14.3.14

quick check-in

Hello friends.

I just thought I'd give you a quick update on a major change in my life.


Yep.  That's me  (giving the peace sign, although it's a little hard to tell) sitting right in the belly of the plane where all the luggage goes.  And I've been putting luggage there for 2 weeks now, full time!  So I hope you'll understand my absence.

Why am I doing this?  Well, after my training is over today, I'm just going to be working part-time.  And the reason I'm working is for the benefits.  My whole family can fly anywhere in the United States for free and internationally for a very low price.  Like it's $120 round-trip to Italy, just to give you an example.  And....if we really want to do it up right, it's $20 to upgrade to first-class within the states (including Canada and Mexico) and $100 internationally.  But wait, there's more.....My parents get to fly on my benefits for approximately 10% of the ticketed price.  It's just a tiny way I can reward them for being the best parents in the whole wide WORLD. 

Let me tell you..... I will never get onto another plane again in my life without being so thankful for the people who are making it all happen!  You have NO idea what goes on in order to get a plane off the ground, on time.  (or the pressure to make it happen!)  It has truly been an eye opening experience and I'm actually really grateful for the opportunity it has given me to learn some new skills and meet some amazing people.

Meet "New Crew" Unless you can say it with some hip-hop flair, don't even try.


This is me and my team.  Of course I'm the only girl.  That's because the work I'm doing is meant to be done by a man.  I'm sure for equal rights purposes they have to hire a female every once in awhile.....but it is really hard!  The guys in this picture have seriously become such good friends of mine.  They always have my back.  I'm actually terrified to go work a plane without one (or all) of them by my side!  We have worked really hard in training but we have had a lot of fun and done so much laughing together.  Our trainer Alan (in the blue vest) is a serious professional at what he does.  He has been amazing and patient with me us.  I never even saw him come close to losing his cool, even when I almost jackknifed a machine right under the nose of the plane.  Oops.  And he loves to laugh with (at?) us. 

I'm only working down on "the ramp" through April, and then I will be starting a five week training course to become a Gate Agent, which is where I really want to be.  I will get to be inside, wearing a cute dress and talking into the microphone when it's time to have the passengers board the aircraft.  Trust me when I tell you it's better than roasting on the tar-mac and trying to stack 50+ pound bags inside a bin that you have to crouch inside of as they are speeding towards you on a conveyer belt at the speed of light.  Oh, and while you stack them (neatly, tags out) you must also count them (keeping the "heavy" bags separate) and write an accurate number with your accompanying signature to give to the pilot so he knows how much the baggage on his plane weighs.  It's just slightly stressful.  And when I say slightly, I mean I almost have a heart attack every time I have to do it. 

And don't even get me started on "pushing the plane out".  Did you know that planes don't have reverse?  So you have to hook these machines up to the plane and push them back from the gate onto the runway. 



Do you KNOW how big a plane is?  Well.... when Alan (gently) forced me to pushback, I put the headset on and told the pilot (in my sweetest, most girliest voice) that I was brand new and to please be patient.  All the pilots were super cool and told me I did a great job.  Obviously, pilots are excellent liars, but I'm pretty sure they enjoyed the fishtailing I subjected them to.  Who doesn't like to have a little fun on the job?

And so, here's to another adventure in my life.  Pray for me!  I seriously need all the help I can get!

your girl,
jilly

9 comments:

  1. How exciting!! Congratulations, I wish you the very best in your new exciting career. Enjoy those benefits!

    Warm wishes, Lisa

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  2. Wow, nice benefits!! I can totally see you standing at the gate in a cute dress and calling passengers to board the plane. I bet you rock at hauling luggage too and you must have some serious biceps! :)

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  3. That is what you call "true grit" what can't you do?!

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  4. Just when I try to calm myself with assuring words that you are really NOT the superwoman I have you in my mind to be... you go ahead and PROVE it!
    I am so proud of you for tackling this challenge and flat out ROCKING it on that runway. I much prefer you in a blue and red scarf tied neatly on your neck in a polyester brass- buttoned vest with a brooch on the lapel that says "Jilly" on it announcing the departure times, though. Whatever you do, in whatever "runway" fashion you wear, you are truly amazing and I couldn't be prouder of my little luggage girl. Be careful!
    XOXO
    G

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  5. On the spectrum of awesomeness, this is OFF THE CHARTS, yo.

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  6. Wow! How fantastic! It's so neat that you'll be able to get to Canada, and to visit your daughter. And you have to be the cutest luggage handler ever!

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  7. I echo the sentiments-compliments and awesome love of the other commenters! You never stop being AMAZING! Wishing you all kinds of kudos in your new adventure!
    p.s. I wish I was your mother!!! : )

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  8. Oh boy....good luck. I worked for a local airlines for two years and, ahem, just couldn't take the abuse from the public anymore and quit. The benefits (and they are awesome) just no longer outweighed the misery and dread I felt every day when I went to work. Best wishes to you. I hope you manage to do a little better than I did!

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  9. That's awesome!!! I always loved working construction in the valley, even though I was the only girl. There is something very empowering being super scared to do something without anyone believing that you can, and then you close your eyes (figuratively!) and then you do it...sometimes to the surprise of yourself as well as the men around you. Fantastic!

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We LOVE comments and we read every single one. Go ahead, make our day!
Mia & Jilly

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