really wanted steak. So he gets me a filet mignon. I don't remember a lot but I remember he had to bring me back to the hotel and walked me into my room.

Woke up the next morning and he had kindly left a party favor from the night before on top of my uniform.

I really don't know who this guy actually was or if he's some lonely ex-convict, I don't know. The bartender was just like "here's here from out of town for about three months. Now that I think about it...I really don't know why he was on his own.


Q:

Hey Louis!

Any updates on Mike from the 'Head to the Hills' documentary (since being a truck driver)?

Also any chance of another follow up book on some of the weird weekend guys?

A:

Why did you post a picture of your bathroom?


Q:

What did he leave as a "party favor" on your uniform?

A:

I have tried to reach Mike Cain, the militia guy, but can't get to him. Alas, Mike Oehler, who lived in an underground house, died not too long ago.


Q:

Why not post a picture of our bathroom?

A:

A line


Q:

Hello.

As your work brings you into contact with people who hold strong opinions that go against societal norms, do you ever find yourself beginning to agree with them, therefore making you rethink yours own opinions on the subject matter?

(to go mildly native, so to speak)

A:

what is the weirdest combination of things you have ever delivered?

what happens if you dont make it to a customer on time?


Q:

Do flight attendants get drug tested?

A:

Going native is part of the job, in an emotional sense - forming an a rapport and a bit of an attachment. It's helpful that I have a team with me - director, sound recordist, AP. They can yank me up if I get in too deep. We sometimes decompress back at the hotel.


Q:

On the app we can see what the customer ordered, but it takes a few steps to see them. You need to reach the destination first and then go to Return Packages and then Customer doesn't want a particular item to see the whole order of what the customer paid for. It takes some time and I usually don't do it. I do it only in 1-hour deliveries to see what they are paying the extra $8 on, and oh god, people just want sunscreen and mascara plus Apple juice and a box of Chewy Chips Ahoy really bad.

If we deliver late packages, we better have a REALLY good reason of why the order was late. If there was simply too much demand and not enough drivers to fill the demand then we are good, also with traffic, but Amazon can track us and see everything that we do, including the speed we are doing and if we brake hard. If we stopped for food in McDonalds and got late deliveries because of that, it's our fault and we are screwed.

A:

Yeah. Usually you get pulled right off of a flight.

I had "sit time" in Denver, which is when you have just two or three hours in between flights. Not quite a layover.

I'm in the crew room and I get...approached....for a drug test. They said they were looking for me for a drug test. So I finished my burrito but I had to warm up my fake urine. The whole time I'm talking to this lady who's doing the drug test and just saying, "I'm sorry I can't pee yet." Meanwhile, I'm putting the fake urine in my pantyhose and I have one of those Hot Hand things...those hand warmers. That's how you heat up the fake urine.

So I have that against me while trying to waste time and talk with this lady about other drug tests and trying to pull out hints on how to pass the next one. Sitting there just kind fidgeting around to try and warm it up. Every now and then I would go into the bathroom and see if the fake urine was ready. It has this black line that shows the temperature. Once it turns green or something, then it's 98.6 degrees. Hot enough to be used.

I went in like 4 or 5 times and kept saying "nope sorry I have a shy bladder". She'd reply saying "oh no it's cool!". Because I don't look like someone needs a drug test....or maybe I do. Maybe right now I do.

Then finally when I get it ready and present it to this lady, her phone rings and she goes out to take the call. She's talking for at least 5 minutes and my fake urine is getting cold so I keep breathing on it to keep it warm because I didn't want to do it again. I didn't have any more! I only carry one little thing of fake urine on me.

I get them in Hollywood at this smoke shop. Every time I'd buy it, he'd look at me weirdly because I look pretty innocent.


Q:

You’ve spent a lot of time with the extreme right wing, neo nazis, and the like. Do you know, or can you speculate on, how they view Richard Spencer getting punched or the attacks on people at the Yiannopoulos speech at Berkeley?

And in general, do you have a sense of how they feel about the current political situation in the United States? Would you ever revisit the Nazis of Louis and the Nazis?

Love your work.

A:

As an independent contractor are you responsible for paying your own taxes or does amazon deduct before paying you?


Q:

I heard that if you're in a career where you do something very often that most people don't do very often (e.g. wedding photographer, tour guide), then you get so used to it that you don't understand the hype at all. Is this the case for you? What do you think of people who get all excited, thinking "oh I get to ride in an airplane!!"? Also, what do you guys do after all the passengers get off? Do you just fly back home right away or do you have time to go to the gift shop or something?

A:

I think they'd oppose the punching of their fellow-neo Nazis! But TBH I don't believe in punching neo-Nazis either. It gives them credibility.


Q:

Amazon sends us a 1099. Up to us to pay our taxes.

A:

It's not as glamorous as it seems. People think a lot of our job is traveling to amazing places all the time and having long layovers, but a lot of time it's a flight to Newark with a 10 hour layover or a redeye flight to Hawaii just to turn right around... there are some really great trips though. Mostly the senior FAs get those trips.


Q:

How long does the process of making one documentary typically take?

A:

Do you guys have to verify age for alcohol purchases? Because you guys kept the party going within one hour when all the liquor stores were closed. We are all 27 or older, but still... is that your responsibility? It seemed way too easy to just have bottles sent to us instantly http://imgur.com/xKXch1P


Q:

That's a throwaway account? Awesome.

A:

Depends. The Scientology one was shot over the course of a year and edited for six months. But the TV ones don't take that long.


Q:

In Virginia, we can't deliver alcohol; you need to get it from Uncle Sam's Liquor Store aka. VABC. Lucky you that can get it delivered.

We were trained tho, that if the order has alcohol, to check for ID.

A:

I didn't. That was another problem with the job for me. That's why a lot of the older flight attendants don't look so great all the time. Some FAs made a point to use the hotel gym all the time, but when there is a 10 hour layover and the shuttle takes 30 min from the airport to hotel the last thing I wanted to do was go to a gym. I was a "slam clicker" on those trips. (Slam the door, click the lock, and you don't see me until the shuttle time)


Q:

Has your point of view on Scientology changed since the movie?

A:

Wierdest thing you've delivered?


Q:

Intellectually and logically I'm aware of all the safety facts. When up at 30,000ft I can't help but think about how high up I am and that I have ZERO control over what happens to me!

A:

It's hard for me not to see them in a more personal way - because of the way they target people. I feel less detached.


Q:

$200 worth of La Croix Lime 12 pack cases of flavored sparkling water. I know it's not weird weird, but it's weird like who would order $200 worth of sparkling water?

A:

Yeah you don't have any control over what happens to you. Just wear your seatbelt.


Q:

Hi Louis! Big fan of your documentaries, especially those on the Westboro Baptist Church, and Nazi's. I have a couple of questions.

  1. What do you, personally, believe happened to Michele Miscavige? Do you think that she is still alive?

  2. Any more topics that you're hoping to create documentaries about, eventually?

A:

What are you doing answering questions? I need my stuff ASAP bru!!


Q:

Do you have to leave your belt on the entire flight? I always hate being stuck to my chair. So i mostly just take it of and sit in weird positions :)

A:

I think Shelly Miscavige is alive and living at Lake Arrowhead at the Scn base up there. We talked about including something about her in the doc but it's hard to get close.


Q:

Pay the stuff bruh, it's already in the cart and waiting for your credit card info.

A:

You can loosen it. It's not like it needs to be the tightest possible...you can do what you want with it. What kind of awkward position are you sitting in? How weird can it get?


Q:

how much of a debt do we all owe to Operation Clambake?

A:

What's your route? What time of day do you start the route? Also, what time do you finish? What kind of vehicle do you drive? What color is it? Are you armed? How can I tell which boxes I should take when I'm robbing you? I mean checking out merch.....


Q:

Why did you quit?

A:

Awesome website.


Q:

Our routes are not fixed, we move all around town. Send me a GPS and I'll put it in my car for you to track me.

You tell me at what time better suits you for me to start?

I drive a bright orange Pontiac Aztec very hard to miss with a huge Amazon sign on top if it.

You'll gotta find out what I'm packin'.

If the boxes are not heavy don't take it, take the heavy ones.

A:

You're always away. I have a dog. The layovers aren't as glamorous as it seems. The travel benefits are nice, but you want to spend them with your friends and don't have that many days off.

If you have anything going on, you can't make a phone call and handle shit in the air. Some of the planes are gross....it's just not as glamorous as it seems.


Q:

How did you perceive issues of race around scientology?

A:

My husband works for Amazon prime now in our city. It seems like he's always searching for shifts and as soon as one pops up, it's gone. Do you have this issue where you are?


Q:

Do you feel more helpful or annoyed when people ask for extra snacks?

A:

Meaning?


Q:

Yes, it happens in all markets. Tell him to just keep searching or if he can, to do it mostly from Thursday to Saturday, since a lot of other drivers are already capped with the full hours and can't do more blocks. He probably has better chances of getting blocks on the weekend.

A:

I never mind giving people snacks! Just ask when we do the service... I hated people always ringing their call bell.

There was an international flight that had a little kid playing with the bell button so on this particular plane we could disable the alert noise and just ignore it... when one flight attendant went through the cabin a man stopped her and yelled at her saying "I keep fingering you, and fingering you, but you never come!" while motioning toward his call bell button. Hahaha that flight attendant could barely listen to his request without bursting out laughing


Q:

How many "offers" do you get in any given day?

A:

Hi. How you doing? Fave Simpsons character?


Q:

Few days ago there were 18 offers listed at the same time. 2-hour blocks, 3-hour blocks and 4-hour blocks.

Most were Washington D.C. Restaurants.

Most drivers in my market don't like doing Washington D.C. Restaurant deliveries, myself included.

A:

Great... and grandpa Simpson maybe


Q:

from one of the pics you shared, it had "40-54 includes tips"... why the difference? and how often do you get paid?

A:

Oh, cool, this was my mother's job!

She had all kinds of crazy stories, but one thing that struck me was that she said that when she was working for Delta in the 80s they had weigh-ins. Exceeding some kind of height/weight ratio could get you a reprimand of some sort, I guess. Do you know if there are airlines that still do this? Have you ever had anything like that happen/has anyone mentioned that to you?


Q:

In that case $40 is the minimum guaranteed for the 2-hour block ($20 an hour) that you are going to get paid and it can go to $54 with the tips included, sometimes it goes even higher depending on how many stops you did and how much tip the customers left.

A:

That doesn't happen anymore but we do have one day during training that is dedicated to appearance. Emirates interviews are full of attractive people. They are know for only hiring attractive FAs.

Back in the 40s they had to be under 5'8" I believe and less than 120 lbs and under 30 and single.


Q:

Does a good tip mean I bet my order faster? Or are your routes pre-determined for you?

A:

What was the most heartbreaking story you have encountered as a flight attendant? Also, how did you manage the situation?


Q:

Amazon gives us a suggested route, but I am free to do the route how it best serves me. If it's my last block (shift) and it's an order that is heading to where I live, but the suggested route tells me to start where I live and finish closer to the warehouse, I can start closer to the warehouse and finish near where I live.

Because you leave a $20.00 tip doesn't mean that your package will be the first one to be delivered. If you want your order fast, I'd suggest using the 1-hour delivery option if it's available in your market.

A:

There was one situation with a father and son. The people behind the son kept kicking their seats telling them to not lean back so far. They both got pretty heated and we're starting to yell. When I approached them they said they were waiting to go to the funeral of the mother/grandmother. They were going to miss their connection most likely and not make it home in time which is why they were so aggravated and didn't mean to be so rude. They wanted to be with family and this was of course the time that all the flights were delayed. I understood, the people behind them understood. I gave them and the passengers behind some of our snacks without charging and thanked them for calming and apologized for the inconvenience. The airline wouldn't do anything for them when they eventually did miss their connection. The only thing I could really do was apologize again and give them free drink tickets. The son started crying and they both appreciated my help when the airline was so inconsiderate.

People don't usually share their stories, so if I ever saw someone having a rough time always tried to do what I could.

Also parents with well behaved kids coming back from Disneyland always got a couple free drinks and the kids received candy from me... those people had been through enough Haha.


Q:

That is indeed heartbreaking but also motivating. You took the responsibility the major airline firm wouldn't claim and did a very generous and thoughtful thing to provide adorable customer service. Even though you couldn't change the ultimate goal for the family, you still managed to make the best of the situation.

I work with a lot of people who could benefit a lot from this story. Hopefully they'll get the point.

Bonus question. What is the sweetest thing a kid told you after they received their candy? Even better how did their parents react?

A:

The best thing I've been told was that the best part of a boys trip was him telling me about the trip haha. He was mentally handicapped and the parents told me they hadn't seen him smile that much during the entire trip. He was telling me over and over about how he was super man going down a water slide. Taking the time to listen made my trip better, his family's trip better because they appreciated it, and his trip end with a positive experience. :)


Q:

Did passengers hit on you? Ever take any of them up ok the offer?

A:

Ummm I had some people hit on me...I didn't take them up on the offer.

People would slip me their numbers all the time and write something like 'want to come join me for the layover?'. Layover. That was always the one.

I didn't know Adrian Grenier. He invited me to his 'how to make money selling drugs premiere' but I thought he was just telling me to go see his movie. I didn't pick up that he was inviting me. That was one.

We had just switched uniforms because we merged companies. I was super hungover so half my face has make up on it and half doesn't. Half my hair is curled and half isn't because I slept on one side. Because of the new uniforms, my jacket was too big and my shirt was too big. My pants were safety pinned up top and the bottoms were tucked into my socks and rolled over. They were these trouser socks that were too long. I had my pants tucked into my socks. Oh my god.

So that's when Adrian Grenier comes up and he looked like he had just come from a frat party. He looked awful. Told us about his movie. I didn't know who he was but my ex-boyfriend who I had just broken up with was obsessed with Entourage and when somebody mentioned he was there I caught on. He didn't look good.

I didn't realize he was hitting on me at the time. He goes, "hey you should come to my premiere...it's at this theater in downtown LA".

I had no idea what theater he was talking about because I was new to LA and was such a mess at the time. So I said, "Yeah that would be cool maybe I'll go check it out some time!"

He just looked at me just kind of awkwardly and nodding just kind of waiting for the next move. Imagine if you had asked someone out on a date to restaurant and they said "yeah I'll go check it out sometime!"

Afterwards, the other flight attendants were like, "you know he wanted you to go WITH him." Whoops. Missed my chance.


Q:

Is it true that flight attendents get sick a lot because of being exposed to people with different germs in a confined space all the time? Any tips on how not to get sick travelling?

A:

Some get sick, some build tolerance. If there is a cold or flu going around we usually get it right away. I wore gloves picking up trash sometimes to avoid getting sick.

I'm not sure if those Emergen-C or Airborne tablets work but that's the best advice I really have. You're crammed in to a small area with hundreds of people recycling the air... it's hard to avoid.


Q:

Is it true that a lot of flight attendents have second jobs due to random working hours and holidays?

A:

Yep! As a new FA it's very tough to though because you're on call all of the time. The airline I worked for would call and sometimes we had as little as 2 hours to get to the airport for check in.

On the side I worked karaoke hostessing in Koreatown. My roommate did it with me as well. Sometimes the customers were really fun and she would invite them to our place to drink and party afterwards. I was working a flight to Cancun with a 24 hour layover. I got off the plane with my crew and a group of 3 or 4 guys from the flight approached me. In front of my crew they asked if I was (insert my name here) and if I lived in Koreatown. I told them yes and I used to. They went on to tell me they had been to my place and partied with me. (I'm not looking great to my flight crew at this point haha) They asked which hotel I was at, information we are not allowed to give out, and invited me to go hang out. I didn't go and after that I stopped working in Koreatown. Haha


Q:

What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a flight attendant and what qualifications do need to get the job?

A:

Don't say you want to travel during the interview. It makes it seem like you will only be there short term.

You only need a high school degree, but most of us had a bachelors, and nice smile.

Be prepared to lose contact with people. Your schedule changes, is crazy, and is usually not the same as others. (I would be up getting ready to go to work while my roommate and friends were still up drinking)


Q:

Has anyone ever had a serious medical issue (e.g., heart attack, stroke) while on one of your flights? How was that dealt with?

A:

There was a man on the flight back from Melbourne that passed out and seemed to seizure while waiting for the restroom. We held his and put him on his back without bringing too much attention to the situation. We called over the intercom for a medically trained passenger since we are only trained for some of the medical emergencies. Turns out the man was diabetic, that was the reason I was told at least. We did not have to emergency land or anything. Every time something like that happens we have to document it.

I have had a guy pass out and hit his head on one of the carts in the galley. It was a medical condition and he got up, but the other FA accused him of being drunk and interrogated him. I stood up for the passenger and had the FA walk away. We did have to do the report still because his head bled a bit.


Q:

Flight attendants work some odd schedules/hours, yet they are always expected to be pleasing and hospitable. Did you ever have to get into the act of being happy or nice, when in reality you were just plain exhausted and a little cranky?

A:

Yep! I hated when other flight attendants were rude just because they were in a bad mood. It's part of the job. The passengers had to be up early too and sometimes are traveling for unpleasant reasons. They may be going through a bad day too. Usually passengers respond better if you're nice. The crazy hours and coffee and airplane food diet makes it easy to be not so nice sometimes. I worked with a lot of negative and rude FAs that I feel ruined the starting points of some people's vacations.

The best advice I ever got was from an awesome senior mama. She told me "Let someone be an asshole before you treat them like one." Passengers don't want to hear our problems, we chose this job. Be nice and make the experience better for everyone and it'll be a better experience for you too.


Q:

can you ride a bike with no handlebars?

A:

Yes. Probably not on an airplane though.


Q:

How much time would you get to actually spend time in new cities? Like if you went out of the country, what would your turn around be? Would it have been fairly easy to spend a weekend there and then work a return flight the next week? Or was it pretty much, off to the hotel, and then right back the next day for the next flight?

Would you work with the same people usually? Pilot, co-attendants, etc? or was it pretty random each day? Or after a few months you pretty much new everyone?

And thanks! Always appreciated my FA's as a guest.

A:

Sometimes you get 48 hours somewhere, other times it can be 9. I know there was a trip with a very short Shanghai layover I never wanted to get. When you start it's pretty random because you're on reserve. Once people bid for their trips and get a schedule for the month they usually fly with those same people at least all month. The pilots are usually different.


Q:

Is it true that there is a strong hierarchy between flight attendants and ground service agents?

A:

I'm not sure hierarchy... but there is a little animosity between gate agents and flight attendants. No one wants to be blamed for the door being closed late so they like to blame each other.

I was close with some agents and always tried being nice. One gate agent blamed the ramp for why we were delayed when I was actually just 20 min late accidentally... when your life is a mess like mine you need as many people on your side as possible haha


Q:

What's harder, working economy or first class?

A:

I like working first class because you stay busier. Economy is easy if the passengers are nice and not super needy.