Monday, November 4, 2019
What are we dedicated for to do?
I recently worked the flight when a frequent flyer medallion customer approached me inflight and said, "I fly 4 times a week and you are the most dedicated flight attendant I've seen."
That was very nice of him to say that. I often get compliments, and when passengers appreciate what I do, let alone compliment me for how I do is a great thing.
This ramp agent in Vermont is another example of dedication. It was raining, and he took the initiative of putting some blankents and wiping the wet floor. This kind of dedication, despite the fact that it's no longer in the vicinity of his work sorroundings, is very commendable. He deserves a good commendation from me.
I don't ask for compliments, but I like giving and writing compliments. I appreciate simple things. I appreciate nice people.
Appreciation and compliments go hand in hand. It keeps your employees happy and dedicated.
One more question: Who are we dedicated for?
Sleeping early means waking up early as well.
When I woke up relaxed, my aura would be relaxed as well. Today was an early day, but having the first flight being just a passenger at the back, makes the morning even better.
Not rushing in the morning is the best thing to do. So I had a little bit of time to play and set the mood right.
Work and play. That's the balance we should have in life.
Who wants to ride with me to the moon with my broom stick?
I was thankful for my "accidental ferry flight" this day. Sometimes, good unexpected things happen in the right timing. I was surprised yet thankful to find out there's a ferry flight leaving from Detroit to New York earlier than my scheduled commute flight that has been delayed. It's a total blessing for me.
Life gives us surprises, some are good, some are not so good. We take advantage of those good ones and be thankful for them. While the not so good ones, they can be a source of lessons learned and still be thankful.
I accidentally found this broom stick on the jetbridge, so my fisrt reaction was to pose for a halloween photo. And because I am not a real witch, the gate agent noticed that I wasn't holding the broom right.
Thanks to my halloween ferry flight. I got to arrived New York early, and it saved me from worrying.
He's so cute and he stole me a kiss!
I wanted to carry him and give him a hug, but he surprised me with a kiss. He and his mom were travelling from Canada to New York City. It was his first flight, so we gave him a tour in the cockpit. His mom was so thankful for the experience.
I remember when I was a kid, it was my first year in school, my classmate stole me a kiss. I still remember that moment. I can't recall how I reacted and what happened after that, but it’s a vivid memory.
Kids give us some joy. They make us smile. They react to their surroundings and feelings. Giving kids experiences and good memories build their goals and dreams. It builds who and what they will be in the future.
He probably kissed me because he's happy, and wanted to say thank you with a kiss. I am happy too, for giving him a memorable trip. A reason why I love my flight attendant job.
Who do you want to kiss or at least say thank you today? Do it!
"Welcome Aboard" is a famous line in the aviation industry.
To welcome passengers, and welcoming them with a smile is a standard thing for us to do.
It is not surprising that not everyone would be responsive to us when we greet them. We have different personalities and cultures. To some people, greetings is not standard. It is also understandable that some passengers might have issues which they deal with that affect their mood or attitude. It is okay. We can leave them alone.
However, we also have our own life issues that we avoid not to bring at work. Having a happy or welcoming facade when we are worried or not feeling well is not easy. But we are at hospitality business, so we got to put some clown faces when we need too.
The truth is, I have a tendency to show my emotions with my facial expressions. But I am good in faking it too. I balance it when I can.
We all have some good days and bad days. And we strive to be the best of who we are, in whatever we do and wherever we are.
Do you wish you have a magic wand and strike it whenever you want something to happen? I would love to have one!
In reality, a physical magic wand is obscure. It is just on fairy tale stories that kids watch, read and listen to, when they fantasize and visualize more magical moments.
But you know what, we can create our own magic wand, not a physical wand but the idea of a magic wand. We can create our own fairy tales and magic moments. We can build dreams and make it happen. We can fantasize and visualize and can turn those dreams into reality.
The power of our words and our visions will help build a magic wand. We can create short fairy tale stories in our life. Have you heard of stories of "Rags to Riches" or the "Ugly Duckling to Swan?"
We may not create an extraordinary fairy tale story, but we can create winning stories, or happy anecdotes, or dreams come true.
An elderly nice man owns this cane, and we were having good conversation. I told him I will use his cane as a magic wand. He burst out laughing.
There's magic and fairy tale stories in real life, too. Believe me. It is in our minds, and in our hands.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
When routine has changed, some things tend to go wrong.
I normally take down my luggage from the overhead bin when it's time to leave the plane. There are rare cases when nice pilots take it down, and I certainly appreciate them when they do that. It saves 10 percent of my energy.
Our Captain helped me with my luggage putting it down on the aisle. My routine is to do it myself and check if I have other items in the overhead bin. Because my routine has changed, I missed the next thing that I usually do, checking for other stuff. I usually put my laptop in the luggage, this time I didn't.
I have in this bag my laptop and new high heel shoes. I left it in the plane and I didn't realized until I arrived the hotel. I tracked down where the plane had departed for, and I was hoping that the crew who took the plane have found it and gave it to the gate agent.
My prayer was granted. The following morning I was eager to talk to the gate agent to find out if they have it. They took it to the lost and found the night before.
I couldn't go back to the lost and found area, as it was almost boarding time, and there were no available gate agent to get it for me. Our Captain offered to get it; He ran and was sweating coming back. I felt bad but thankful for him. Appreciated his effort and I wrote management about what he did.
I was so glad to have recovered my laptop and my shoes. For sure, I learned a lesson from this.
It is 6:00 AM in Cincinnati and I needed the coffee to keep me awake.
Not only that, but the coffee energizes me in the morning, and keeps me sane. It also prevents me from being disabled to use a wheel chair.
Kidding aside, one of the challenging parts of this job is the schedule. We get early shows, meaning, you can be up at 4:00 AM and be ready for the 5AM hotel van for a 6AM flight. We get late finish as well, meaning, we can be done as late as midnight or the worst thing is it can be early dawn. Yes, I've had many days of that.
This lifestyle is not easy in the beginning. You have to get used to it to survive. Physical strain or fatigue is our enemy. Health is a big issue. Precautionary measures and life balance are key requirements to keep this job.
Most importantly, to love what you do is probably the best advise I can share . . to have that smile in the morning.
Capturing beautiful moments is one thing I love to do. This photo, definitely is one of my favorites.
She is a very sweet nice lady, travelling by herself to visit her son in Baltimore. Despite her difficulty hearing me, I enjoyed talking to her. She was also very attentive to me and was enthusiastic sharing her stories.
Taking care of elderly passengers and kids is my expertise. I give special attention to them and obviously special care.
We'll grow old or I must say older. I know it won't be easy, and I am sure we would also need the care and love from people around us.
Before she left, she told me that "I love you." Hearing this from a passenger specially from someone like her made my day. I wanted to cry, but I just gave her a big smile, a big hug and told her that I love her, too.
Ms. Marylou is celebrating her birthday and traveling to New York City!
Not only it's her first time to go to New York and see her son, but it also her first time on a plane! Wow, this is a big milestone, so we treated her special to celebrate many occassions.
Ms. Marylou is a very happy and witty lady. She's very nice and she deserved to have this memorable flight with us. We gave her a tour of the cockpit, a glass of wine, and a birthday card.
It was our pleasure to have Ms. Marylou and her friend on this flight. We absolutely had fun with her as well.
It is seldom that we get a trip that has the same flight crew for 4 days.
Captain Austin and First Officer Justin were like my kids. Great pilots, very professional with positive attitude and work ethics, they like to have fun and most important, they took care of me.
I love my job and every day and every flight, I hope for a good one. Besides having nice passengers, no delays, good aircrafts, and nice layovers, having nice pilots are what make a good trip.
I love writing commendations of people and job well done. Austin and Justin deserved my written recognition and appreciation.
I am not yet in heaven.
Some passengers are worried when they see this atmosphere in the plane. Yes, it looks like a smoke. I have to explain why this is happening and have to pacifiy them.
This appearance is caused by condensation on the plane when the temperature of both the air outside and inside are cold.
I've never had the most condensation on my flight than this. So this is worth a photo.
No worries, we are not in heaven yet!
Five years and counting.
I had my 5th year anniversary in May 2019. Time flies so fast. I felt like it was just a year ago or two when I had started, so eager to do the job, and full of enthusiasm to travel the world.
Five years have passed. Not just 5 years, but 5 interesting years, full of memories. I've met so many people; and some of them became my friends. I've gained so many experiences; some of them taught me great lessons, some are funny, some are happy, some are sad. I've travelled to so many beautiful places and countries that gave me wonderful memories.
As my second career and my last one, this job has opened a lot of doors for me, including the travel opportunities, a year of mentoring and recruiting flight attendants. I am now in the path of opening another door of sharing my wonderful experiences through a book or maybe books?
I am always grateful for the opportunity of being selected from among the applicants who applied for the job. I am more grateful for the blessing of passing the training, despite the hardships and challenges I encountered.
Every year, we have to go through recurrent training and be re-certified. Re-learning is always a good thing. There is always anxiety that goes with it, but the fruits of the labor is always beneficial.
I am looking forward to another 5 years of being a flight attendant. Of sharing who I am and what I can do, meeting more people, and travelling more places.
Being a flight attendant is not a job for me. It is a passion.
Ms. Yvonne is my new friend from Cincinnati.
Flight Attendant wings are not just for kids. I also give them to adults who is celebrating a milestone, or just someone who is special and nice.
Ms. Yvonne is travelling by herself to Baltimore to meet new friends to celebrate her birthday on a road trip. She is retired and just enjoying more of her life. Good for her.
I gave her a birthday note and a wing; I was glad to see that she put it on her shirt. She's a very soft spoken lady, very nice and I admire her.
Meeting people like her is just one of the good perks I have on this job. I deserve a photo with Ms. Yvonne.
We sometimes hear "low ceiling" used in air traffic.
In aviation, low ceiling means "low hanging fairly continuous clouds." This is one condition that typically can cause delay of departures and arrivals of planes. Other weather conditions that cause delays include low visibility, thunderstorms, icing conditions, and high winds.
Nobody wants delays, more so cancellations of flights. As what I always tell our passegers - you would rather be on the ground, and be delayed or cancelled, rather than taking the risk of being in the air with a not so good weather.
I don't like "low ceiling" either, but I captured this nice photo with a touch of a sunset.
I didn't know about the "threat sydrome" until I encounter it from a passenger.
She's travelling by herself with her cute stuff toy that she's cuddling the whole time. I knew there was something peculiar in her. I noticed that she was a little uneasy on her seat. I decided to move her to a better seat with nobody beside her. Later, she told me the that she has a "threat sydrome."
So what is this syndrome? It is also called the "tourette sydrome." "It is a nervous system disorder involving uncontrollable repetitive movements or unwanted sounds, such as repeatedly blinking the eyes, shrugging shoulders or blurting out offensive words. Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured."
I always see stuff toys on our flight, most of them are with kids and some of them are with adults, who just like to bring their favorite stuff toy wherever they travel.
But this one is a special stuff toy to give her comfort and company. She may act differently in front of other people, but she's just a normal person like us who needs a human care and interaction that we all seek for.
I admire her for traveling by herself alone, and overcome the challenges of travelling. It shows her courage and strength.
We all have differences and needs. Our individual limitations or weaknesses or disabilities don't define who we are. What really defines us is who we are to ourselves and how we treat other people.
Sometimes we are given with daunting task that we think are impossible to do.
There are different kinds of tasks, responsibilities, jobs, professions, problems, challenges. Some need physical skills. Some only entail mental skills. Some need emotional analysis. Some need collaboration. Some would need a personal decision. And some need help.
No matter what and how much responsibillities or issues that we have, human beings naturally depend on one another.
The famous qoute "no man is an island" by Jonne Donne is self explanatory. We need family, friends, colleagues, acquiantance, a travel buddy or at least a company. A spouse or a partner keeps us from not being alone when our children are grown ups and have their own lives. A best friend can listen to our horrible stories, corny jokes and heartaches. A colleague can mentor us or help us with a project. An acquiantance can join us for a drink on a happy hour. A travel buddy can share the fun of travelling. A company can be anybody out there who is around to let us feel we are not alone.
A person who is famous or someone who is crowned with the "most congeniality award" or even a person who has a strong personality can be alone. Depression hits anybody and can kill us if we don't seek help or if help is not given.
Some of us are self-reliant. This may be a positive trait, but it is not good all the time. I for one is a living example of this. I grew up very independent, I do things on my own most of the time, and I don't rely for help in some aspects of my life.
At work, I do fun things and I try to capture those moments. This photo realistically tells me that I don't just need help, but I need a big help pushing this plane. It is just funny!
The analogy of physical help, emotional help, financial help, physiological help or any kind of help, with this photo is a reminder for me that "no man is an island."
Having fun at work and in life is a way to keep our sanity.
Also, it is great to have someone out there, not just to help, but to put a smile on our face, to bring us energy, and to keep our heart alive.
In my observation, aviation world is dominated by men.
However, it is a fact that the percentage of women in aviation is low. Generally, when people think about a pilot, they imagine a male figure. But now statistic says that every year, the number of pilots keeps increasing every year.
No doubt that there are more flight attendants who are female than male. This is because of the standardized roles for men and women back in the days when air travel started. The idea for flight attendant was to provide hospitality in the sky, in addition to safety.
I love to see women pilots and aircraft mechanic. I admire their skills and confidence.
These pretty girls on my flight to New York City can possibly be future aviators. They maybe young to decide what they want to become, but this trip with a peek and hands on in the cockpit, and a wing on their shirt, would probably give them a good start to have some interest in the aviation world. I am glad to share with them this experience.
Whether these girls want to be a pilot, an aircraft mechanic or a fight attendant, these are all rewarding jobs that they can be proud of.
Who is not afraid of turbulence?
There are 3 levels of turbulence - light, moderate and extreme. Obviously, light and moderate are common. Extreme is rare. Fortunately, I've never had an extreme turbulence in the past years I've been doing this job.
Even on moderate turbulence, we continue to do our job as long as it does not jeopardize our safety and the safety of our passengers. We rely highly on our discretion, and we make safety our number one priority.
Our flight to Boston this day was a turbulence flight. It was a level of in between light and moderate, and a little alarming. It was getting hard for me to do my service, but I tried to finish it quickly. I talked to passengers if they were OK, and some of them told me that their drinks splashed up to the ceiling. No one was hurt, but I saw thier worried faces and felt their anxiety.
So far, this was the worst experience of turbulence I've had. Glad it wasn't worst than that.
We experience many bumps in our lives. Sometimes in the middle of good sunny days, we encounter surprising challenges. This turbulence exist to alert us, to wake us up, or merely to test our capacity to handle unexpected challenges that come our way.
This cutie was a witness of our turbulence that day. She was gilted too but she remains beautiful. Even if these kids didn't enjoy the turbulence, they still have smiles on their faces.
This is what we are supposed to be.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
I call them Mr. & Mrs. Love.
Seeing old couples traveling together is common, but seeing old couples like them is rare.
Mr. Love has some kind of disability and his wonderful wife was taking care of him. They were going back home to Africa. I wanted to remember them with this photo, and we were trying to convince Mr. Love to look at the camera. He couldn't do it, instead, he kept looking at his wife.
He sees the beauty and heart of his wife, and looks at her unconciously. Mrs. Love, looks at him too, with a big smile on her face.
I see Love on both their eyes. I was glad to capture it.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Most of us find joy in watching babies and their innocent faces.
His name is Winter, and his sister's name is Snow. Their parents must love cold weather, or maybe their kids were born during winter season?
Winter was a good baby during the flight. His dad was tired, and mom was taking care of baby Snow. So I relieved dad in taking care of Winter.
I tried to entertain Winter so he would not be disoriented that I don't look like his mom.
Babies like Winter can make us smile. Their innocence is priceless.
Monday, October 7, 2019
I am always amazed to see a rainbow everywhere I go.
In Cincinnati, this rainbow was waiting for me at the hotel. So my day ended with this beautiful sight.
Is there really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? For me, yes. There's beauty. There's magic. There's awe.
Rainbow is a wonderful creation that I admire and appreciate.
In honor of this beautiful wonder, here's a clip of one of my favorite songs. I dedicate this song to those who love seeing a rainbow, just like me.
I have the most festive bachelorette party on our flight.
Nashville is known as the bachelorette capital of the U.S. It is not surprising that our flights to Nashville normally has few or at least one group of friends to celebrate a big day before their wedding.
These 2 lovely girls were having fun on our flight, so I joined their party. The bride's bestfriend were so prepared with banners and fancy cups. They were ready to celebrate. I told the lovely bride that she's lucky to have a bestfriend like her.
It's so delightful to see passengers having fun on our flight. And it is even more delightful to make their experience more pleasant and memorable.
Cheers to both of them!
Cheers to both of them!
Do we all want to be rich and fancy to have a private jet one day?
I know not all of us want a lavish life, having a private jet to travel anywhere we want. Maybe, some of us only wish for a once in a lifetime experience.
There's nothing wrong to dream of a lavish life. As long as the way to do it doesn't come from unpleasant ways.
I've had an experience in the Philippines of riding a helicopter with a friend flying over Mt. Pinatubo area. It was a great and memorable experience.
I must admit, I have this goal to fly a private jet one day, just for once in a lifetime experience.
We fly to Martha's vineyard in Massachusettes. This is one of the places where you can see private jets, and dream that one day you have a short flight on your private jet to Napa Valley for the weekend, just to taste a different wine from a different winery.
A fancy life not everyone would have. But it's okay to at least talk about it.
She's not just a pretty face, but she's also a tennis champion!
One of the best things I love about my job is I meet people like this girl from a country far away, who came to the U.S. to compete. She’s a winner!
She represents her country with pride, and definitely a real star athlete in the making. At a very young age of 10, she's proven her talent and skills.
Her lovely sister and dad were her companions. It's my honor to have them on our flight, and my pleasure to have made their trip a memorable one. I was her fan.
It's nice to remember great trips where I was pampered.
I meant pampered because I had 2 sets of crew for 2 days who took care of me from breakfast to dinner. I work with nice crew most of the time, but these days seldom happen.
Taking care of people is one of the things I love to do. But it feels great when someone takes care of me, once in a while.
I am just thankful for these days, and for these people who take care of me, at work and outside of my work zone.
Friday, August 2, 2019
Most people know I love photos, and I don't deny it.
Being vain is part of who I am. I always have to “look good” on my photos. But I realized, as I get older, I become less and less vain. I think this is what it means by aging gracefully.
This is one of the days that I felt like I was not the best of me. In fact, I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, maybe because of the coffee I had during the day. I even felt like I wasn’t beautiful. But since it’s a “go home” day, my spirit was high, and I was looking forward to finish my trip.
Surprisingly, I had 2 passengers on 2 different flights who wanted to have a photo with me. I was flattered yet honored that they want to remember me with a photo. Passengers taking photo with me is not new, but 2 passengers in a day is not normal.
I myself don't want to miss photos of good memories. I believe that looking at those photos is a way to be happy.
We never know how people can perceive us in how we look or how we act and show ourselves. How we see ourselves sometimes differs from how people see us. I know that how we see ourselves is more important than how others see us. But in any rate, what is good in how we see ourselves and how others see us is the basis of who and what we are.
I have a new friend, John, who complimented me for being me. This African lady who was going home to Lagos, was also kind with her words for me. I am grateful.
I meet a lot of nice people like them. They sure did make me feel like a “celebrity.” I call this my "celebrity day."
They delayed my flight because they wanted me to work this flight eventhough I was running late due to a cancelled flight from Jacksonville. So when I got on the plane they were clapping while I was walking on the isle.
Gladys was going to Raleigh-Durham to attend her grandson’s graduation. She is a retired nurse and originally from Haiti.
Weeks ago, I travelled to Haiti and I told her my experience. She noticed my scars on my hand and told me that it looks like a "star." I told her it's the result of my trying hard to cook, and it’s now my world map tatooed on my hand.
She called me a “star.”
She told me that she’s sitting with a "star." She advised me that it’s OK to give myself a pat on the back because I am "very nice" and I am like a star."
I am a fan of stars and the universe. I love to gaze at the star and wait for a shooting star. And the best thing I do is, I "wish upon a star."
I believe a “star” is not always born. Some people treat us like a "star," but we can also treat ourselves like a "star." There's nothing wrong with that.
Thanks, Gladys for calling me a "star."