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Bindi Bottoms
Michelle Gojer Air Hostess, Mumbai

“I always wanted to be an air hostess. I did hotel management, courses in travel and tourism, and even a course through a reputed institute so that I could make my dream come true. However, it seemed as though my dream was doomed to fail. Although, I applied for the position of a crew member with a prominent airline many times, I was always rejected in the first round because I was underweight as per its requirements. At first, I kept trying but then I began to lose heart and each time the recruiter called, I would tell him that I wouldn’t qualify because I was underweight.

At the time, I was working as a customer service executive with a travel company. What I didn’t realize was that without realizing it I had managed to put on some weight. When the recruiter called again, my colleagues and friends encouraged me to try again. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this time I’d cleared the first round, not to mention all the other rounds! I was ecstatic.

Training was an eye-opener. It was harder work than I had ever imagined. Not only did we have to learn how to groom ourselves and look our best, we had to write exams which we had to pass with a percentage of 90. In addition, we also had to learn how to deal with various types of emergencies. If you didn’t pass one course the first time, they’d allow you to try it again. However, if you didn’t pass it the second time, they’d send you back to start from scratch with the next batch of students. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I finished training is indescribable. I thought, ‘Yes. Now I feel like a cabin crew member.’

I have been working as a crew member for almost two years now and I can safely say that it has changed me a great deal. Earlier I used to be a quiet, reserved person, who only opened up with close family and friends. While I wasn’t someone who avoided conflicts, I wasn’t very comfortable with them either. This job has taught me not only how to bring out the best in myself in terms of grooming but also how to stand up for myself. For example, when I first started out, I would go to a senior cabin crew member to resolve the situation every time a passenger got upset or irate. Now, I can stand up for myself without losing my professional decorum and handle things on my own. My confidence in myself has increased vastly. Doing the safety demos has helped me get rid of stage fright – something that was almost debilitating for me earlier.

People think that being an air hostess is all about beauty and personal appearance – almost a glamorous ideal. However, what they don’t realize is that as an air hostess I’m not just there to serve you and make you comfortable. I’m also trained to respond in case of emergencies, administer first aid, fight fires, help in case of evacuations and handle births – all of this while flying high in the sky. Doing what I do is not easy and it is not only about looking good. Whenever anyone asks my family what I do for a living, my family – parents, sisters and cousins – all very proudly tell them that I work as a cabin crew member in a prominent airline. I know that without their support and my faith in God, I would never have had the courage to apply for the position after being rejected so many times."


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