The 'Unroutinary' Routine

One time during briefing, we were asked if we consider being a flight attendant a routine profession. That made me think. Now that I am flying for four years now, I am certain to the answer to that question. Yes it is a routine, in an 'unroutinary' way. Let me just pretend that the word exists in the dictionary. :)

We basically do almost the same thing every time we fly. 

1. We participate in pre- flight briefings with the supervisors and/or pursers and cockpit crew to establish relationship and communication prior to starting the flight. This is where introduction is being done, refresh ourselves with emergency procedures, discuss flight details and cabin conditions. 
2. We go through immigration, customs and body checks.
3. We reach the aircraft and stow our bags to the compartments.
4. We conduct pre- flight check of doors, emergency equipment and everything else in the cabin and galley like ovens, coffee makers, chillers to make sure everything are working.
5. Once all the ground staff (catering, cleaners, maintenance) are out of the aircraft, we start our security check to make sure there are no suspicious items on board. We open compartments, crew rest areas, lavatories and its mini- compartments, carts, under the seats and everywhere else our hands could reach and and eyes could see. 
6. We board passengers with a smile, guide them to their seats and assist as much as we could.
7. When the boarding is complete, we start our ground services like giving out towels or refresher tissues.
8. When the screens are not working for passengers to see the safety demonstration from there, we manually demonstrate the use of safety equipment (seat- belts, oxygen masks in case of decompression, life-vest when flying over water, exits, and safety cards).
9. We secure the cabin for take off (seat- belts fastened, tray tables stowed, seat- backs upright, window shades open). We ensure bags are secured properly (under the seat or in the overhead compartment) and see to it that aisles and emergency exits are free of obstruction. Galleys are to be secured as well. Carts secured and compartments latched and locked. 
10. We take our seats for take off.
11. When the seat- belt sign is off, we start our services (newspapers, headsets, giveaways, child and infant gifts, landing cards, beverage, meals/ sandwiches, coffee/ tea, collection, candies).
12. For the remaining duration of the flight, we attend to passenger's needs and requests. We keep the aisle and lavatories clean.
13. When the seat- belt sign comes on for landing, we do the same thing as No. 9.
14. We take our seats for landing.
15. After everyone has deplaned, we ensure no one leaves anything behind. 

Those things all the time! Now what makes me consider my job as unroutinary? The answer is 'everything in between'. Now I will use I, instead of we. :)

1. The schedule- It's not a fixed 9- 5 during the day or a fixed shift at night. I wake up and sleep anytime of the day depending on the time of my flight. If my flight requires me to prepare at 8 in the evening, I will try to sleep in the day. 
2. The people I fly with is not the same everyday. Some are colleagues I've already flown with. Some are people I'm flying with for the first time. It's nice to reconnect with the old crew and learn something from the new ones.
3. Pre- flight checks and security checks are things I never consider routine. I do it as thorough as I could. I don't want to put my flight to a certain danger because of my own negligence towards my roles.
4. Passengers are something new each time- a hundred and twenty for the smallest plane and almost three- hundred for the biggest one. Someone will be unruly. A few will try to irritate you. I will give them the treatment they still deserve but makes face when I'm hiding in the galley. :D Some would smile back and say thank you. I think I deserve that. While the rest will remain silent throughout the flight. I handle different passengers in many different ways, basing on the situation. And sometimes that way of handling may not work to a different person. 
5. During the flight, I sometimes face colleagues who are difficult to deal with and I have to deal with them, anyway. :)
6. Death on board, rejected take- off, fire and/or smoke cases, decompression, unlawful seizure of the aircraft, bomb on board, emergency landing and/or ditching, and all other cases are things I was trained initially and every year. I know what to do by heart but I don't get to face them everyday (God forbid!) to make me skillful. 

The list may not end from there.

For me, to be unroutinary, it takes to have full responsibility to the serious matters (safety) and be accommodating, flexible, happy and spontaneous to the rest of the flight. 

I realized any other jobs shouldn't be considered routine but it all depends on someone's personality, preferences and likes or dislikes. If anytime you feel like you have a regular way of doing things in a particular order and you get bored to the way things are always done the same way, that means you are stuck. Try to change the pattern and try to do things differently, sometimes or when needed.

I Will Go With You (The Flight Of A Lifetime)

Today, I finished reading the book "I Will Go With You" by Priya Kumar. The following are my favorite quotes from this book full of inspiration and personal growth. The author simply inspires her readers. 

Success means different things to different people. Those who have it, think they can buy the world with their power, people included. Those who don't have it, think they can scrape it off those who do. There are those who don't care about the result of what they do and are disconnected from success. And then here are a select few, who don't care about what they get, as long as they love what they do.

It's funny how people look for signs outside even when their heart is signaling them the way all the time. There are no signboards in life; your inner voice and your inner knowledge are enough to lead you in the direction of your highest evolution.

Energy is infectious. It pervades everything it touches. Just like a person with a positive vibe has a positive impact on people around him with his presence, so too does a negative person. Even when they don't mean harm to you, negative people, with their more energy, infect you with their negativity. And like an idle housefly, you are caught in their sinister web of destruction.

Why don't relationships last? Relationships don't last, purposes do. As long as the people involved serve their purpose of being in a relationship, the relationship will continue to grow. When people's purposes drift apart, so does the relationship.

Non- expression is a dangerous approach. Express both love and disappointment. When someone is expressing themselves to you, acknowledge it. Sometimes disappointment becomes a necessary outflow to protect love, which is temporarily shaken up. If you don't express yourself, how will the other person know, especially when you are hurt? Don't leave it for the other person to figure out. Express it. Shunning it or leaving it unresolved will break two hearts.

When you first met, you were free, free to fall in love with anyone you so wished. You chose that one person. Later, when that person slowly clips your feathers to ground you, all you want to do is fly away. Not because he is grounding you, but because that is what you were meant to do- fly. Therefore, it is important to know in that first meeting if your destinations are the same. For if they aren't, then clipping your wings is the only way of keeping you together.

With you in my life, I want lifetimes.

It's difficult to restore love when it is clouded with layers and layers of misunderstanding. I don't mean misunderstanding between two people. It is about misunderstanding oneself.

Taking trust for granted is hanging your relationship on a fragile thread of misunderstanding.

If the attraction is purely physical, then love is a camouflage for lust. The attraction must be at all levels, emotional, mental, intellectual, spiritual, and physical. If I like how he looks, but I don't like how he thinks, then how long does one honestly expect the relationship to last? If I like how he thinks, but I don't like how he restricts himself emotionally, then how will love bloom? If I like his intellect but not his mentality, then what future awaits us both? Falling in love is like winning a jackpot- all the numbers should match. Even if there is just one number missing, you do not get the prize!

Looking at where one went wrong relieves the other person of the need to defend his stand. You invited him into your life; you gave him permission to mess you up. In other words, you chose him despite your better judgement, on poor intentions. Any way you look at it, you did it.

Letting go is sometimes a better way, but doesn't have to be a cruel way. Let go, not because you hate the person or because it hurts. Let go because you want to create a better future.

Compromise in the beginning and be ready for heartbreak later.

So how does one attract the right partner? How does one find him or her? By knowing what to look for. If you are clear about who you want, then recognizing the person becomes a lot easier. When you aren't clear about whom you want in your life, then your mood decides your selection.

While you are looking for your soulmate, keep yourself busy and keep yourself productive. It is always a good idea to estimate what kind of woman your dream man would want and prepare to live up to that standard. It's easy to expect the best and not consider what you have to offer in return. And even if you don't find him soon, you will love yourself while you wait. It is when people stop loving themselves that they become desperate to find it in others. Desperation leads only to despair.

Instead of killing each other by changing them, and changing them, and changing them, and then making them feel guilty about who they are, it is better to let go. It is better to leave them to find their individual happiness than to suffocate them with your love.

Before you tear your heart apart, prepare yourself with the antidote. The best antidote to the fear of losing, the fear of being left alone and whatever fear it is that keeps us living small and loving smaller- is a compelling purpose. Define what makes you happy, explore your strengths, consider what you would love to do, and then construct a future with it. Purpose is a potent solution to all the ills of the mind and heart.

What is the big deal about letting go? We fear it so much that we would rather suffer than face an alternate future. We fear that when the relationship ends, love will die, but love does not need to die. The context of a relationship can change, the love remaining constant and does not necessarily need a relationship to hold it.

Need for physical intimacy is not love. Need for financial security is not love. Love transcends all needs. Love is what you feel beyond any physical evidence of its existence.

In the end, if your love empowers those you claimed you loved, if your love brings hope and inspiration to their lives, if your love surrounds  them long after you are gone, then you have truly loved.

When there is a purpose, there must also be an urgency for its fulfillment. You don't just have other people's counter intentions and various other circumstances as obstacles, you also have time as your greatest barrier. If you have something important to do, the time to do it is now. If you have something important to say, the time to say it is now. If you have something important to be, then be it now. Tomorrow doesn't show up for everyone. 

Love makes it through the thickest darkness, it makes it through the deadliest games, it makes it through the material, the non- material; heck, it makes through everything.