*after doing "word association" refuse:waste it reminded me of why my response was waste, and I laughed. please read on . . . . . . . .
As many know, whenever you are on a flight fly there are announcements made at certain phases of flight. One of these times, is what we call “top of descent”. This is usually the last 20 -30 minutes of flight. This is when we announce that the cabin crew will be coming through the aisles to collect any “remaining service items.” In other words, if you have any rubbish and you want to get rid of it, now is the time.
Let me introduce my coworker. FA#1(flight attendant) has the official title of Senior FA. Senior FA is the lead person onboard a particular flight. It means if anything goes wrong they are the lucky soul who gets to fill out all the lovely paperwork, and they get paid a “little” more. Yes, I emphasize little. (Never worth it for me, hence I’ve always remained “just” FA and I’m totally ok with that).
FA#1 is originally from The Caribbean and in trying to keep him anonymous, it’s not necessary to mention exactly where but let’s just say he does have a bit of an accent, a bit of a British twist but not what you would immediately recognize as British. Certain words are more pronounced than others. He likes to make all of his announcements very slowly and pays special mind to enunciate, with exact precision, particular words. The announcements are often too drawn out and lengthy. Now mind you, this doesn’t have anything to do with his accent but everything to do with his personality and commitment to being so serious. He is very particular about how the service flows and if it does not meet his expectations, the crew will hear about it. (I’m trying to paint the character a little. Is it working?)
The cabin bell chimes (our signal that it’s top of descent) and FA#1 begins to make the appropriate announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have begun our initial descent ………(a bit more in-between here)…………if you have any refuge you would like to discard please hand it to the FA’s as they pass through the aisle”.
I am working in the aft of the aircraft. FA#1 comes to the aft to collect paperwork and check on a few other things. In the aft, is FA#2 and she’s a real kick. Originally from the south, she still has a bit of the southern “twang” and she’s always cheery, bubbly and friendly. Passengers love her and she delivers great customer service. She is however, the complete polar opposite of FA#1. She is often disorganized; all over the place, a “mess” and sometimes I can even see the cloud of dust whirling about her. She may come off a bit “ditzy” but she’s no dummy. She has a heart of gold, and I love her for that.
The following happened next:
FA#2 “Hey, ______. Did you say refuge?”
FA#2 “Isn’t it suppose to be refuse? Refuge is like a place, a shelter. Refuse is garbage.”
FA#1 (a bit defensive but definitely sure of himself, and delivered in a condescending tone) “I’m a Linguistics Major, I think I know the difference between refuge and refuse and the proper word is refuge!”
FA#2 “Ok, (giggles) but I think it’s refuse.”
Now I am taking all this in, laughing and thinking. I like to sit back and observe. It had me curious for a moment, and I thought, “I think FA#2 is right, in fact I’m certain of it.” I thought more on it and then realized I had to check it out for myself, so I did. Well, here it is:
1 : shelter or protection from danger or distress
2 : a place that provides shelter or protection
3 : something to which one has recourse in difficulty
as a noun
1 : the worthless or useless part of something : LEAVINGS
2 : TRASH, GARBAGE
Thank you Merriam-Webster.
*It would appear that the "Linguistic major" stands to be corrected.