Obviously I can’t go into detail, but training was tiring, it was brutal.
Mentally and physically I was tested to breaking point.
This is why…
Transport picked us up at 5:40. Then we drive to the Etihad Training Academy for 40 minutes. When we get there, we have time for coffee, checking our classroom for the day and we go sit down. We were given rules to live by, how to dress, how to walk, how to act. Smile ALWAYS. We go from classroom to classroom week by week and we fall asleep on the bus ride home. Then we get home and we eat. And then we study, we do our homework and prep for the next day. Then we sleep and it all starts over again.
We were taught that daily we needed to look immaculate. Dressed in black and white, everyone at the academy knew that we were the new kids. Everyone is always smiling, happy and laughing. The trainers are awesome.
Our Induction Trainers in the first week taught us about the company, about who to contact when, how to access our new email accounts and see our rosters. We went for a thorough medical examination, vaccinations (ouch) and x-rays. We had our picture taken for our company ID’s and we were fitted for our new uniforms.
In the second week we met our Safety Trainers. They were excellent. Spending two weeks in their loving care and having them cram a million pages of information into our brains was insane. We had simulation sessions, to simulate emergency situations. We fought real fires and shouted our lungs out. We learned how to be assertive in stressful situations and we were moulded into not only immaculately looking, but also calm and well trained cabin crew.
Followed by making sure our aircraft is kept safe, we were given First Aid Training. We were taught how to handle severe medical situations, including childbirth and anaphylaxis. We are able to handle just about any medical emergency while still keeping our aircraft safe and looking perfect while doing so.
After that we were given over to the Service Trainers, they stopped at nothing to make sure we knew everything about every ingredient and every wine and every piece of linen on the aircraft. They polished us. We were explained how to use all the equipment on board, from oven to skillet to toaster and even the coffee maker. And then there was the ‘How to speak’ lesson, explaining to us how to address VVIP’s and end even children. Working in First Class takes dedication.
Honestly after seven weeks of little sleep, lots of study, and information overload to the point of mushy-brain syndrome, I am confidently walking into briefings and onto aircraft with my head held high, feeling safe and capable. The training was intense, but thorough and an incredible amount of fun and laughter.