I know I have been unusually quiet on the blogging front, which is definitely not due to a lack of things to write about or the will to do so, but I assumed I may just get away with it for a bit longer since I spend literally every waking minute of my days either at the Airline college or studying for the college. However when MY DAD (and seemingly my keenest reader, thank you Daddy) complained about not having seen any blog updates of late I have decided to dig myself out of my home assignment books and manuals and post this.
Two weeks ago I was just a regular girl who thought clouds were just puffy pretty things in the sky and now I’m able to talk about them and their differences for more than 10 mins. Two weeks ago turbulences used to give me chills, now I have “demonstrated” that I’m “competent” to deal with any type of turbulence be it a mild one, moderate, severe, anticipated or out-of -a-blue one. Two weeks ago the place you relieve yourself at 30 000 ft used to be a toilet. Now it’s a lavatory. Two weeks ago I had no idea what “crosscheck” in the” prepare all doors and crosscheck” meant. And now I do. I also no longer think cabin crew JUST serve coffee and tea.
It’s unbelievable how unappreciated this job is. I know from my experience that people only tend to see the very glamorous, jet setting side of things. They have no idea how much time, energy and concentration is required at all times doing the simplest thing such as recognising the correct PA. I have to admit to hugely underestimating the whole training thing before starting it. I knew I had to go thru 7 weeks of being taught how to be the perfect air hostess but I can assure you – nothing can prepare you for what you are in store for. Don’t get me wrong – I’m most definitely not complaining. I’m loving every moment of every day. It’s just been a very long time (and thinking about it’s maybe the first time ever) since I had to fully dedicated my entire conscious mind to one cause only- to perform well and get thru this. Because if I don’t I’ll have to go. And there are thousands of others out there waiting for my spot to be cleared and to take my place.
Let me explain the whole training a bit deeper so you can draw yourself a better picture.
Successfully passing each stage of the training depends on completing three tasks each having the same weight and importance- every single home base assignment (HBA), practical tests (practicals) and a written exam at the end of each topic. HBA get given to us every night (I’m in the evening batch meaning I start at 3.30 pm and finish around 11.30 pm) and need to be returned the next day to be checked. One of them usually covers what has been said in the class that day and the other is to prepare you for the next day (each session only get its allocated time and the trainers expect you to do any additional studies on your own in your own time and won’t go thru the same again just for your sake). Practicals are completed on the amazing simulators in the college (they move,they shake, they produce fog and screams of frightened people at a mere press of a button-they are simply the best thing on earth!)- you have to demonstrate perfect knowledge of the procedures you have either been taught, shown or had to read upon. You get 4 attempts (including one after-class re-sit). If you do not demonstrate, start looking for a new career. Simultaneously you are being observed at all times. Your punctuality, grooming, posture, professional conduct, teamwork, communication skills among your colleagues. Everything gets noted and evaluated and fed back to you at the end of each day. I can’t stress enough how important punctuality is. It’s the ultimate pillar of the aviation religion. You must ALWAYS BE BEFORE TIME. Not on time. Before time.
Then there is the test of course but there isn’t much I can tell you about that one since I haven’t had one yet. All I know it’s that people usually don’t sleep the night before so I probably won’t either. Not that I get much sleep anyway. I usually study instead.
And even if I do manage to switch off and close my eyes for a couple of hours my dreams are full of evacuations and correct commands.
But I love it. The more I learn about this brand new world the more drawn into it I get. Plus it’s not just me. I have all my batchmates (and amazing friends at the same time ) on the same boat with me. We are all going thru this together, helping each other, supporting each other and having SO MUCH fun! Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to a couple of them for various reasons. All I can say is :
“Best of luck anywhere you go and with anything you do! We will miss you and it was a great pleasure meeting you! Everything in life happens for a reason although it may not seem so at the time!”
Bend down and stay down everyone x