It’s been a while since I did not write anything. Hectic days! My friend/flatmate broke her wrist into 4 pieces, underwent a surgery and now she’s literally Iron Woman! A titanium plate with 8 screws is holding her wrist back.
Honestly, I don’t wish for anyone what she had to go through especially in a country that is not our own. Luckily me and Suzi (our other flatmate) were there when it happened. I stayed overnight with her at the Hospital the day of the surgery and the next day as well until she got discharged in the evening.
Since I’m going through the whole suspension process, I’ve explained to her what will happen and that she needs A LOT of patience in the upcoming weeks. Doctor visits, our company asking about the progress, insurance approvals and physiotherapy. It all can seem extremely overwhelming. Not to mention not working after being extremely active.
It affects our mental stability and stresses our body, because you are literally left in the unknown until you are fit to fly. However if there is any good in this situation, is that we are here for one another even if it’s both of us suspended, we feel there is someone who will support us and help us when needed.
For now all we can do is sit back, relax and enjoy our recovery!
I just arrived in Abu Dhabi after being home for 1 month due to a broken ankle. It took me 2 flights to get here (San Jose-Paris 10hrs) and (Paris-Abu Dhabi 6.35hrs). I am jet lagged, with a swollen ankle and off course, missing my family.
This slight sadness while being on the other side of the world, makes me think WHY AM I DOING THIS? It’s not like I am going to fly forever! Especially knowing that this job is not a lifetime career here. On October 1st, I turned 31 and we have all heard that Middle Eastern airlines are known for the early 20’s crew. Now that I’ve got my flying license suspended until my foot gets better. I’ll have plenty of time to think about my life and try to think what my future step will be!
While I was flying back from home, I took Air France and as crew, you can’t avoid but compare the service between cabin crew of other airlines. That particular crew had a median age of around 45 years old and they all looked so calm, poised, polite but with a don’t mess with me look. They do have this job for a lifetime, no age restrictions or exhausting schedules. Plus, passengers don’t get all complicated with them because they know that they simply can’t!
Us on the other side, are supposed to be bubbly, excited to serve and always looking pretty. It is extremely demanding and tiring sometimes! If I had only 4/5 flights a month or so, off course I could do this for a VERY LONG TIME! Instead, I feel my body is getting drained quickly. This past month, I was able to sleep deeply and without interruptions. Going to bed around 21:30 and waking up without an alarm at 6:30/7am and just having a “normal” life.
Now that I’m back in UAE, the first night was terrible. Off course I passed out at 16hrs, woke up at 21:30 and couldn’t manage to close my eyes until 06:35am! Yes its jet lag but also the stress of not knowing when I am going back to work and if I’ll feel comfortable after being on ground for a while…
I hear this line quite often from people when they ask me what I do for a living…
The thing is, it’s not always as amazing as it sounds! Don’t get me wrong here, in my 6+ years of flying, I’ve seen and heard quite a lot of things that make me think, “Yes it’s an exciting job but it’s not forever!”
Quite surely I can say that it’s not a career in the Middle East Airlines. I started when I was 23 and now I am 31 and I feel the difference! We usually work 12 to 14 hour duties from sign in, have multiple flights a week with only 11 hours legal rest in between. Yes sometimes we get 5 days off in a row but in my case, as I fly mostly the 320, I’m constantly living in my uniform and it started to mentally and physically drain me.
My usual routes are India, Pakistan, Africa and the Gulf Countries. Sometimes I try to be positive and say well I get to sleep in my own bed tonight but then, when I get back home at 2am and know that my next duty starts at 14:00hrs, it makes me think is it worth it?
My body is having more of hard time adjusting to my busy schedules which involve Late night Turnarounds and 4 sectors a day most of the time. Yes we look pretty and are smiling to the guests, but they don’t really know how we feel on the inside and they shouldn’t as we chose to do this on our own. However, as an advice be nice to us when your getting on the plane! If we greet you, just say hi back!
It is a constantly demanding job. You have to please everyone even if they’re shouting at you because they didn’t get their meal preference or the person in front of them reclined their seat. We have many duties to fulfill in just 1 flight. We secure the cabin, serve meals, collect the trash, attend to First Aid cases, sell duty free, do walk arounds, clean the toilets and Oh boy, that’s fun! (Yes that’s sarcasm talking). Whenever we are about to sit to eat after running around like headless chickens, there’s something that comes up and there you go to attend that call bell that is only for you to pick up leftover trash.
Being a HUB, the area where I work is mostly for connections. We deal with people from different cultures, manners and beliefs. It is hard to please them all! I remember once, I cried because I felt so insulted by someone that I couldn’t take it anymore. Yet we wipe the tears off and come out with a smile.
Do I regret leaving what could’ve been my long term job as a Journalist to travel the world? Absolutely not! But now I’m in the middle of a 30’s life uncertainty. What will I do next?
Eight years living between Doha and now the UAE started to feel like its time for me to move on. Being alone and so far away from family makes you think a lot about it!
If there’s anyone out there who’s been flying and decided to leave the job for good, share your insights with me! Advices from fellow colleagues are always welcomed!