Scared of Flight Attendants? Become One

To conquer a fear of flight attendants, Joel takes to the skies and attempts to become one

Illustration by John Ueland for TIME

I don't feel comfortable on airplanes. It's not that I'm afraid of flying; it's that I'm afraid of flight attendants. I don't know how to react to someone who is being paid to be nice to me. I'm also uncomfortable with waiters, masseurs and Scientologists. So every time I'm on a plane, I wish they would just let me get out of my seat and attend to my own in-flight needs. Delta offered to meet me halfway. I could be a flight attendant on an Atlanta--to--Los Angeles trip so long as I completed one day of its 5 1/2-week flight-attendant-training program--and...