Thursday, November 13, 2014

One chapter closes as another one begins - Nok Pae, Cabin Leader

Pae has recently changed airlines to a Thai airline called Nok Air. She got a job there as a Cabin Leader (CL).   "Nok" is the Thai word for bird. As such, after they graduate from training, they are called with "Nok" preceding their name ;) So, now Pae is "Nok Pae".
A quick work history before showing some photos of Pae's Nok Air graduation (really quick training this time around).
The night before graduation, decorating the room
After Pae graduated from University, she decided to try to become a flight attendant and began learning about the process of applying for such a position. Over the years, she has been to many interviews with many airlines. She has "made the cut" on many occasions. She hasn't always taken the jobs when offered though.
We went to a late dinner with Pae's fellow "Noks" after graduation. It just happened to be Pae's birthday too! Her friends got her a cake.
Her first airline job was a seasonal cabin crew position with a three month contract with a local domestic/charter carrier Orient Thai Airlines (OX). Actually, OX had a Hong Kong flight, so more regional than domestic. She chose not to sign a permanent contract once her three months was up and she moved on.
Is it weird that I find this moustached girl in yellow attractive ? ;)
Her first big move was to Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) where she would have to live in Amman, Jordan and fly regional (Middle Eastern), South East Asian and European (eventually US) routes. This was before we got married and we only were able to see each other for a week or so monthly, either when she had Bangkok flights or when she got her monthly days off.
The new CLs and their trainers
She left Jordan when her contract expired because we decided that she would come home. At the time, we were deciding whether or not to leave Thailand to go make a life in the States or not. We eventually decided to stay in Thailand and Pae got a three year contract with Jetstar (JQ). Her JQ contract labeled her as "Bangkok Base", but she spent the majority of each month, for the past three years, in Australia.
Give yourself a pat on the back
We did well, I ran, we got BunBun, we both worked hard and things worked out with lots of patience, love, understanding, communication and everything else that helps a relationship to grow and flourish.
The good thing about the "circus" theme was the concession stand (free snacks!)
Eventually, JQ started to talk about downsizing. JQ is a budget (low cost) airline; the low cost sister of Australia's flagship airline Qantas. There, the bottom line was everything. There started to be talk of all Bangkok Base flight attendants being sent to Phuket, a tropical paradise island (touristy) in the southern reaches of the Kingdom. This caused us to have to rethink her renewing her contract. If she was forced to do a six month rotation based out of Phuket, then we would either have to keep two homes or I'd have to quit my job and find one down there, only to be sent back to Bangkok after six months...so, we played it safe and Pae started looking for another airline during her days off (and days sick) and even when she was in Australia.
She ended up not renewing her contract after she applied for a Cabin Leader position (Purser) at Nok. She accepted the position, resigned from JQ and now she's home forever! Yay! She started training for the Cabin Leader position almost immediately. With four years of experience, the training was a lot more familiar to her although she would have to learn new aircraft (mostly OJT familiarization, etc.)
Graduation selfie, why not
Now, after the flight crew of course (Captain and FO), she is pretty much in charge of every flight she is on as the Cabin Leader. Based on her stories after finishing work every night, she is doing a great job.
Although the graduating group was twenty plus new CLs, as tends to happen in any larger group, several smaller close-knit groups of girls formed by the end of training.
 It was the second of her graduations that I was able to attend. I was at her OX graduation as well. She puts so much effort into knowing the things she needs to know to keep the passengers and cargo of her flights safe and happy. But she doesn't just KNOW it...she OWNS it. I'm very proud of her for her commitment, diligence and hard work. She should be an example to others. I hope all of the "Little Noks" have their eyes on her and will learn from her and benefit from her good example.
I think the trainers had the new Cabin Leaders spend more time with a choreographer and  rehearsals than they did studying things like, say...safety? Hahaha!
As part of her graduation from training, she and the other twenty something newly hired Cabin Leaders had to put on a show. They chose a circus theme. These are photos of her graduation. We not only did the graduation, but I also got to go to their rehearsals and help set up the room where the show was held. The senior trainers added a special five minute, candle-lit song to what the graduates thought was the whole show. It was to give each Cabin Leader her wings. It was a nice touch and there were many "wet eyes" as each of the girls got her wings pinned on by a trainer. The graduation was attended by many family members, young and old. Proud moments for all.
Photo taking after the group photo was pure melee, but I was lucky to jump right in the middle with Pae
I'll just post some of the photos, which probably hold more meaning to us, and let the captions tell a little more about them. Previously, some of Pae's airlines had certain rules about posting photos in uniform, etc., so we didn't post too many pictures of her. I think Nok is a little more relaxed...or at least I hope so ;)
Attention passengers- Introducing Nok Pae, Cabin Leader
Congratulations again, Pae, and as always, wishing you on-time departures, smooth "sailing", limited flight attendant call buttons and safe arrivals. I'm always waiting for you!
A friend snuck this photo while a slide show played. Perhaps the only time it will be okay to show any public display of affection in uniform ;)
**okay, I know, on-time departures rarely exist anymore...but fly well ;)

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Hi Guy and Pae;
Congrats to you Pae. Being closer to home is a good thing.
Enjoy your new job and both of you enjoy the time you can now spend together.
I enjoyed reading this post. It is a very nice story.
Love always, Auntie

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