So as 2012 continued to slip away, I began to think more seriously about what my new job could be: tour guide, travel agent, pilot, flight attendant, cruise ship worker, circus performer?!? Flight attending was something I’d thought about since I was a teenager, but it never felt like the right time. However, with the end of 2012 looming, I decided it was now or never. I’d heard about Canjet from an old high school friend who was currently working seasonally for the company. After hearing more about the job, I gave her my resume and waited with my fingers crossed for a phone call. That call came at the end of August while I was on the beach in Croatia. I had an interview shortly after, and by the beginning of October, I had a new job!
From there, it was on to a month of the most mentally exhausting training I have ever been through. I’ve been on well over 100 flights in my life and I’ve watched the flight attendants on every one, but never really knew all the training those men and women actually go through before putting on their uniform and offering you a beverage.
From the multiple written exams to the 14-hour on board drill days, to fun things like opening emergency exit windows, sliding down the emergency slide and inflating our life preservers, I quickly learned that there is much more to it than simply greeting people with a smile and serving them a hot meal.
On December 5, 2012, we went up for our first flight all together (to North Bay and back) and then had our graduation ceremony, where we all received our wings!
I was now officially a flight attendant, and for once I had actually managed to accomplish a New Year’s resolution before the year ended.
My first flight was two weeks later. Both excited and terrified, I tied my scarf, put my hair in a sock bun and made my way to the airport to meet my crew and head to our gate. After all our training, I knew what to do in case of an emergency, but wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to be doing as we flew to Puerto Vallarta. I must have looked like I knew what I was doing, though, because as I chatted with passengers, several of them asked me how long I’d been working as a flight attendant. When I told them it was actually my first day, they assured me you would never know! Sometimes a big smile goes a long way!
Since then, I’ve had seven more flights and each time it gets a little easier. Every flight is different – you always have a lot of wonderful passengers (and usually a few not-so-wonderful ones), interesting people to talk to and new crew members to meet. Sometimes you even get to stand outside during the 50-minute turnaround time and feel the warm Caribbean breeze before closing the doors and heading back to freezing cold Toronto.
While I may not get to stay in all these places, in the past two weeks I’ve been to the Dominican Republic twice, Cuba three times, Mexico twice and Fort Lauderdale once.
What a perfect job for me to start the New Year! Constantly boarding that plane and taking off seems to be keeping my antsy wanderlust under control – at least for the time being!