An Interview with Kendrick Slaughter – Flight Attendant

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Background

I am originally from Louisville, KY. I moved to Atlanta, GA in 1986, prior to the Olympics. I began my career in clothing working as a National Sales Representative for a wholesale formalwear company managing accounts across the Southeast US. I held that position for nearly 15 years before starting my own business, Butlers at Your Service, for a short time prior to the economic downturn in 2008. There after, I began my current career as a Flight Attendant. I celebratated my 6 year anniversary as a Flight Attendant this past July. I am based out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where I now partly reside for work. During my time in the airline industry, I have worked as a Line Holding Flight Attendant and served nearly 4 years as a Special Assignment Flight Attendant teaching Customer Service and assisting Ground Operations.

Interview

1. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day begins at five o’clock in the morning to make a 6:30a report time. One enjoyable thing about being a Flight Attendant (FA) is that each day begins in a new city and each day is guaranteed to be different. I generally fly four flights each day. I love telling stories and this job provides me with enough material to go on for hours. Passengers often ask if I fly a standard route and my answer is not any longer. I used to choose specific routes, but after flying for so long, I like to mix it up.

2. What was the last thing that completely transformed you?

Serving as In-flight Supervisor or IFS for a short period provided me with a different perspective. I realized my heart is with the FA Group and my desire to work in an office isn’t that strong. Additionally, having gained experience in the union/office environment, I felt I could better help and serve my fellow Flight Attendants as a union officer.

3. What advice would you give a young person wanting to pursue your profession?

It’s not easy in the beginning, being away from your family and friends for extended periods of time. On call, or reserve, as it’s called, has its moments, but overall the FA career provides a great opportunity to see the world for any individual with a star personality.

4. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough. It is a collection of short stories about coming of age, coming out, and arriving at one’s own self. The work is edited by Keith Boykin. I would want the president to know there are a lot of LGBT youth in this country suffering due to lack of support from family and the country as a whole.

5. How do you want to be remembered?

I simply want to be remembered as that guy who always had time to listen. Sometimes people don’t want your opinion or even an answer. They simply just want an unbiased ear.

6. What are three things that most people don’t know about you?

I enjoy cooking, gardening (floral), and when people come to visit me at my home in either NYC or Atlanta, the consisent feedback is that I’m a great tour guide.

7. If you were granted the gift to spend only one hour with a love one who has passed, how would you spend it?

I would spend that hour on a beach picnic with my mother.        

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