Ololade Adenekan is a Flight Attendant. She spoke to us on her life as a flight attendant.
By Ayandola Ayanleke
Ololade Adenekan is a flight attendant. However, she admitted that being a flight attendant was not the original plan as she originally wanted to be a pilot
“I always wanted to be a pilot but then I am a lover of service; I love opportunities that make me serve or show care so I thought of becoming a flight attendant and it’s been amazing. I started with a commercial airline, flew for a few years and private jet flying found me.”
Considering challenges, Lola mentioned that rushing to get to work and then end up waiting hours for the client can be difficult.
But meeting people, most of whom are wonderful, freebies, connections, getting paid to travel around the world and sleep in nice places, etc are some of the perks of being a flight attendant.
And in the same vein, travelling around the world has its own perks. She gets to meet new people, interact with and be exposed to diverse cultures and beliefs as well as get to receive allowances for travelling.
She also spoke about her first experience as a flight attendant. “You do not want to know,” She started with a laugh. “I used to have a phobia for height and water plus I am a shy person.”
“Travelling as a passenger, I would intentionally sleep off once in my seat, but now as a flight crew, I have to do a walk around to make sure passengers are well-seated and complying to safety regulations, do checks/ secure the cabin, etc. And you are to still be walking when the aircraft starts taxing.”
“My first experience, I almost peed myself. I was struggling to act like I had it all under control, struggling to walk with balance as the aircraft shook me as it was taxing, struggling to communicate to passengers with confidence.”
“Everything was a total struggle plus I had supervisors watching for my errors. Goodness! And because I am a bit of an introvert, I had not built enough familiarity with my other crew members to get tips on how to overcome what I was going through so I was in it ALONE.”
“There is also a hierarchy in the job, so I had a mean crew give a bad feedback about me that day on top of the entire struggle. Luckily, someone shut her up, reminding her of her first experience.”
“Good customer service skill is an innate quality for me,” she says concerning interacting with passengers. “I always maintain good interaction with passengers. I can not remember any bad experience right now. There might have been, in fact, there should be but the numerous good ones have overshadowed it.”
She had difficulty picking a favourite location she has been to. “I hardly have a favourite country because most of the countries we are chartered to have one fun thing or the other for themselves and visitors unlike here in Nigeria, where fun is probably limited to clubbing or running around a beach.
Despite being a flight attendant, she is also a baker, a movie director and owns her travel company. “Joggling is not easy; some nights I do not get any sleep at all but now my system is used to workaholism.”
Her advice for potential flight attendants “is come into the job for the love of it and not for wrong reasons. It is a professional job and should be seen as one. Also, there is no harm in starting small.”
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.