hitting the books, instead of the skies

Sep 24, 2011

Since entering the aviation world I've found that people often perceive the role of a flight attendant to be much different than it actually is. Sure, we travel the world. We serve drinks 40,000 feet in the air. We lead great lives and the majority of us absolutely love what we do and couldn't imagine doing anything else. When I tell people that I'm in the midst of 5 weeks of intense training for my new airline, I'm often met with blank stares. What on earth could you spend 5 weeks learning about?! Let me tell you... plenty!!
It may seem like this job is all about great customer service and mastering the art of smiling through sleep deprivation and rather impolite passengers. That's a huge part of it. In fact, it's ultimately our personalities that land us in this career. However, if you were to look past our impossible perkiness, you'd realize that our main priority is to ensure the safety of each and every person that steps onto the plane. We train for 5 weeks so that we know what to do in the event of an emergency. We need to know what to do in a huge variety of circumstances, from heart attacks to fires to decompressions to anaphylactic reactions. In a perfect world, we'll never have to use our training, but in the event that the worst happens, we know exactly what we are supposed to do. I'm entering the 2nd week of my 5, and I'm completely overwhelmed. I'm studying for my 2nd exam and cramming my brain with far too much information. In fact, I really shouldn't even have the time to be writing a blog about it, but I'm famous for my procrastinating ways. Having worked in the industry before, I was fully aware of what I was getting myself into, but it hasn't made it any easier. In fact, trying to forget what I've been taught to remember new procedures is proving to be a challenge. Information that was drilled into my head, I'm now being forced to block out. Emotions are running high, and I'm feeling rather stressed.
That said, I've managed to enjoy the past week amongst the chaos. My training group is great. I'm making friends and we've had a lot of fun practicing our safety demos and learning the lingo. My new airline seems great, and I'm really looking forward to taking to the skies again.
After a long week, I'd never been more excited for Friday. Having had the summer off and spent the past 2 years flying on any given day, weekends have had very little significance to me. Last night I was overcome with relief as I grabbed my Starbucks and hit the highway. I knew I should hide away in my room and study, but I couldn't. I drove to Edmonton to save myself from Ryan withdrawal. I'm writing out flash cards and kicking back enjoying the lack of lectures and waking up at 6 am. Monday will come too soon, but I'm willing to endure it for the end result... I will love my job, once it no longer consists of studying!


SkyMommy said...

Oh training is just the worst. Plus having to UNlearn habits? Arg. You can do it though.

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