February 24th 2015
This was the third day of the initial training and the last day of “honeymoon” of the flight attendants. A few impressions so far.
But let’s recap: so, I am a fully qualified attorney at law quitting her position at an international law firm to move to the Middle East in order to work as cabin crew for a 5 star airline.
The change was shocking and not explainable, but not for myself, for the ones around me.
As I said when asked in the first day, I could not be more proud of my decision.
Why did I come? I have written about this before, but the main reasons are: becoming fluent in Arabic, acquiring Islamic culture knowledge and of course seeing (all) the world. While being paid (for it). A very personal decision and purpose. Deep and unable to explain in a way that somebody that asks would understand.
My opinion so far: I cannot believe some other girls were doing this and I was at home having a normal job.
Interesting facts: the airplane does not go backwards, there are no flights close to midnight as it is confusing for the passengers (called PAX) and the meals on the flight are about 2000 calories.
About the city (my experience so far): everybody speaks English. What I loved was seeing women in abaya driving, minding their own business very confident and beautiful.
The training: I love the fact that I am told and explained with patience what to wear, how to walk, what to say, how to say it exactly, what is forbidden and what is allowed, what customer service is, how to avoid transmitting negative messages through body language, how to apply make-up, what the good tones and products are for me alone and how to apply it. Moreover, I am told whom to address if I have a problem or another, if I am sick, if I have a problem with transportation, if something it’s not working in the house (which the company provides by the way), if I am homesick (amazing!).
I learned that I have to anticipate needs, to be genuinely respectful, to deliver efficient and tailored service, to treat all customers equally, the importance of discipline and knowledge of the company products, to be proactive, to understand that people have different beliefs, they are judgmental and I have to avoid any race/religion talks, that I represent my country and the company and guest country even when I am not in uniform.
I was told that it is best to take the positive aspects because the more you bless, the more it becomes a blessing, the more you curse, it becomes a cursing. That it is hard work, that I should be very careful who I trust and that I will discover who I am. Guess what, this is why I came!
How have I changed: I am more aware of my feminine skills, I walk with more confidence and I feel prettier.
strong>Opinions: It is probably difficult for some people to understand my decision, but I never looked for approval. The good opinions: a former law school colleague said he is drying at his office – like I used to during the last year – and said I was “a diva and his muse” for this change, another friend transmitted me that I was his “idol” and he is going to quit, to and my bff said I have launched a trend. Others said I am bold. My psychologist told me that she admires me for “the war I carry inside me”. I am not sure what it is supposed to mean, but I know there is enough energy for a war inside me. From now on I will use it in the most constructive way. Haters say it is not a good decision. Friends from all over the world ask me to visit them.
I am happy.
P.S.: Flight attendants are not stupid. If they are dumb, then they are witty, if they are ugly, they are communicative and pleasant. Over all, they are brave, spontaneous, they have seen (tens of) thousands of people and been to tens of countries, they have what to tell their children and grandchildren, they earn well, they mind their own business while they see the world and acquire hands-on experience.