LIVE FROM DALLAS - 6/11/12
Well, the theme in our class today as we began working our way through a day on the plane was, “Let’s not make easy hard”. Training is a little harder for those of us who have been flying for years than it would be for a new hire. Yes, we know what a typical day in the life of a flight attendant looks like. But we are having to let go of old procedures and learn the Southwest way. This constantly leads us to question, “Well, don’t you do this?” and “Don’t you do that?” And the answer is usually “No”, so we have to adjust, forget, and learn the Southwest procedures. Fortunately, the trainers have been very patient with all of our questioning and we are slowly letting go and learning not to compare and embracing our new way of operating.
Today we had the opportunity to work some of the announcements into our day. Those of us who volunteered stumbled through with some prompting from our classmates when needed and were encouraged to show our “style in the aisle”. We’re still working on that!
We have another class right next to us and every so often you can hear them through the walls. They got a little ahead of us today in the curriculum and we heard chimes through the walls. When it was our turn, we encouraged our trainer to ring the chimes again…and again. There are often dueling noises between these two rooms!
After lunch we were treated to a presentation by the “Culture Committee”. I know you have heard that flight attendants “clean planes” here. Well, it is true that we are responsible for tidying the cabin and that includes running a sweeper, known as a “Hokey”, if necessary. Well, if you are one of the lucky ones, one day your plane will be “Hokey’d” by the Culture Committee. This just means you will open the door and group of Culture Committee members (volunteering on their own time) will be in the jetway – perhaps with a boxed lunch for the crew and a boom box on their shoulder – ready to relieve you of that responsibility. Why, you may ask? Because that’s the kind of thing the Culture Committee does. So bone up on your Southwest trivia because when they come to speak to you, if you have the right answer you just may win a prize (love my new Southwest beach mat!!).
I don’t know about the other classes, but when we went to visit the galley mock-ups today I hear so many ooh’s and aah’s that I thought perhaps I had wandered into a Fourth of July celebration. It’s the little things that make a flight attendant happy – those things that just make our lives a little easier. Today my favorite was the compartmentalized drawer to hold all those items you need on your cart (napkins, creamer, etc.) Not a big thing, just one more little thing that just makes a difference.
You will learn about the “bump” when you get here, and you will see a really amusing video starring “Pam Ann”. And if you are lucky you will learn why someone with a strong accent orders a beer and gets a Merlot (sorry for those of you who were not in the Phoenix room today, maybe you didn’t hear that story!). I am a little concerned about the calories in a glass of (dare I say it) Koolaid (gasp!), but I am going to choose to live by Colleen’s suggestion regarding this Southwest culture: “Embrace it, Recognize it, and Live it!” And at the end of the day I believe I will be happier for it.