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Assamese flight attendant jots down how her profession is stereotyped
Call it a professional hazard or people being way too judgemental, flight attendants go through a lot while on the job. It’s human nature to be curious about someone else’s job… that too while sitting idle for hours, but intruding into someone’s privacy with a straight-jacket stereotyping is an absolute no. While occasional questions like ‘When you get home?’ or ‘Tell us about the craziest thing that has ever happened on a flight’ can be passed on as just another questions thrown, intruding ones like ‘do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend who also is a flight attendant’ is something that every flight attendant need to answer at some point of time.
Taking this head-on, Bhagyashree Baruah, Lead Flight Attendant at IndiGo, who hails from Assam, wrote a heartfelt note on Facebook about the odds she has to go through all day – silently wishing that people will respect her job rather than look through a set pattern.
Baruah, in her Facebook post, shares her experience about how most people take air hostesses to be just 12th pass – she herself is a post graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi.
Calling out stereotypes, Baruah, who did her schooling from Guwahati, wrote that people often pass them off as just ‘pretty girls’. “I came across so many assumptions by non-aviators asking me questions I would not like to state here. But tell me; don’t people vary in their characters in all places? Why spoil the entire league just because of a few? And those few, whatever they do in (their) life, it’s their personal choice,” she wrote.
Here’s the full post:
Three years in aviation and facing thousands of stereotypes. Well I wasn’t quite ready for it. Being from an educational background and studying in Delhi’s top arts college, I never thought I will end up in aviation, an industry known for glamour and beauty. Whatever it was, it was my choice.
However, as time passed by, I started knowing the reality of it. To my utter surprise, I started meeting not just pretty girls, but girls whose hearts were made of gold. They were young, mostly 21-25. These are girls who would leave no stone unturned just to help you. I came across so many assumptions by non-aviators asking me questions I would not like to state here. But tell me; don’t people vary in their characters in all places? Be it corporate or any other field? Why spoil the entire league just because of a few? And those few, whatever they do in life, it’s their personal choice. If that makes someone happy, then why not leave them alone and let them do it?
My colleagues are the ones who start working at 3 am or much before, leaving the loved ones behind, not knowing whether they will ever come back or not. These are mostly people who have started earning bread & butter for their family as early as at the age of 18.
They know their first aid procedures A-Z, they are trained hard to evacuate 180 passengers in just 90 seconds, yet they are just seen as mere pretty faces and bodies.
Most of the common people take us to be 12th pass, but hey, most of us are in fact graduates and post-graduates, take me for instance .
This is a job which I chose, and I love it. I love being surrounded by people who pay their own bills, doesn’t depend on a man for the same, are independent, and are a support system to the family. Their educational qualification does not and never will affect me.
What affects me is the thought process of the so called ‘educated masses’ who, from time and again, pops up questions that make me laugh and love my colleagues even more.
– dedicated to all my lovely ladies and the boys out there doing a fabulous job at 35000 ft.
(And oh, I wrote this entire piece at 35000 ft)
-with lots and lots of love to everyone, Bhagyashree Baruah
Keep flying girl!