Monday, September 17, 2007

One Lost Already

Today was the first official day of flight attendant training. We began the day with a series of five "memory challenges" -- four written and one oral. In order to remain in the program, you have to score a 90% or better on each of the 26 exams given over the course of training. You do get one chance to retake an exam, but five exams (or euphamistically, memory challenges) on the first day really upped the ante. And unfortunately, there was someone in our class that did not score 90% or better on at least four of her exams and she had to leave the program.

First and foremost, a flight attendant's duty is to ensure the safety of the passengers, which explains why such high test scores on regulations and procedures are required. Today was a harsh illustration of how seriously this duty is taken. It was especially sad to see this person leave because she uprooted her whole life to take this job. She sold a business, her home, her furniture, and most of her other belongings to relocate in order to be closer to the airport. Not to mention the fact that she had already gone through all the physicals, background checks, and badging appointments to become an employee. Her uniforms are probably on their way to Denver as we speak, for goodness sake!

Sadly, I think the flight attendant training is set up to reward good test takers and weed out those people who do not naturally perform well on tests. It is hard to see someone with such enthusiasm for the job be asked to leave on the first official day of training because she missed a few too many questions on the exam.

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