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From the jump seat to the gunner seat: Chronicles of an ex-flight attendant and future Soldier
Did you know?
Water aerobics is actually a pretty legit workout. I used to laugh at those old ladies but they were on to me - they made me do a work out with them and I only lasted 20 minutes. Never again.
In the Army, when a Soldier is about to tell a whopper, they always start with, "so there I was". Not sure why but apparently it's a thing.
So there I was, in Lake Mary, FL, in the lifeguard stand at the local YMCA pool. I was twirling my whistle watching my lovely water aerobics ladies as they gossiped and "worked out" when it occurred to me. I could possibly be stuck in this town for the rest of my life.
After a mild panic attack I started to do the math. I was twenty years old with no college or aspirations. The only thing I had going for me was a bitching tan. So I started to think and think and think about what I wanted to do. Then I had it - I'd become a flight attendant!
I began contacting every major airline I could think of and started sending out resumes like a mad woman. Now that I'd decided to change my life I was giving it my all. Once all of the resumes were sent I still had to tackle the hardest part...the waiting.
Waiting for a call from a potential employer is kind of like waiting for a guy to call after a first date. You start to overanalyze every aspect of the date and wonder if you did anything that would deem you "uncallable" (apparently that's not a word but I'm keeping it). You wonder if your resume made you look fat. You get the drift.
Finally, I got the call and was on my way to Houston, TX, for an interview. I had my best flight attendant outfit on - even a little handkerchief around my neck. Was it dramatic? Maybe. Did I feel fabulous? Totally.
I stepped into the Continental Airlines training facility along with about sixty other women and men. It was overwhelming to say the least. We were broken down into smaller groups and interviewed together.
So here it was, the question I'd been waiting for. The group leader, Tina (she was from New Orleans and talked incessantly about Zydeco which sounds like a Orleans voodoo thing but it's really just a dance) turns to me and says, "Why do you want to be a Continental flight attendant?"
I responded by saying that I love people, it's a great company and I'd love to travel etc... If I may say so it was a pretty good pitch. Then, the girl next to me, Faith Hill's doppelganger, gave her answer in the sweetest little country accent ever.
"Well Tina, I just think flight attendants are so glamorous and I wanna be there to bring the best possible travel experience to our valued customers. Continental is a legacy airline and I just wanna be a part of that."
Crap. Seriously? That's all I could think as Faith over there was giving her spiel. The only thing she missed was, "and world peace". I was starting to understand why pageant girls can be so vicious - the competition here was fierce!
I was still hoping I'd made the cut and with the interview out of the way it was back Florida to do my favorite thing... To wait. And then it came. I was Continental's newest trainee! It was time to pack my bags and head to Houston for a month of training - I was finally preparing for takeoff.
"Ladies and Gentlemen we are number one for departure. Meline, please be seated"
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