Slam-Clickers: People who upon checking into a hotel with others remain in their rooms instead of socializing. Used by airline crew to describe those who don’t go out.
I had never heard this term until Stefan introduced me to it. There are days where I’m guilty of being a slam-clicker of some sorts. My version of slam-clicking is simply slamming my hotel room door, clicking the lock, and having some alone time at last. As much as I love to be surrounded by people (which is 90% of my days while on the plane), I also love being alone. I tend to experience things differently on my own. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different. More in the moment. Some of my best layovers have been the ones where I venture out on my own without the rest of the crew spending 20 minutes trying to decided where we should eat supper. The best of those best layovers have been outside of Canada actually. The perks of being a slam-clicker when you have a layover in the US is losing service on your phone. When you have no service on your phone, you have to admit it becomes pretty useless other than to take those perfect instagram-able pictures. This is often great. Being disconnected gives me freedom; an escape from the constant nagging attention you get from work, Facebook, emails, snapchat stories you get anxiety about having to watch before they expire and you’ve missed your chance forever. Not having a connection to the outside world makes me live in the moment. This job gives me the opportunity to discover and appreciate the world where we live, right here in this moment.
I have been lucky enough to get to discover Los Angeles and Las Vegas both for the first time in April. These cities have SO much to offer. The first time I was in LA, I ventured down to a little place called Marina Del Rey and had a little dose of beach therapy (even though it was raining which it NEVER does in LA) and the second time I ventured out for a walk around the neighbourhood until I stumbled across a coffee shop and soaked in the sun while I could. Both of these times I went on a solo mission. Does that bother me? Sometimes. Other times I’m thankful for my time away from people (as much as I adore my crews) so that I can give my brain some time to reset for the next day. Aside from those 2 fabulous cities, I of course ended up in New York. New York is slowly becoming one of my homes. If you ask me right now what my home is I would tell you it’s this hotel room in downtown Halifax. If you ask me tomorrow, home will be in Toronto curled up beside my best friend and Henry. If you ask me next week it could be New York or Vancouver. I guess that’s part of the job – you tend to leave a little piece of yourself behind in every city you connect with until slowly, they become like a home to you. ANYWAY. Back to New York. As much as I enjoy being alone on layovers, there are times when being disconnected from the world is even better when you get to experience it with your person. I was lucky enough to have my favourite American come and spend 20 hours with me in Queens. We walked around and found a new little coffee shop, I showed him Flushing Meadows Park (that’s right, I showed him even though he lives in the damn city because I’m a slam-clicker and I’ve ventured into that park many a times alone), he brought me homemade spaghetti in a real bowl with a real metal fork, he made me feel at home. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is this job is all about balance. It’s about enjoying your time at work and loving your crews and passengers. It’s about taking a layover in Queens and turning it into a 20 hour-long date because you don’t know when you’ll see each other next. It’s about being ok with being alone.
This job makes me live in the moment. More than ever. In an odd way, it allows time to standstill, even for just a moment.