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Working On Cloud 9

Updated on May 25, 2017

First Day on The Job

My first day as a flight attendant was so nerve wracking. In training to become a flight attendant, they stress so much information, rules, and regulations on how things are supposed to work. And me, someone with OCD, wanted to get it right the first time. Let me tell ya just how right I got it (kinda)!

I made sure I got to the airport at least an hour and a half early because I was new to the Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), so I needed to make sure I could find my way around. We are only required to be at the gate about 45 minutes before departure, so just imagine all of my nerves sitting and waiting just outside the gate for a Charleston turn. But I walked through that airport with so much sass and my head held high because, honestly, I was kind of feeling myself as Beyonce would say.

Once the gate agent came to the desk, I went up to her to check in and she checked my ID like nothing and just went along her day, so I felt real good that I didn't say anything dumb enough to look like a newbie. I got down to the airplane and introduced myself to the cabin crew and everyone was incredibly nice. The other flight attendant that I was working with wanted to work in the back, so that meant I was up front with the first class. TALK ABOUT SCARY! When everyone is boarding, I have to stop the process to make sure pre-departure beverage service is taken care of for the first class. For some reason, I really hate doing that because these people have just waited so long to board and I have to make them wait even more. And I also don't like saying, "can you please just wait here for a moment?". I feel like it makes me seem so careless towards to rest of the people boarding. But oh well, right? What can I do about it? It's all just a part of the job. And luckily, everyone in my first class was SO sweet and not to talkative so I didn't have to go on and on about how I just started and they can give me that "Oh, wow" look like because "I'm new something will happen to the plane" (major eye rolling by me). No one even knew it my first ever flight, so I was feeling really fancy!

Me being excited that no one could tell I was a newbie.
Me being excited that no one could tell I was a newbie.

4 Day Trip - Wake Up Please

So once I got a few flights out of the way, I was assigned my first 4 day trip. I felt like I was already a pro at saying the right things and handing out snacks without fumbling around. The other flight attendant that I was working with, McKenzie, was in my training class. We were so worried about working with each other because we were both so new and didn't want to mess anything up, especially because we were going to Canada - which has a few more steps than most flights. BUT we handled it like bosses, so no one even knew we had no idea what we were really doing.

Since McKenzie and I were both new, we switched up between working the back and front of the plane throughout the trip. When I work in the back, that is when I take care of drinks and snacks for the whole cabin after first class. Luckily, I didn't spill on anyone (YET). I got through nice and fast with no hiccups. McKenzie and I even got someone who said, "I haven't been on a flight with this many smiles in a long time!", which made us feel happy like we knew what we were doing and loving it at the same time! There's nothing worse than getting a crabby flight attendant, am I right? Anyways, it all seemed to go so well until the last day of the trip.

We had to be downstairs to take the shuttle to the airport at 5:00AM. I got a phone call from McKenzie at 4:58AM asking, "Hey, you're coming down here right?" and I responded with, "Uhhhh, no. I just woke up...!!" Luckily the captain I was working with was the best, and I could hear him say to take the next shuttle and meet them all there. (Panic mode initiated ASAP).

I have NEVER gotten out of bed, thrown on make up, put my 10 layer uniform on, got to the airport, through security, and to the gate faster in my life. I think I was there within 30 minutes? I was running faster than I ever have in life, in heels. And let me tell you, that is the last time I ever wake up late again. From now on I will always set up a morning wake up call with the front desk as a back up plan.


The best part about being a flight attendant? Besides getting incredible flight benefits for you and your family, seeing a different place everyday, AND getting paid to do it - I would say it would be the incredible view you get to see when you look outside of the galley window on the service door. No matter if it is light outside or dark, you're seeing clouds or stars - you get to see the sky from up above and it's just...speechless. My camera roll is full of selfies and pictures of the sky. I am OBSESSED with taking pictures of the sky. Because for a long time I sat at a desk and I stared at the same screen, all day, everyday, 5-6 days a week, from 9am to 6pm. And to see the world, sky, and clouds from up above rather than the ground is simply just breathtaking.

Flying into Ottawa, Canada. This view is from sitting in a row over the wings.
Flying into Ottawa, Canada. This view is from sitting in a row over the wings.
Flying somewhere over West Virginia.
Flying somewhere over West Virginia.
Flying back into IAD.
Flying back into IAD.
Flying over Burlington, Vermont on a cloudy day.
Flying over Burlington, Vermont on a cloudy day.

What about you?

Do you like looking out the window when flying?

See results

© 2017 Jorgie Irby


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    • profile image

      Melissa 11 months ago

      Amazing words!!

    • profile image

      Susan Renfrow 11 months ago

      Jorgie I love your blog!!! I love your new career! You need to let me know when your in West Palm Beach or close by!!!!

      Love you

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 11 months ago from the short journey

      10 layers?! Oh dear! ;) So glad you had a great start to your career and that you turned the bumps into learning experiences. Sounds like you are going to be a stellar flight attendant.

      Always wanted to talk to attendants and find out more about their work. I try to remember that each of them is an individual who must balance a personal life with coworker relationships that they must maintain in confined quarters all in a job that requires an ability to properly deal with a wide variety of customers.

      Some of my best experiences with people have come from seeing flight attendants in action, as well as a few of the worst. For customers, it's like the old poem, "...when she was good she was very good, but when she was bad she was horrid!" (In this case she or he.)

      Of course, the same is true for attendants when it comes to dealing with customers, I know. If customers are good it's a great flight, if they are bad (shame on them) the flight is miserable (and dangerous).

      Your exuberance regarding your job makes me want to book a flight when you are attending. Such a good attitude will help you personally, support you when the job is tough, and maybe even take you forward to make a difference in the industry. Keep learning!

    • profile image

      JoAnn Sells 11 months ago

      Loved reading "Working on cloud 9" by Jorgie Irby