Sunday, March 15, 2009

Flight attendant's job is overly romanticized

A Japanese airline wishes to recruit six onboard interpreters here. Do you have any ideas how many applicants came in for interview? Six hundred! Their chance to get this job with a starting monthly salary of NT$50,000 is as low as one percent, reported local TV news station.

According to the recruiter, unlike flight attendants, the onboard interpreters' job does not require them to serve meal and beverage, what they need to do is help passengers interlingually, i.e. translate messages onboard into Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, and English. Therefore, applicants are required to have TOEIC score higher than 650, of course, applicant's ability to speak languages other than English is preferable. In contrast, 550 is sufficient for flight attendants.

Some applicants, obviously not very sure of the differences of job description between flight attendant and onboard interpreter, told the reporter that they would not mind the title as long as they could fly.

Why are so many college graduated females fancy of being flight attendants? Some would say that the only difference between being a waitress and being a flight attendant is the latter serves meals at three thousand feet high. Such stigma is certainly unacceptable to thousands of college girls who are even willing to pay a fortune signing up for cram school to learn how to present themselves better at interview to fulfill their flying dreams.

High pay, chances to travel, and the pride of being 'the most beautiful' may be reasons for college girls swarming into this line of business. The first two reasons are needless to say more. I will only discuss here the third one. Undeniably speaking, the age and the degree of beauty ( I hate this phrase, but I can't come out with a better one) of the flight attendants worldwide, ladies working onboard the commercial airlines of Taiwan, China are among the top, they are no doubt the youngest and the most beautiful ones comparing with that of their counterparts on American and European airliners. The pride of being the most beautiful ones is some temptation few young ladies could resist.

A flight attendant's job is unequivocally over romanticized in Taiwan and in China. Although airline recruiters would rebut my opinion, who can deny that beauty is not a requirement considered when recruiting their service personnel?

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