Seems since school started and my small vacation away from work and "normal life in BKK", that I've had nothing to blog about, only daily life really. But yesterday Pae said something to me that I felt like sharing. Nothing earth shattering, but something that felt nice to hear. Of course I felt like sharing!
Royal Jordanian (RJ) has been upgrading their scheduling system lately. Normally, a monthly schedule of flights for each flight attendant (FA) would come out before the beginning of the month, giving each FA an idea of what to expect as far as flight hours, time away from home, requested days off (ROFF), etc. As RJ worked out the kinks in their new system, they have had to give only daily schedules, where FAs were required to access their schedule every evening to see the next day's flight.
Finally, after several annoying days of not knowing what the month had in store as far as flights, the full month roster came out...yesterday as Pae was getting prepared to fly back to Amman. She'd been in BKK for her monthly ROFF. Mom in Ubon has been in the hospital, so Pae spent most of her time visiting her family. We looked at her schedule and here is her tentative list of flights for the rest of November:
Hong Kong, PRC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
So, the reason I'm sitting here typing this, is that once we got into her schedule and looked at timing, days off, layovers in certain cities, etc. Pae smiled and said, "I feel like a real flight attendant now!" Awesome!
WOW!! was the first thing I thought, although her schedule looked very very tiring. Considering her October schedule was very light (Bangkok, London, Paris, Damascus, Paris) this schedule seemed like...well...WOW! Her first month of flights with RJ consisted of mostly middle east short flights to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, etc. All "turn-around" flights, meaning, the flight goes to say Istanbul and then turns right around and returns to Amman with new passengers...no exploring the city, etc. Her November schedule is still mostly turn-around flights, but it has a couple transit (layover) flights as well.
November will give her the opportunity to play together with me in Bangkok for a day, shop and eat Subway sandwiches in London (haha) and spend an entire day in Colombo, perhaps the destination that Pae is most excited about, outside of Bangkok of course!!
I am personally hoping that she gets good weather flying in and out of Switzerland. Pae recently, on her two flights to Paris in October, said that not only was she able to see the Eiffel tower from the air, but even more amazing to her were the beautiful snow-capped mountain ranges as they climbed up and through the cloud cover. She said that she had never seen anything like that before. If she loved seeing the snowy peaks gently poking through the soft layer of cloud, she will likely never forget the view she will see flying in and out of Switzerland!!!
Part of the allure of being a flight attendant is the travel, new cities, new faces, and even things that are old but in new places! (Subway sandwiches in London and Carrefour in Paris for example!) This travel is actually only a side benefit of the job, as the most important aspect of being a cabin crew is the safety, service and the satisfaction of the passengers.
The first month of flights with RJ as well as Pae's first airline (Orient Thai) were all turn-around flights, work work work work and no play. No getting off of the aircraft and sharing small adventures with her fellow crew members. This month's schedule, even though she hasn't flown the schedule yet, has given Pae that feeling inside of "arrival"...She's been a flight attendant for quite some time now, over a year combined between two airlines...She's always "looked the part", "worked the part" and "smiled the part", but she now is starting to "feel the part", or at least receive some of the benefits! It all translates to more job satisfaction, and when a person is happy with what they do, it puts a little extra sparkle in their eyes and a little extra pep in their step!! And when Pae is happy, I am happy!
Wishing Pae a November full of safe flights, skilled pilots, pleasant passengers, hard-working crew, sufficient rest time, new experiences, new friends and tiny adventures!