Sometimes it takes a while to accept the obvious (i.e. One Direction's talent or the infinite disgrace called "Trump"). After seeing multiple former show hen friends turned flight attendants succeed, I decided to go for it fully. After many applications, multiple interviews, a grueling month of training, and everyone surviving my first working flight, I'm officially serving the skies and reminding you land birds to keep your seat belts fastened.
Although seemingly different, I quickly saw the many similarities in joining Hens on Ice and joining Hens in the Air: We start with a lengthy training process, we're living in a hotel, we're a random group of strangers now spending countless hours working together, we're going to have to perform for an audience, we have to dress a certain way, we'll be traveling A LOT, etc. Because of this, I had to fight my bird brain extra hard to remind it that we weren't back in the ice show and I didn't need my skates. However, I kept them in my trunk just in case.
"This is Not the Ice show" Key Moments of Realization:
- Not everyone is comfortable taking their pants off in front of strangers. The first day of training was very exciting. My new classmates and I got to know each other and we were all eager to get going with our new careers. At the end of the day, we talked about uniforms, and the company had uniform pieces in different sizes we could try on. They split the guys and girls up into different rooms, which was still normal enough, and then brought in the costum...uniforms. Everyone swarmed to the racks and we grabbed what we could. As I started to take off my pants, I looked up and was confused why no one else had any uniform pieces on yet, and why no one even looked like they were changing. What were these people doing? Then I saw a few people carry a few uniform pieces out of the room which snapped me back to the reality that this room of people (mostly) did not casually take their clothes off in front of their coworkers at their previous jobs. I pulled my pants back up.
- The work was never over "off the ice." Instead of making friends quickly over tequila shots at the lobby bar, we had manuals to read and exams to study for every night. With the minimum passing score of 90% for each exam and drills to perform correctly the first time, I knew I couldn't afford any tequila shots or friends outside of class. I may have been a sober hermit, but going home after a hungover 85% exam score was not an option for me. If we'd had to get 90% of the choreography right the day after learning it with Hens on Ice, we'd have empty ice.
- A Minute late? Fired. We lost about 20 Air Hens from day 1 to graduation. Some of them left after 85%'s and tequila shots, and some left for coming to class at 8:01 a.m. The classroom door shut punctually at any class start time or return time. Anyone on the wrong side of that door ended their training at that moment and took ground transportation home.
- Casting a 70 year old is fine. Unlike casting somewhat athletically able, youthful Hen character faces, the airline doesn't need us to do double axels and look like toy dolls. As great of a time I had with Hens on Ice, it was also a cool new experience to look around the classroom and see my classmates come from all walks of life for this career change. From the girl celebrating her 21st to my grey-haired classmates who misplaced their glasses, we all were deemed the right fit for Hens in the Air. And that was something great to see.
- After "rehearsals," we say goodbye. Once we completed all the hard work, we don't stay together for a 9-month tour. We all go back to our homes, to our new bases, and start flying. Hopefully we'll get to fly together soon, but after all that, what do you mean we don't hop on a bus together for months of exploring? I'd say "see you down the road," but we'll be flying.
I've learned a lot and I'm ready to be a flight bird! And I'll keep my pants on for my coworkers.