I’m in flight attendant training for the second time. This isn’t because I failed the first round, but because I quit my previous airline. I can’t remember very many details from my first flight attendant training. I just remember being SO stressed, and studying all of the time. This time, I don’t study, and don’t stress over the training material. It’s not because I am smarter, although any flight attendant training after your first, will be less overwhelming. I instead stress my brains out over all of the other projects that I am working on. I sit in class scribbling note, after note, over marketing jobs that I need to find, podcasts I plan on starting, and crash pads that I am going to run. Oh yeah, and then the blog, the book, and the boys. WAHHHHHHH!!!!
In my first training, I shared a hotel room with Jeanette, an uber loud, absolutely funny, Asian girl with freckles. The things that would come out of her mouth could have shocked a conservative, sheltered Christian girl like myself, and often they did, but I found her hilarious, and her loud liberalness a welcome balance to my quiet, shyness. Yes, hard to believe, but I was quiet, and shy at one time.
Ohhhhh man….and then look what happened to me?!
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I just had to throw in a before, and after
The hotel room was provided by the airline. Every morning, I greeted the Vegas sun at 5am, as my feet hit the pavement for a run. The drunk women, with pudge sticking out over their much too tight mini skirts, with hooker heels in hand, stumbled home after a rowdy night, while I, with my headphones drowning the drum of taxis, breezed past, awake, and alert. Almost ready for the day. I felt out of place in Vegas. I always have. But, I feel out of place in most places, so a city that never sleeps is not much different than anywhere else.
My first flight attendant training, which happened almost five years ago, was five weeks of sitting in a very cold room, listening to lectures, answering questions about emergency procedures, and hoping to not get kicked out over nails, or being late, or maybe even just smiling wrong. Most airlines have a zero tolerance policy, meaning, you mess up, and you are out. Flight attendant training is often considered an extended interview, and should be treated like that. Trainees are still being evaluated by the instructors, so word of advice: be on your best behavior.
I’m in flight attendant training again. I never really wanted to go through another training, and I even surprised myself by the decision to change airlines, but I’m glad that I did. There are reasons that I actually like these weeks of training. Although I miss flying, and HATE sitting ALL DAY LONG, it’s nice to have routine. To know when lunch, dinner, and potty breaks will be. This training has been much more relaxed than my last experience. Some trainees have been showing up late, and text messaging during class. It’s a good thing that I am not the instructor, as I probably would have kicked out half of the class, which could have included myself at some point (I used to get in trouble in college for talking too much in classes…college. Please Kara. Please!)
There is a mix of us, many with extensive experience, some with none. As every day is easy for me, I know that it’s not for others. I don’t have to study, because it’s familiar, even if different for some situations. I thank my stars that I wasn’t thrown into this training without ever flying before. I can’t imagine how hard it would be then. I’ve been incredibly impressed with how the inexperienced new hires are handling it so well. They are smart, and know the answers. I know that if I was in their position, I would be struggling. It would be stressful. I think those with many years experience, many more than me know this, so we help each other. We need to. We will have to when we are working together on the aircraft. It’s a team.
Now, it’s almost as if, although I take training seriously, I’ve been enjoying it for the story. Writing has made me learn to love the story. I laugh at the funny moments. I’m not shy anymore. I look forward to going home, and working out, and sitting at the hot tub. I have weekends off. I miss my best friends. There’s that excited unknown hanging over me.
I miss putting on a uniform that defines me as a cabin crew member.
It frustrates me at times while in class, when tangents happen, and I am absolutely annoyed when phones, and lateness lace the training environment. We are lucky that these instructors are not so strict. We are lucky to be in the 4 percent, because 96 percent of applicants are rejected. I don’t think I understood how coveted of a job being a flight attendant was until I became one. I’m thankful. It’s good to always be thankful.
Being in this training inspired me to write a 3 page eBook about how new flight attendant hires can succeed in flight attendant training. It’s only $2.50, and you can download the PDF version below, as the iTunes store copy is still being approved. Downloads will help counter act the significant pay cut that I have taken. SO THANK YOU!
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