Aviation is a profession for those that make their livelihood in the air. I was reminded of that fact this week as my sister is off for flight attendant training.
My sister has long dreamed of being a flight attendant, what we used to call a stewardess. She raised her children and they are now gone. She was working in a “secure” part time job doing the books for a company. Still the dream of being a flight attendant remained. She decided to apply.
An airline (that will remain nameless) called her. She went through the interview process and it was a process. Several interviews later, she was offered the position. After hearing about the rigors of the first year and what was required, she passed on the job.
Still the dream remained. After talking to some more folks, she applied with another (unnamed) airline. They, too, offered her the position (after a long process). She hesitated, then a friend offered this simple advice, “If you don’t at least try this, you will always wonder”. She accepted the offer.
She is a training, even as I type. The stress level is a bit high. Long days of training, lots things to learn, little free time — it is even difficult to get in breakfast. Probably the most stressful part of the training for my sister is the requirement to get at least 90% on all examinations. It has been a lot of years since my sister was in formal schooling. Tests can be intimidating when you haven’t taken one in a long while.
If you fail a test (i.e. score less than 90%) you get one retake. If you fail the retake, your training is over, you are sent home. Two girls went home this past week. My sister got a 100% on her exam.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dictates a lot of the standards and policies in flight training. The airlines add their additional requirements. Why the big fuss over tests? Because people’s lives are on the line.
I will say that again, people’s lives are on the line.
Aviation is fun, but it is not fun and games. The pilots’, the mechanics’, and the flight attendants’ number one priority is to get people from Point A to Point B safely…no one gets hurt. That requires a lot of professionalism.
Webster defines profession as, “a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or science”. Those that work in a profession are defined as, “the body of persons engaged in an occupation or calling”. Isn’t that the type of person we want in the airline industry?
So aviation is a profession and that starts with at least 90% on all exams.