Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Encounter with a Former Flight Attendant

Everytime I go to airline screenings, and or interviews,  I get to meet and had a short chat with other applicants. Yesterday was quite different but not unusual.

I met a woman who was with a young guy (whom I assumed was also an applicant ) at the Diamond Hotel's lobby while I was waiting for my friend. She asked me if I'm applying for QR, I quickly said Yes with a smile. She told her nephew: "ayan sabay na kayo" (something like that), I told them to go ahead since my friend was not around yet that time. I eventually went upstairs and decided to wait my friend there. I saw the (same) woman again, there, we shared our own stories. That's when she told me she was a former flight attendant of Philippine Airlines, and the OD was her nephew's first try for an airline company. She worked for the flag carrier for 33 years. Her sister, was once a flight attendant too for Cathay Pacific but did not serve long, "hindi daw nakatagal" according to her. The woman told me, "dati, hindi naman mahigpit sa airlines, hindi mahirap makapasok. Ngayon, matindi ang kompetisyon, kawawa nga ang generation niyo". She also added (though not the exact words): "hindi ko nga akalain na makakapasok ako kasi maliit lang ako, noong nag-apply ako, dalawa lang kaming kinuha. Ang tatangkad niyo. Kung ngayon ako nag-aapply, siguro hindi ako matatanggap."Aside from sharing her life in PAL, she also said her experiences on missed opportunities, like her regrets on why she was unable to try for an international carrier and her other chances of working abroad. "Hindi ko natagalan kasi nalulungkot ako "(because she was all alone to a 'faraway land'). While she was telling me those stories, I have thought myself, living alone abroad -Kaya ko at kakayanin ko kasi iyon ang gusto ko. My father once asked me, kaya mo bang mag-abroad? Sa abroad, mag-isa ka lang, malayo ka sa pamilya mo, hindi lang trabaho mo ang iisipin mo, iisipin mo rin ang pamilya mo. I know the thought of living alone was sad and seemed to be scary. Who wanted to live alone anyway? A friend told me: lahat may katapat na sacrifice. If you want to be an international flight attendant, then, you have to live independently, away from your loved ones. Everything has its pros and cons because nothing was perfect.

On a lighter note, the woman shared some tips like always smile and maintain a good posture, "wag kang kukuba kasi kapag maganda ang posture madaling makita ang height".
She also gave me inspiring and encouraging words: hindi ka dapat nahihiya, try lang ng try, tsaka prayer din.

Yes! PRAYER! It would always be our greatest weapon. In times of adversities, a prayer would always be our easiest and instant connection with God. There were times when we might feel like God was not giving us our desires, but,as the Perpetual Help devotees would say: that HE answers all our prayers in the way that is best for us.

I didn't know what happened to the application of the woman's nephew. I didn't see them after I went out of the ballroom, but, I would always remember the warm approach of the woman who had chosen to spend several minutes talking to me. I hope our paths would cross again in the near future.


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