Where are you from?

Working for a international airline you can pride yourself on being a part of a truly multicultural team. The Cabin Crew of “my” Airline alone is said to speak more than 120 different languages! Meaning if you ever board an EK flight you shouldn’t have to worry about having troubles making yourself understood. If not a native speaker someone who CAN speak the same language is always at hand.

Which might not be a matter of great importance if we were just talking about a simple “Gin&Tonic” scenario (pretty much international if you ask me) but just imagine sitting next to a person experiencing some nasty digestive problems and desperately wanting to change a seat midflight. Aren’t you going to appreciate that the pretty caucasian trolley dolley is able to translate your request into Mandarin?

See – it’s not just about the pretty face.

 Coming from a country that’s the size and shape of a swollen foot and speaks a language that scored number 9 in “10 world’s most difficult languages to learn” I always felt that being multilingual is a must (unless I want to speak to Czechs only for the rest on my life as nobody else can be bothered learning such a complicated set of grammar rules). And moving to Prague from the middle of Czech rural nowhere has only proved me right. You won’t take two steps from your front door without a tourist asking for directions. Which btw – being my nice village-y myself- I would always give:)

The same goes for all the evenings spent in pubs scattered around the Old Town or lectures buzzing with exchange students from all world’s corners.

And I loved it ! “Where are you from ?” very soon became the most used opening line of my conversations. Here I was – my tiny boring self – meeting people from literally ALL OVER THE GLOBE! I was absolutely ecstatic every time I came across a new nationality – trying to find out as much as possible about their country and food and men and fashion and culture  and just generally everything until that particular person got bored and moved on . And whenever I was asked back I would proudly reply- ” I’m from around here. I’m Czech”. Coz you see being Czech actually means something in the Czech republic. Especially to expats. It means they know someone who can speak to their landlords, someone who asks for the right kind of beer, someone who knows the right way around things.  Plus it kinda means you are also kinda cool – you know with Prague being so cool and being in the Czech and you being Czech and all that. You know what I mean 🙂

 So anyway- that’s how I spent my uni years – asking people “Where are they from?” and answering the same with a smile and my head raised high. That ever changing has never even crossed my mind.

Until I moved to the UK.

See – people here don’t use “Where are you from?” as a way to find to out where you come from. Thinking about it they don’t even use that phrase as a question.

In the British dictionary a hostile “Where are you from?” has replaced any form of answer to everyday queries such as “Excuse me, could we get the bill please?” or “Have I missed the last train?” or “Are you in the queue?”

For some reason the nation that’s known for being polite,reserved and well behaved finds it ok to completely disregard whatever it is you are asking them and automatically go into “Offence mode” whenever they hear a foreign accent.

When I first moved here I saw no problem in answering to that 20 times a day and then consequently explaining WHY did I move here and that NO I’m not here to steal anyone’s job or a boyfriend or to get free benefits- and being made feel like an idiot for doing it.

After a couple of years of living here the frequency of FAQ (effing annoying question) has gradually ceased. Maybe I finally got the hang of the English language to an extend that makes people listen to what I have to say instead of how I say it. However I still do come across the occasional douche who thinks it’s so clever to point out that “I am not around here am I”- usually in a room full of people after a speech or a joke I have just made. I make a point of never ever talking to that person again.

Maybe that’s too drastic but you see if you drank coke all day everyday(and I am not even a big coke fan) then eventually you would feel sick just hearing the fizz.

I would like to point out this is not a dig at Britain. I love Britain. I like Britons with their little Queen, their weird weather and their strong believe that a cuppa is a cure for every discomfort.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I can’t wait to be a Cabin Crew. To be appreciated for speaking a few different languages even with an accent. Because I’m hoping that once I have helped someone to explain to their neighbour that they should please put their smelly shoes back on I won’t be looked at angrily and asked “Where are you from”? 

So to wrap it all up my dear readers:

Where are you all from ?

x

G.

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From OD to FI and GC

One of the main reasons I started this blog is to help out all the other Cabin Crew hopefuls out there.

I know for one that prior to my AD (Assessment Day) and FI (Final Interview) I went crazy looking up all the possible questions and scenarios I could face. What I found was mostly the same old “Be yourself” rubbish.

My advise is “Do NOT be yourself” ! Be whatever The Airline wants you to be. Which is to be consistent with their brand. Classy, expensive looking, cosmopolitan. Or as they like to call it a “Globalista”.

Let’s take it from the top :

  • Outfit – dress with a KISS in mind ( Keep It Simple and SIMPLE!) . When I say simple I do mean SIMPLE! As clean cut as possible. A black pencil skirt, white fitted shirt, black court shoes. Couple of girls from “my” AD showed up in mini skirts or revealing vests (!). One girl was even wearing a pair of these bad boys:

Needless to say she didn’t make it thru. The recruitment officers don’t care if it’s Louboutin – it’s not coherent with The Airline and you are out.

  • Make-up – Remember you are there to get a job not to get laid. I suggest to look up the typical high flying girl. Flawless skin, black eyeliner and red lipstick. Again very simple.

Please I beg you – NO fake eyelashes and/or fake tan. Only 3 girls out of 15 made it to the final stage of our assessment. And the one thing that set us 3 (visually) apart from the rest was that we all looked very natural. Pretty but natural that’s what you are aiming for.

  • Appear to Appeal – I had one rule, that I think helped a hell of a lot throughout my AD and FI. I call it the “SSS rule” – Sit up Straight and Smile. Whatever happens.
  • Miss Perfect Stewardess – I have a one great friend to thank for this part (Thank you Babs, you are the best). She knows me well. She knows I talk to much, am very opinionated and laugh out loud. On the night before my AD she said to me: ” Do not do any of that!” She had a point. When you think about it- have you ever seen a stewardess arguing with a passenger over politics? Or rolling on the floor laughing?   Or talking over someone? No? Didn’t think so.

So leave Little Miss Bossy at home. Together with Miss Chatty, Miss Overly Friendly and Miss Mute. Bring Miss Perfect Stewardess with you. The one that smiles a lot, talks quietly only when she ‘s got something to say. Always asks for other people’s opinions. Leaves others to take charge but doesn’t let them walk over her. She is gonna get you the job. Don’t you just love her already?

  • Be a Star– You are gonna get asked questions. After all this is an interview. But not only that. You are also gonna be watched when on your breaks interacting with others. So research The Airline and their branding , look into their routes , history, management . I’m sure you did anyway when you applied for the job. And then shine, show off what you remember. Make sure one of the officers is around the turn to the person next to you and say ” Have you heard they are opening a new route to Phuket in Thailand? Wouldn’t be great to get it a your first supply flight?” or something along those lines. You get the gist.

That’s pretty much it. At least that’s what I did . And it seemed to have been enough.

Good luck to everyone, see in Dubai (or maybe even Phuket:)

G.

Who’s rambling?

Hi,

Hope you are enjoying the rambling :)

Friends call me Gabs – if you like the blog consider yourself being one of them. Currently living in the UK I am working in a Call Centre of one of the biggest Middle Eastern Airline. I am about take a huge leap and relocate to Dubai to get a taste of the high flying life. I would like this blog to be a fun way to share my journey with anyone who is interested .

If you feel like commenting please do – nothing would make me prouder of my rambles…

x

G.

First Ramble – On The Waiting Game

“Patience is not passive waiting. Patience is active acceptance of the process required to attain your goals and dreams.”
― Ray Davis

Now I have never been what one would describe as a patient person. Unlike Mr. Davies I never found any form of waiting very active. I would always feel that waiting is an utter waste of everyone’s time – something that only lazy people use as an excuse not to get on with their lives. I suppose in my  dictionary “waiting for something” meant “avoiding to direct route”.

” See – I hate my job but I’m just waiting  for the right time to leave”

” I like working out/going to the gym but I’m waiting for this cold/strain/deadline to be over”

” I should tidy up really but I’m waiting for the mountain of dirty dishes to fall over first”

And so on.

Life has treated me well. Looking back I never really had to wait for anything. Up until now things have been happening rather quickly. And then The Airline came into my life.

Waiting to hear back after a job interview is bad enough. Now multiply it by 6 weeks (or in my case 8 weeks). Yes 6-8 weeks of freaking out over little things such as”Should I have gone for the shorter pencil skirt or was it a mistake?” “Should I have used the word “difficult” whilst describing an annoying customer or would “challenging” have been better?” “Did I smiled enough?”.  Plus obviously this is the kind of secret you won’t manage to keep forever and eventually you just HAVE to tell someone. That you applied for a Cabin Crew position and it’s all very exciting you know with moving to Dubai, seeing to world, free apartment, tax free salary and all that. Which helps for about 2 minutes. Then the questioning starts. “So when are you gonna hear back?” “Six what?!” “What can possible take so long?” “Surely you got it?” “Have you heard back yet” “Any news?” “So?” etc.

The more people you tell the more variations of the same question you get. Needless to say I told pretty much everyone. My life in the past weeks has become a constant dodging of The Question.

“SO?! Any NEWS?” (with a raised eyebrow and a meaningful look, because I told everyone not to mention it to anyone else)

“Uhmmm yeah- apparently Gary Barlow is not going to return to the X-Factor next year.”

Of course I decided never to tell anyone anything else about my life. Hence- ehm – the blog…

So there you have it. The perfect formula for Going Crazy Over Waiting. That is for an impatient and obsessive person like myself of course. Apparently there are others- people from a universe completely unknown to me called Patience- individuals who remain stoically calm and use to opportunity to reflect upon themselves.

For the first time of my life I was facing having to wait and not being able o do anything about it. Something I did not know how to do. And what’s the one thing you do when you don’t know how to do something? Yes- you Google it !!

So I Googled . I Googled about waiting, killing time, learning to be patient, Googled everything there was to be Googled about Dubai and Cabin Crew life style up to date. And then I Googled some more.

And that’s when I came across the quote that starts this blog. And suddenly it made sense to me.  Like everything else in life – even waiting is what you make it.

I made this :

This my dear readers is a Vision Board. It’s me in Dubai earning loads of money, travelling the world as a flight attendant and -yeah- having a perfect bikini body …

And funnily enough- in what seemed to be no time at all my Vision Board has become a Near Future Board. Because even the most boring game ever invented -the waiting game- has to end eventually. In my case two days ago at 7.00 am receiving a +971 phone call.

“We would like to offer you the position…”

“Awesome – I take it. When can I start”

“Well- we will have to get back to you on that one. See- our joining team needs to speak to your line manager first to see blah blah blah. YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR BACK FROM US.”

So here I am playing again. Sorry I meant to say waiting. Googling and making some more vision boards on what happens in Dubai and beyond. Also going to the gym. ‘Coz that bikini body is probably not gonna happen on its own.

So long peeps

G.