In November 2009, a self-proclaimed Archaeology Lifer found herself employed as a Flight Attendant. She's not sure how it happened. No one really is. Here's what happened next...
Yesterday I loved Aviation.
Today I’m not the biggest fan.
Rumors are always abound in this industry, and while away on my pairing we started to hear whispers about a possible charter. Sure enough, after a little while, about a third of all crew members got an email about a possible charter which would have us positioning to Florida for a little while and working out of there - we were emailed because we were the ones who would be available to go.
All day I have been waiting to hear something, and still nothing.
Now I hear that two of the other girls have been sent plane tickets to Kelowna (where the company is based) but have been given no further instruction.
Princess and I are practically doing our nuts in waiting to hear what is going on! I hate not knowing. But SOMETHING is going on, and I bloody well hope that I am involved in whatever it is The Airline is cooking up.
Be warned all potential flight attendants - charter airlines will drive you mad.
So I rather enjoyed myself today. My unshakable good mood (the result of hitting the skies again in ONE MORE DAY) is still… well unshakable! Work was quiet, but it was good because I ended up having a blast joking around with the other servers. I decided I wanted to write love notes to The Silver Fox (one of the other servers…that’s his official nickname…according to me anyways). He’s absolutely 100% married, and I’m absolutely 100% not interested, and we both know this, which allows for some ridiculously fun flirting. So I amused myself thinking up poems and raunchy sayings, which I wrote and folded up, sealing the letters with a kiss. Quite literally. I wore red lipstick today. I am a menace with red lipstick. I spent most of the time kissing notes or leaving red lips on Kitten’s (another male server) cheeks.
After work I was texting one of the guys from the flying club, and just thought “Oh what the hell” and drove over there. I spent almost three hours just hanging out. It was ridiculously quiet thanks to more thunderstorms, so I just spent some time chillig with the dispatcher and a few of the instructors.
Which leads me into what I learned today.
I learned that My Instructor wants to send me for my PSTAR NEXT WEEK. (PSTAR is one of the tests I have to write prior to my first solo flight) Hahahahha. He’s got a good sense of humour, that one.
Except he’s serious.
I’m definitely not going to have enough time to prepare, so we’re going to have to negotiate. I might be able to swing the week after next, but with flying for three days on the first half of this week, and then working for the rest at The Restaurant? Me writing an important exam is not going to happen NEXT WEEK.
I did ask him if I could do a spin when he takes me out on Monday though, to which he said ‘You don’t need to for your PPL’. So I told him that I knew that, but I wanted to do it. So he said OK. HURRAH!
I’ve got a million things to do. I love how I wasted three hours this afternoon. Whoops? But actually I really enjoyed myself, and got to know a few more of the people from the club a little better. So that’s not really a loss in my books.
Oh, and I’ve just realised that this post is my 100th post! Who’d have thought it! I’ve only been at this blog for just over two months! I’m awfully proud of myself. I think the fact that it’s focused on Aviation is good for me. It gives me an outlet, so I don’t have to constantly talk about it all to my friends, who I’m sure are about ready to drop-kick my head at this point. At least here I get it all out of my system, and it stands the chance of being appreciated by like-minded individuals.
I love you all, dear readers!
I got my charter advice and flight details today!!!!!
I deadhead to YYZ on WestJet Monday afternoon, with tons of time for a few drinks before the 12 hour cutoff (The Canadian Aviation Regulations state that Cabin and Flight crew must not drink 10 hours prior to their shifts, however The Airline’s policy states 12 hours.) Since we arrive in YYZ at around 7pm and our check-in the next day isn’t until 4pm, I fully expect Princess and I to tear up the town! I can’t wait! I’ve never partied in Toronto. (And our hotel is right near the airport, so I’m hoping for a view of a runway to keep me amused).
This pairing is actually a seriously sweet deal… I think in total we only work about ten hours in three days! But still get paid two full credit days, three per diems AND a half-salary travel day.
NOW I remember how I could afford to be such a shopaholic in the winter.
I just have to survive two breakfast shifts at The Restaurant and I’m off. I’ve got Monday planned to a T. Breakfast with Pepper, flying lesson noon until two, and then lunch at the airport with a friend who works there, and perhaps time for a ten-minute manicure in the departures lounge before my flight out!
Tomorrow I need to finish my laundry, iron my uniform, and start thinking about packing so that I can put together a little flight attendant entry I’ve got all planned out on Sunday evening!
I’m so excited. I’m getting my lifestyle back! I was practically dancing at work today, and I’ve been in an unshakable good mood for a week!
On a final note, Pepper made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. She and I went shopping yesterday, and while we sat and had some dinner, there was a child running around, yelling and being hyper completely uncontrolled by his mother. It was annoying the heck out of both of us. I turned to say something to Pepper, but she suddenly clutched at her stomach and looked pained.
‘Oh god,’ I said, ‘What’s the matter?’
‘I think I just felt five of my eggs commit suicide,’ she replied.
This is why I love her.
In just over a week I will be back in the skies on a B737! Unfortunately not my favourite plane this time around, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m really just overjoyed to be getting back to work as an FA again!
This does mean my schedule is going to get complicated. I deadhead to Toronto (YYZ) next Monday afternoon, and am away for 4 days. I emailed the crew scheduler and begged for an afternoon flight, so that I can squeeze in a flying lesson with My Instructor at 8am, because that’s literally the only spot I can get in that week. Poor sod. I’m going to buy him a coffee. Anyway, the scheduler said that is fine, but I’m probably going to have to go straight from my lesson to the terminal, which means I’ll have to get changed at the club or something, because I won’t deadhead in anything less than business casual, and I can’t fly a Cessna in a skirt.
Or can I?
My boss at The Restaurant is going to have a coronary. Especially when I tell him about the five day Thursday-Monday trip that The Airline has lined up for me towards the end of the month. But to be quite honest I’m beyond caring. I came this close to walking out on my shift this afternoon. The man was being utterly ridiculous. The only reason I didn’t quit on the spot was because I took a moment to reconcile myself to the idea that if I quit my serving job I wouldn’t be able to afford flying lessons until I got another job, and that caused physical pain in my heart.
So instead of telling my boss exactly what I thought of him, I took several deep breaths, stormed off to the bathroom to have a cry, composed myself and continued working. After my shift my boss was giving me shit for something completely unreasonable. I stared straight ahead, didn’t look at him, and ate a granola bar while he unloaded on me. Luckily a few of my colleagues came to my defense, which took the wind out of his douchebag sails a little.
Anyway, the June schedule is nice, but it’s only part time flying. We shall see what July looks like, and that could completely change things for me.
For this weekend, my plans are to work breakfasts at The Restaurant (doom), and then spend the rest of my time locked in my room revising my answers to potential questions for my Air Force interview, and trying to take practice aptitude tests online.
Wish me luck!
Last night I was sad.
The YOW flight attendants had, for whatever reason, been under the impression that if we did not have a flight every 90 days, we would no longer be “current”, and would have to be re-trained. I know this is the case with many airlines, as we had been led, by another FA, to believe that this was how things were with ours.
My 90 days will be May 29th. Fast approaching. So, last night I was sad. Very low. It looked like there was little hope for me to pick up any more flights, ESPECIALLY if I would have to be retrained. I thought that the final little nail was being hammered into my career as an FA, at least with this airline. I was never going to fly on my favourite plane again. I was never going to do my safety demonstration again. I was never going to get the thrill of take-off again. I was never going to see my Important Person again. I was in a dark place.
With a sigh, I looked outside my bedroom at dusk, and noticed a beautiful, bright star glimmering just above the trees.
‘What could it hurt?’ I asked myself.
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.
Today I found an email waiting for me in my inbox when I finished work at The Restaurant. The crew scheduler wanted my availability for the summer, because the YOW flight attendants who are still interested are to be included in the new contracts! And we could be getting started as early as next week! I cried happy tears all the way home in my car, until I looked like a panda with my eyeliner smudged all over my face.
Oh, and that 90 day thing? Not true! With our training scheme, we are considered “current” for a year, and so require annual re-training! I’m still a current flight attendant, and I’m going to be getting some flights! Could my day be any better?
All of a sudden, I have things to do again. I need to get my hair cut and my roots done. I need to buy a metric butt-load of nightshade stockings (I am awful at tights, and go through AT LEAST one pair per flight. I became a whiz at changing them in the lav). I need to get my uniform dry-cleaned. I need to get my nails done. I need to get some tan on my legs. I need to buy new black pumps. I need to prepare questions I want to ask the pilots about learning to fly (hah, poor bastards thought I was pestering them with questions before… won’t they be in for a surprise. The Inquisitive Flight Attendant is going to be back with more passion than ever before!)
I can finally write a few of the creative flight attendant drabbles that have been pestering my creative muse for a while now. I didn’t want to put any work into them, because I thought it might depress me. But now, if I am to be flying again, I’m going to throw myself back into it all wholeheartedly! I’m going to try and throw at least one of them together at some point tomorrow evening, but we shall have to wait and see. An old high school teacher of mine wants me to do a lesson on archaeology for a couple of his history classes, and that is going to take some prep time for me. I also have heaps of notes to do before flying tomorrow! BUSY!
Today we got the news that The Airline has won a bid for some cadet movement for the summer months. This is pretty exciting, as it is entirely possible that they will include the Ottawa based Flight Attendants in this contract! Keep your fingers crossed for me, people! What I wouldn’t give to be working right now. I’m resisting the urge to email the Crew Scheduler and say “Is it too early to start begging for flights?”
Interestingly enough, I had a dream last night, in which I was accepted to the Air Force, and grew maroon coloured angel wings out of my shoulders. It was pretty cool, and I never wore shoes, because I could just fly over any gravel, but I enjoyed walking on the grass.
I looked it up in my dream dictionary this morning. Apparently if you see yourself with wings “you will soon be flying high”.
How about that then, aye?
I also had a dream that I slept through three days of work at The Restaurant and was trying to think up a convincing lie to get away without being fired. I woke up from my nap this morning in time to get to work, but spent several minutes feeling utterly convinced that I had missed my shift entirely and that there was no point in getting out of bed.
I live underneath two flight paths. One flies North, to Ottawa, and one northeast to Montreal. It’s generally pretty quiet - I live in the middle of the country. But every ten minutes or so I hear the sound of a jet engine flying overhead. It’s not super loud - I am sufficiently far away from both airports that it is not a nuisance, and sometimes it won’t even register. But most of the time I hear it, and then I look up, and it makes me smile.
I haven’t had much to say for a few days. After work on Friday I spent an inappropriate amount of time getting lost in downtown before I found my way back to the recruitment office (I’ve been there before, I don’t know why it was so hard to get there again). I was twitchy and nervous as I got out of my car, but gained courage as I walked past a woman in an Air Force uniform. When I entered the office I noticed that the man who had spoken to me before was not there. I was actually kind of pleased. He had intimidated the crap out of me, and when he gave me the application form he had seemed pretty disinterested. This time, there was a lovely man sitting behind the desk with an easy smile.
‘Can I help you?’ he asked.
‘I’ve brought an application form,’ I replied, pleased to hear that my voice sounded firm and determined, but I still couldn’t keep the smile from my face as he invited me to sit down across from him. Together, we went over my application, and he pointed out the few pieces I had forgotten to fill in, and he took photocopies of all my documents. He laughed at the photograph on my Canadian Citizenship card (most people do), and remarked that I looked exceptionally tall for someone who is only 39cm.
He told me that the official next step of the process was for me to wait patiently. Then he raised an eyebrow and slid a business card across the desk to me.
‘However, if it were my file - and this is your file - I would keep in mind that you have the right to know where it is every step of the way. Call every day if you like, just to check on your progress.’
I’m not going to call every day. I think I will give it about a week and a half, and then check-in. I still have to take in a copy of my flight records anyway. It’s not necessary, but the man at the office said it could be of use, and anything that could bulk up my file was a good thing, unless it was a criminal record.
So there we go. I have applied. To the Air Force. I applied to the Air Force. No matter how many times I say it to myself, it never fails to surprise me. I have come so very far in the past six months, it’s absolutely unbelievable. I would never have even considered this for myself back then, and now it just feels like a natural progression.
I’m terribly nervous that I won’t be accepted. I suppose I should just expect it; there aren’t many positions available after all, and if girls have to be “twice as good to be equal” as my Important Person puts it, well, there must be some guys out there who are miles ahead of me. But I am hoping that I will at least get an interview. If I can get an interview I can really sell it to them.
But hey, if I am not successful I will just have to keep working on my PPL by myself, and apply again next year.
The weekend was a bit crap. Work, work and more work at the Restaurant. My boss is absolutely nuts, loves me one minute and hates me the next. It’s exhausting trying to keep up. Had a spat with another server, had an inclination I have been developing towards a certain line cook shot out of the air mid-crush (good looking boys with sexy accents are not to be trusted), and got hit on by lots of old Italian men.
I now have three days off. I spent most of today in my pjs doing nothing at all, and am now going to put in some studying time for tomorrow’s flying lesson with my Substitute Instructor. Quite looking forward to it. Although I booked the lesson when the weather network said the afternoon would be nice, but now it says that there is a chance of thundershowers. Sigh. What I should do is pick times when the weather is supposed to suck, and then it will all clear up beautifully.
I am a clumsy person.
Really. I’m not graceful.
Today at the Restaurant, something happened with the coffee maker. I don’t know what. One second I was reaching to grab the coffee pot from the coffee maker, the next, the pot is on the ground and I am covered in EXTREMELY hot coffee and coffee grinds. I stood in shock for a moment, before screaming pretty loudly as the scalding coffee made its way through my apron and pants and started burning my legs. It’s all a bit of a blur really. Somehow I found myself in the bathroom applying ice while someone else cleaned up the colossal mess I made (which I felt very bad about).
Luckily I was OK. I think my apron took the worst of it. I am actually pretty thankful I was wearing it. Some of the skin on my hand is a bit tight and sore, but I think the major problem was the shock and the adrenaline that kicked in. I was shaky and tearful for a while, and when I went back to serve my tables, people immediately started asking me for coffee. I must have looked terrified. It was ridiculous. But I calmed down after a while. Except for one moment, when one of the servers accused me of neglecting a table. I told her, in rather a cold voice, that my tables were just fine, thankyouverymuch, and that she should check the seating plan regarding the table in question, because I had given excellent service to all of the tables in my section, despite an interlude with the coffee maker and the first aid kit.
And they let me fly planes.
I got my work schedule for the week (at 8pm on a Sunday night… see previous, re: my boss is a douche). I am off Tuesday and Wednesday. You know what the means? Flying lessons baby! I was scheduled in on Thursday this week, but my Instructor kind of canceled on me. He said we couldn’t do the flying, but we could do the lesson. I didn’t much fancy driving an hour to not fly though, and I didn’t feel particularly prepared, so we are rescheduling for Tuesday.
Perhaps I will finally get to do my take-off! I also have to do the pre-flight checks by myself, AND contact ground control for my squawk, before my Instructor even shows up! EEP! The responsibilities are getting up there.
Finally, I have a question for all you gentle readers. Could you please recommend me some blogs to follow related to Aviation? Flight Attendants? Pilots? Etc?