Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DR "help" AB

you would think i would be well used to the exams by now, but this morning i was so nervous i was almost nauseous..... which is just as well i now know how to deal with that.

got another 100% score. except im now setting my bar so high that i think i will be quite upset if i dont get 100% in every exam. also passed my practical too.

another exam tommorrow.. written and practical. not sure what the practical will contain other than CPR. this includes adults, children and infants.

learned today that our final on friday will be in the av-med rig, which is the mock cabin, and we will be let loose on this pretend plane with an av-med playing an instructor and we will need to pretend we really are 30,000 feet in the air. kinda cool if it wasnt so nerve wrecking.

got trainer chris today.... he's totally cool and actually makes the learning experience fun. did bleeding today.. so you can only imagine the comments flying around the room about chris' bleeding gash.

scotty has gone to j'berg so im on my own again for 3 nights. sigh. oh well.. since im so exhausted and having to study im feeling guilty about not paying him 100% of my attention when i get home, but he does understand.

2 days left of av-med and then onto cabin safety, where the real work begins. apparently this is the hardest 2 weeks of the course. eeek ! but also the funnest.. we get to jump down a slide, practise safety demos, learn principles of survival and phases of flight, flight controls and go practise a ditching. all exciting stuff.

uniform looked good except the jackets are too small so need to get them swapped.

2 more weeks of casual clothes and then i am finally in uniform...

go team!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

surviving av-med

first av-med test today. got 100% again.. but was gruelling studying for it.

today we learned the basics of DRAB which seems so logical when on the ground but when in the air its all the basics you tend to forget.

had to get up in front of the group with 2 others and treat some one in a set of airline seats. got half way through and realised the person was suffering the exact thing my dad died from and since i was the first aider on the scene when he suffered a stroke/heart attack, all this emotion came floodiing back out of no where. kinda weird.

but am enjoying the course and the experience. tomrrow have another exam and a practical exam. ugh !! oh well.. ill survive. got me class mates to get me thru.

on the plus side - i got my uniform today.... so have to go try it all on. yay!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

one down - five to go

hard to believe that we have completed 1 week already.

day 5 saw the start of Av-med (aviation medicine) amazing the stuff we have to learn. already we have learnt all the common conditions we can expect to treat on board, how to administer oxygen, and the locations and contents of all the medical equiptment on board.

mots of the training took place in a large classroom, however we were shown the Av-med rig. its like a mini plane, with 3 rows of Upper Class, and 10 rows of Economy, seperated by a mock galley and with 2 fake doors and 2 sets of jumpseats. its all becoming very real being inside an aircraft.

totally loving the experience and my class mates are a hoot. been taking heaps of photos, of course none of me, but with my laptop dead i cant upload yet. going to go take my laptop to get fixed.. lord knows how much that will cost. eeek!

bonding well with my class.. slowly but surely. kinda hard to get around to everyone as its such a large group. but already have made some close bonds which i know will last thruoughout my career and will have a blast when we get to fly together...if ever. its weird to think al these people you may never fly with since there are about 4500 crew and you may never see some of them. although looking forward to a trip with dave.. he has me in stitches every day.

scott got back last night and was glad to see him, even though i havent had time to miss him yet.

cant sit on here all day, as have a crap load of study to do for my av-med exam monday morning. aparently out of all the avmed exams, this is the one that usually most fail, since its the first one and you have no idea what to expect in it. but i had scott test me on everything, and even things we have not done in class yet and i passed with flying colours so im not too concerned yet, although i will be crapping my daks on monday morning.

Friday, October 26, 2007

day 4 in the big brother house

todays exam was dead easy. 100% again.. phew. and guess exams tomorrow.. but we sure have a hell of a lot of reading to do. luckily we have the weekend to really study beofre the daily exams commence again. we have been warned that the first two exams are not that bad but the 3rd is a killer. and the 2nd week of safety training is the worst we will have to go thru. i think thats all the practicals.

today saw special needs awareness day. spent half the day learning how to deal with Visually Impared and Deaf customers. ended up being led around the base in a blindfold to realise how it is. i think i surprised a few people when i started speaking sign language. aparently i can get more money for that, but the BSL is so different to australian sign language. so i think i will need to go study it again here ot learn thelocal version.

got a great group. slowly we are starting to bond closer, although it is way to big to really get around to everyone. i think i have started to bond closest to my smoking buddies. the charlies angels trio. cant believe out of 21 there are only 3 smokers. anyway, have started to see peoiple come out of their shell and gradually im getting to know others.

my laptop died...not really sure whats going on with it.. and having to use scotts, so not sure how i will get the photos out of my video camera yet, but will go get my laptop fixed and then will be able to publish my pics here of what im going thru.

must go.. study calls

Thursday, October 25, 2007

day 3 done and dusted

funny how 21 people can all be going thru the same intense nervousness. before our exam this morning, i thought i was going to throw up.
we had to leave the room once finished and then wait for it to be marked. i think i had butterflies as i walked back in.

the results of my first exam. 100% PHEW!

had a full day of customer service basics with loads of terminology i have to know. was thinkinig by the end of the day... hmm, thats not too hard. not too much to study tonight. then at 4.30 the av-med guy came in and gave us our manuals. we have a shit load of reading and study to do before friday. about 50 pages worth. on top of todays work. plus we will have homework tomorrow too. and then every day of av-med is about 50 pages to read. before the exam the next day, on top of revising what you learned that day.

and aparently cabin safety is harder.

they likeded it today to being like doing your masters. what have i gotten myself into. mind you... ive met some pretty thick flight attendants so it must be possible. funny learning all our customer service stuff today, and then you compare to qantas, and realise just how crap they really are, compared to how the virgin guys are doing it.

apparently qantas are recruiting trolley dollys at the moment. wonder why.

oh wel.. off for a quick power nap to recharge the brain before i hit the books.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Like a Virgin

day 3 in the big brother house.

excitment and nerves are the 2 words to describe my first day at virgin. day 1 was induction day. 35 new staff from all over the world from all kinds of jobs. happy to see a couple of familiar faces from my interview day. seems the nice ones made it.

induction day was very similar in format to the one at flight centre. company history, branding etc... only incredibly high tech. makes our training at flight centre look like the dark ages. at "the base" every training room has computerised name screens outside each room stating what course is being run, with airport style indicator boards throughout the complex directing trainees to the right rooms. every room has a built in data projector, and a computerised lights and projector panel in the wall plus a pc for each room.

actually the base is mega huge.. theres about 20 training rooms and theres a whole rig section with a mock plane, mock cockpit to teach how to get the pilots out of the seats in emergencies, door section to teach door operations, mock check in desks, a huge slide and a blown up raft. theres an indoor town square and various break out sections. the whole thing looks very logans run or buck rogers. its amazing.

day 2 was course introduction and the trainee meet and greet. there are 21 of us ini the class. 10 girls and 11 guys (unheard of number of guys...usually theres 4-5)
we played speed datingand got to have 30 seconds to talk to about half the class, so that at least half of us knew the other half. nice group.. no show ponies. we are slowly sussing everyone out, and we think 10 out of 11 guys are gay... one is still to be confirmed and he is remaining tight lipped about it so we think more than likely straigt.. which is no big deal. girls are ranging from 18 thru to an unknown age but i would guess late 30s early 40s... normally thats when women stop telling ages. im the only overseas one but one guy has just come back from living in australia. he hated it... cant imagine why.

then we had sessions on personal safety and then uniform regulations. believe it or not, uniforms took about 3 hours. which included hair, grooming and makeup regs. we should get the uniform next week but wont wear it for another 3 or so weeks as next week is av-med and then we have SEP (all the evacuation and survival stuff)

today is our first exam. kinda nervous but this one should be easy. its all terminology and codes and grooming regs. we will soon see. pass rate is 88%

so far its been fun, and only took 1.5 days before the guys started talking and joking about sex.

scott left home at 3.30 this morning off to miami. so im up mega early. cant get back to sleep.

weathe rhere has turned cold. up at gatwick its 1 degree in the mornings. oh my god what have i done ??? at least when you get inside its nice and warm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

scott is on his way

well.. its been along long long, lonely boring 9 days but Scott will finally get home tomorrow morning around 9am.. wasnt fun being left alone here right after arriving from australia, but it was a decision we both made, that we needed the money the allowances from such a trip would provide... he didnt want to be going either... poor guy was as bored trapped in his hong kong hotel room as much as i was.

its been an interesting time.. i have seen 2 street fights in my street so far..

i have learned that british shop keepers are the rudest on earth. youre lucky if they even speak to you whilst taking your money.. its kind of like you should be grateful that they have a shop you can go into.. rather than being grateful that you walked in and chose to spend you money there in the first place. i did walk into one convenience shop down the road they they were most friendly.. so even tho it means walking an extra block, they will now be getting my custom... and screw the rude assholes in the shop just down the road.

they are also impossible on the foot path here.. i thought adelaide was aggressive on the footpath. here they walk all over the place.. and will not give way. so im feeling like i have to meander all over the pathway as im walking from A to B. people here are so rude,and just do not look at where they are going. they back up, turn without looking and generally dont give a crap about anyone else but themselves.

i had always thought that it was strange that visitors always remarked how friendly sydney was.. when being a sydney sider you think.. are we really??? but believe me.. compared to the UK.. we could all win the miss congeniality contest.

can you tell im british now.. having my official licence to whinge ??

on the plus side.. the weather had been great.. ok so its this dull grey sky all day.. but its been nice and warm.. most days i can wear just a light jacket outside.. and not be cold.. and wear just a tshirt in the house, with the window open.

have been exploring the myriad of pre-packed ready made, ready to heat meals that you can get here.. i mean...does anyone in britian actually cook these days?

grabbed one interesting one and ate it today.. it was a sure fire way to triple my carbon footprint. was a haloumi cheese with beans and lentils in a basil and tomato dressing. not sure what it was supposed to really be but i heated it and turns out it was like a bean and lentil stew. the microwaved haloumi was nice for a short time, while it was hot, but as soon as it cooled, it took on the consistency of vulcanised rubber. but was tasty none the less. luckily scott has gotten home tonight. the beans and lentils have sure taken their toll and raised the carbon emissions of Brighton by a few points, i can tell you.
tonights dinner was a somewhat tasty tom yum prawn curry. who knew tom yum came in a curry.. was ok.. but the prawns were like chewing pencil erasers. i think ill stick to cooking myself. might have a macaroni and cheese later.... have done nothing but eat since i arrived..

you know you must be getting bored when you start to clean everything. what started out as a general tidy up for scott before he got home, turned in to a marathon spring (or autumn in my case) clean. vacuumed the entire flat... scrubbed the shower screen.... even cleaned the toilet.. something i rarely did at home, rearranged a few things in the bedroom area, to make more space on the crowded floor which is packed with suitcases still, and folded all the linen in the house. sigh..

mind you.. will be worth the look on scotts face when he comes home from an arduous 12 hour flight and walks in to a nice clean home..... god im so domesticated, i could puke. has one man so well and truly tamed the wolf ?

something the world shoud learn

i came across this article on ninemsn and thought i shoudl publish to the world... in advance for all those ungrateful, irate and crappy customers i may encounter.

Why long haul flights aren't so bad
By AFrosty / Lonely Planet
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The hosties
With airline competition so tough, today’s flight attendants are in outstanding customer-service nick. They happily get you anything while you do nothing. This is the kind of attention that you only get in the first month of a relationship. Enjoy it.

It’s a flying spiritual retreat
When your second bottle of red, the cabin pressure and someone else’s sleeping pill prescription kicks in, you get to fly higher than a pig in space with nothing else expected of you other than to wear a seatbelt. This is relaxation at its purest.

High dining
At least you don’t have to cook. Or chew. Or stack the dish washer. Even better is that you get to eat lying down and in front of the telly, a luxury reserved only for the chubby kids of divorced parents at the 'away' parents house.

Hollywood on demand
These days, movies on demand allow you to lock your brain in the overhead locker and point, click and dribble your way through a romantic comedy movie marathon while never having to go into battle for the remote.

The sea was angry that day, my friend
You can bang on about that defining moment in your life when you realized that being a fighter pilot wasn’t quite your bag of tricks or, with a tear in your eye, of the time you saved an entire orphanage from an inferno. The stuff of lore and legend.

You can tell the person next to you to stop talking.

You’re traveling
You’re going places, somewhere, anywhere, with nothing more than a pack full of gusto, an empty credit card and an adventure that needs to be had.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dan's first day on the job ??

and just had to show this amazing evacuation practice of the new airbus

and here are some of the previous groups of virgin training. im going to be group 633

and this one is for carolyn.
its not virgin but still shows what im about to go thru

study break

well.. after 8 hours of study today

i have completed the induction modules.

i have coompleted about 60% of the crew training modules... but saving the big test for later on when i have had time to restudy all 7 of the cabin saftey components.

did complete the turbulence module, and did the exam at the end of that. only got 80% which is the pass mark, but i think that was mostly do to the questions not being worded very clearly and me thinking it was meaning something else, as knew all the content proficiently. so might take the exam again to see if i can improve on the 80%


Sunday, October 14, 2007

time to study

ok world, time for an update
was here for a few days and then scotty left to go....... back to australia, can you fucking believe it?? his roster had him going back to sydney. its a 9 day trip for him
have been here 5 days on my own so far...... bored outta my brain. been playing computer games and watching season 2 of Mile High (comedy series about flight attendants)

have been for my uniform fitting... i look fantastic in it (well as fantastic as i can look).. i was a bit worried, since the FCm uniform was so crap and impossible for anyone to look good in.....

and like a true gay.. exclaimed loudly to the uniform lady and scotty and nigel (a mate of ours who is also starting same day) "oh my god the fabrics are amazing"
and then promptly realised what i said.
but really.. they are amazing.. no cheap materials, and the whole thing is fitted and tailored

paris.....first class.... international!!!!!

they have already sent me my precourse learning pack. theres a cd outlining the course we are about to undertake with a self test section on what was contained therein. fuck !!! talk about full on and we havent even started yet.

i have to now go online and do these e-learning modules, and its about 7-10 hours worth of study, and i have to attain at least 80% before they will let me attend the training course.
after that, pass mark for daily exams is 88% (they will own me for the next 6 weeks)

1 more week of freedom and then im knee deep in paperwork and study. been to the base already.. man the classrooms are in the shape of aircraft cabins. they even have a cockpit mock up to teach us how to get the pilots out of the seats in case they fall unconscious.
been to the pool for a swim, where they will teach us ditching excercises. have to swim 25 meters and then tread water, while manually blowing up a life jacket. just as well im well versed in blowing.

weather here is great..... cant beleiev its so warm..... has been warmer here than sydney i beleieve... most days in mid 20's which for autumn is incredible i have been told.

got nigel coming over today to study together... first of many many study sessions i think.

its been a very surreal experience being here and having scott in sydney.. total role reversal. my mates don and andy entertained scott while i was down there. scott has a lot of respect for them both and im glad they all got along, although i dread to think what was said about me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Alright gov ?

I think this song says it all.

it was a very emotional week in sydney. my emotions were like a rollercoaster, full of excitment and happiness that scott and i had finally made it and were now together and the teary sadness of constantly realising this was the end of a part of my life, for now.

tried to see everyone i could before i left. tried to organise a little going away party for myself to see all the people i missed out on, but not many turned up....some forgot and some were too busy with recovery from sleaze, so i guess i wasted a huge amount of money but those that were there were among the closest to me so i was happy about that.

the flight out of australia was full on emotional.... never want to go through that again, but the moment i got to hove and was in my new home, i was totally fine. scott even carried me across the threshold. adorable isnt he. the past few days have been bliss with the slow realisation that this is my new life and scott and i are together at last. this was definately the right decision and exactly where i want to be.

weather has been fantastic.. quite warm actually.... ok not as warm as the 36 degree heat of sydney in the week before i left, but certainly not as cold as i was lead to believe england would be. already got a bank account and a mobile phone. today i go to get my national insurance number and i have my uniform fitting for virgin!

been reading loads of books written by flight attendants to gte a feel for the lifestyle and the pitfalls. been studying the manuals and worrying about the exams.. but hey, its normal to stress about this and ill pass with flying colours i think. i already know so much so its just a matter of getting it cemented in my head.

scott leaves for a trip tomorrow.. can you beleive it..... sydney! he will be gone for 9 days.... and the flights are too full for me to go with him... so im stuck in the uk on my own for a week. shall use the time to clear out my emails and stuff like that.... and explore my new home!

currently life is wonderful and so i havent had time to miss sydney too much, anthough i do miss my mum. wont be long until i go home to see her anyway