I’ve just come to the realisation that I’m half way through my probationary period with BA.. I can’t believe that.. half way! Our probationary period is 6 months unless it gets extended for any reason, and at the end of next month I have my meeting with my manager to discuss how I’m getting on so far, what my progress is, and what I have left to do to pass probation on time. It’ll be nice to hear a bit of feedback actually on my performance so far as, apart from the odd official report etc, you don’t really hear much about how you’re getting on.
We found out today that one of the guys from my training course has decided to quit the job. He was a teacher beforehand, and has had an unexpected job offer that he can’t refuse. It’s a shame because he’s a great guy and would’ve really excelled at the job, but I absolutely wish him all the best and I hope he’s really happy in his new job! I’ll definitely be keeping in touch with him to hear how he’s getting on.. I’ll miss him! I’ve only managed to meet up with one of the girls from my training course since we all got our wings and started flying. Everyone’s rosters clash so much that we barely ever have time off together, so it was awesome to grab a quick 20mins before both of our flights in the report centre to hear how we’re both getting on & share some stories!
I’ve just come back from visiting a new country.. CHINA! I’ve never had any intention of visiting China before, I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t one of the countries that ever appealed to me as the only “tourist” thing that I really would’ve liked to do in China is the Great Wall, but I actually quite enjoyed my time there. The weather was.. well.. like nothing I’ve ever encountered before! I thought Dubai was hot, but stepping out of Pudong Airport was like walking head first into a giant cake! The air was SO dense.. crazy! And the heat was unbelievable, with an 87% humidity….. you can imagine it what it was like.
When we fly to places like Shanghai, Beijing etc we fly with people known as International Cabin Crew who are native to the country and have it as their home base, so we always have at least one native speaker on board, and I cannot tell you just how useful this really was when you have over 140 passengers who barely speak any English at all! Normally I can get away with using my very basic understanding of languages to get by communicating with passengers, but mandarin is one of the worlds hardest languages to speak, so I had no hope of achieving that this time.
Another benefit of having an ICC on board with you is that they know the best places to go in the city for food, nightlife etc & I had the best experience at a Chinese restaurant with the rest of the crew thanks to her. We shared 10 plates of food between 10 people at the table, all ordered by our fantastic host, and.. well.. it was the best Chinese food I have ever eaten in my life.. AND I’m pleased to say that I am starting to get the hang of chopsticks! The roast duck was carved at the table, & the rest of the carcass was brought to us afterwards having been heavily seasoned in salt & pepper which was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted in my life! I was taught how to make duck pancakes the Chinese way, & tried new dishes I would definitely have again! After 2.5 hours of feasting at a gorgeous restaurant, we ventured to a roof top bar on the other side of the Bund, and had the most spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline! One thing I wasn’t aware of, was that at 11pm they switch of most of the skyscraper lights for energy saving purposes.. having arrived at the bar at 10:40pm, we were just in time to get some pictures before it went into darkness.
Seeing the skyline from the Bund was one of the things I set out to do in Shanghai, so I am so happy I got to actually see it… one thing ticked off the bucket list!
I’m due to head back to Shanghai at the weekend & Beijing at the end of the month, so I guess you can call me the Queen of China for August! Haha. Luckily it’s super cheap out there, so I shouldn’t be spending too much money either, and I have a week’s worth of annual leave in the middle to break up the Asian travels. I’ve bid for a few new destinations for September & I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get at least half of them because it would make for an awesome month!
People that I meet when I come home ask me, “Are you still enjoying the job?”.. my answer is always yes. Yes I am actually really enjoying the job. Every day is different, every crew is different, every experience is different. There is something new to learn every flight, and every flight I feel one step closer to actually knowing what I’m doing! Haha.
One thing I’m struggling with is time differences and jet lag, but that’s just something that I’m going to have to get used to as it’s all part of the job. Everyone deals with it in their own way, and you just have to find what works for you.
So far so good, here’s to the next 3 months!