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Thursday, 14 April 2011

February 1968.... I started training as a steward.

I Can't remember how long the training was but it wasn't too long like these days where it can take up to 4 months.It was at Paya Lebar airport where we were trained. There wasn't a decent classroom. It was like a tuition session where we sat around a table with our instructor teaching us from the book. There wasn't even a blackboard let alone power point,white board,flip chart etc etc.

The food and beverage classes were the most enjoyable. We were brought to the catering and kitchen areas which were situated one floor below us. We were allowed to sampled the food and drinks in the in flight kitchen. It was real fun.
There was 3 guys and 2 gals in our group and our instructor was newly promoted and he was damn good at his work.
The most senior person was the cabin crew superintendent and his name was Jimmy Goh, a short guy with small eyes. His assistant was a mustachioed guy by the name of Robert Phun. Jimmy was never a steward whereas Robert was a former steward. These two were most likely to be in their late 20s or early 30s.
When I first reported for training at cabin crew department, I was astounded by the rows of beautiful cars parked along the roadside adjacent to the office. There were Jaguar,BMW,Alfa Romeo and the high end and expensive cars. I found later that those cars belonged to the serving stewards.
After seeing those cars,I was motivated to work hard and did passed my exams with flying colours.
There wasn't any graduation ceremony or certificate of competency after our course. There was no celebration or whatsoever. We merely go on our flights as though we were senior crew,no spoon-feeding at all.
My first flight was on the Fokker 27, a 20 seater aircraft. The flight was to Malacca,Kl and back,all in a day. The menu was "poh piah" or spring rolls heated up in the Mapco ovens. They tasted delicious and after the passengers had their share,we gobbled up the remainder.
One of the most interesting events on one of my flights was the Medan flight where live crabs escaped from the cargo areas and crawled into the cabin,causing panic amongst the passengers.
At times there were cargo of rambutans,mangoesteens and fruits from Malaysia loaded next to our galley for import into S'pore. One of the cabin crew pastime was to savour the juicy sweet fruits,courtesy of our importers during our free period.
Life as a cabin crew was fun and satisfying.

3 comments:

Dirty Dozen said...

I was trained for 5 weeks in 1972.Yes BT you are right, once we finished our SNY we went on solo but I was so fortunate that I didn't kena hatam with flying plates or being bullied a I had made sure to know my work very well.

Ah Song said...

Dirty 12 hmm..it's sounds familiar. Btw are u Aslan or ??

Anonymous said...

Geraldo was another Dirty Dozen.