July 2013. I was chilling at home in my hometown in Medan when that one little dream tickled me once again. Garuda Indonesia Flight Attendant Vacancy for Bandung was about to be held in September. I hesitated, so I talked to my mom about it and she was as loving and supportive as always. Then I thought, “Alright, girl. This is it. This is your moment. Take the chance or just forget it for the rest of your life.” I clicked on the ‘Apply’ button and prayed. Please, universe. Conspire for this.
Considering my previous recruitment failure due to lack of needed files and documents, I took the chance of being at home to prevent it from happening again. I collected all my certificates and went to make statement letter apparatus like SKCK. Everything went as planned and I flew back to Bandung on the 30th.
September 2013. I was in a lazy mode when a text message arrived to my phone saying that I’ve been sent the invitation for the first stage of the recruitment. I jumped out of my bed, checked my e-mail and there it was, saying that the first stage will be held in the 9th, which was in only four days. After reading the e-mail the first thing I did was to wash my face and apply acne cream. Up until now I don’t have any idea how I came up with that idea.
So the new set of paths then began.
So the day had finally arrived. There I was, being a little late than the said time which was 8 o’clock (I arrived at 9) and there was already a swarming groups and groups of applicants with their best attire. I’m talking about full makeups, killer heels, and how-do-you-breathe-in-that shirts. I looked around and saw some familiar faces -some applicants who failed on the previous recruitment and familiar some recruitment staffs. I got on the queue to take my number and waited for height/weight check. It was a massive queue so I spent the time to talk with some other applicants and shared information and experiences. When it was my turn I was in doubt because I was sure that I gained some extra kilograms from all the hometown culinary, but was relieved to see the results. I had no idea what went on with that scale though.
Then I proceeded to report my result to a table where the staff allowed me to pass onto the next step, the User Interview, right across the room. It was a bit different from the previous recruitment process where the User Interview was held after the Psychological and English Test.
There was another queue in front of the test room but this time it wasn’t so well-arranged. People were hesitant to enter and let others to enter first. I’ve been in this stage so I asked if I may go first and they happily allowed me. The only thing in my head was to finish the stages as fast as possible.
I entered the room and there was two tables facing one another but with a huge space between them. I walked towards the one that’s closest to the door but was pointed to go to the other one. There was one chair apart from the one the interviewer was using, and I was told to put my stuff on that chair. “Okay, no sitting this time. This shoes hurt like hell but stand up straight,” I said to myself. After a brief self-introduction and was told to tell how I met my boyfriend in English (I was clueless about why he asked me that, but maybe he only wanted to hear my English), I was relieved when I was asked to stand upright without wearing shoes although that revealed all 6 band-aids I put on to save my feet from more pain. Face this way, face that way, then the interviewer asked me to walk towards the other table. I walked with my most humble smile and faced the other interviewer, who, right when I stopped and stood in front of him, asked ,”You’ve been in this stage before, right?” I answered, “Yes, Sir. I was interviewed by you last April.” And he replied, “I remember you. Now go back.”
Glad that the interviewer remembered me, I walked back to my original position and the interviewer handed me a blue card and told me to give it to the staff in the previous room. I walked out of the room, gave the card to the staff and was told that I was qualified to proceed. I was in my happy smile when suddenly the staff said, “When was the last time you applied for the recruitment?”
“It was in April, ma’am. I failed on the Background Check.” The smile disappeared from my face.
“You know that if you fail a stage you have to wait for 6 months before applying again? It’s not 6 months yet. You can’t pass, I’m sorry.”
“Yes, ma’am. I understand.” I was in despair and was about to leave the room when the staff continued.
“Why didn’t you pass the Background Check?”
“My documents were not complete, ma’am. I left my certificates in my hometown and there was no time to send them here.”
“Oh, you should have told me earlier! If that’s the case, it’s OK for you to proceed. Here, take this card and wait for the Psychology and English Test at 1 o’clock.”
The happy smile went back to my face. I was so close to failing! My stomach was sick with hunger, stress, and nervousness. But I was happy!
Psychology and English Test
Moving onto the next step. This part wasn’t any different from the previous one I took in April, even the questions were pretty much the same. I did the test in a flash due to the hunger in my loud stomach that kept on trying to take over the attention. Food. I needed food.
The test went on for about three hours and then we were told to go home and wait for the results to be sent to our phones, so we left the room and there I saw a table full of breads and cakes and that was when I shamelessly took a plateful of brownies and stuffed myself. What a silly moment.
I went home, remove my makeups, washed my hair and slept for four straight hours. I was awaken by an arriving text message, saying that I passed the Psychology and English Test. Yippee-kay-yay!! The next interview was held on the day after so I woke up, get some food, and went back to sleep. I love food and sleep so much.
I arrived at the location at 8 in the morning and was greeted by a staff who then handed me a form to fill. It was a 4 page form asking for details about my family and work experiences. After filling the form I was told to wait outside a room where the interview was held and had some small talks with the other applicants. Upon my turn I entered the room and sat super-politely in front of the interviewer. Just when I thought that this interview would be the same with the previous Competency Test, the interviewer attacked me with intimidating gestures and speaking tone. I tried my best to calm myself down and answered her as clearly as I could, without forgetting to put on my best smile. This time the interview was more about my work experience and how I handled good or bad situations, and went on for about 20 minutes.
When she told me that the interview was over I felt like a wounded soldier who just survived a war. The results would be announced in a week and when I finally received it I saw that I passed onto the next step, the Background Check. I took the time before the day to collect, check, and to recheck my documents. I even called my mom to ask about our family’s complete information, including my grandparents from both sides, and had them all noted down. All was prepared. I was more than ready.
On the day of the Background Check, I arrived at the location on 8 a.m sharp and found that the rest of the applicants have already entered the room for the Background Check Written Test. I panicked and thought that the test had already begun, but when I saw them still talking to each other I was relieved. at 8.30 we started the exam and I had to do it in a separate room because I have already done it before. The exam’s questions was still the same but I didn’t have a clue about the answers. I did really poorly on the previous one. Two hours had passed and we waited for our names to be called to the Background Check Interview. There was four interviewers and one of them was the interviewer from the April’s test and luckily I got faced with him. He still remembered me so the interview went briefly. After checking my documents and giving back the extra copies that I forgot to take out of the map, he permitted me to leave the room and warned me to keep my phone active so I won’t miss any announcements.
Waiting for the result was a bit frustrating. A week had passed and still no news. I asked the other applicants with whom I have exchanged phone numbers and they also still received nothing.
About a week and a half after the Background Check, I went to Jakarta for my grandma’s birthday. Spending some time with the huge family made me forget about the recruitment for a moment. I remembered during the lunch time with the family, my aunt asked me about the recruitment so I told her how everything went. Beside her was my ever so beautiful grandma, paying attention to my story. Then my aunt turned to my grandma and said, “You look happy that she’s going to be a Flight Attendant, mom.” My grandma smiled and nodded her head. I’ll never forget that happy smile and I’m going to succeed in the recruitment for that smile.
I was munching on a big slice of Rendang when a message came into my phone. I passed the Background Check!! Finally! I was invited to the Medical Exam which was held the day after, so I asked for permission to my family, packed my stuff, and went straight back to Bandung.
This part isn’t far from the one I posted previously and still was held in two days. Day one, after getting my height and weight measured I went to the same series of exams. Thorax, audiometry, respirometry, electrocardiography, vision test, dental check, blood and urine test, etc. I was a bit afraid that all that Rendang-munching would somehow affect my results, so I drank lots and lots of water since D-1 until the morning since I believe in the magical power of water. Sort of.
On the second day I was examined by a doctor from Garuda Medical Center. Balance test, skin check, and a bunch of test which I have no idea for what purposes they were held. By this point there were 32 (or 33?) of candidates left out of 900-ish that applied on the first step. We made friends and I really find myself comfortable among them. Good point!
A week after the medical exams I received a text saying that I was fit enough and was invited to the next part of the recruitment. The last part. The final interview. Pantuhir.
It was a long, long wait until the big day. We waited for almost 3 weeks and we were finally there, all together in a bus going to Jakarta for the Pantuhir. We arrived at the hotel one day before and didn’t have much time to chill. After checking in, we had dinner and went straight back to our rooms, planning to sleep early considering we would have to wake up really early in the morning. But that didn’t happen to me and my roommates, we stayed up chit-chatting and only had 3 hours of sleep. Gosh.
The big day. I woke up at 3 a.m., got myself a cup of coffee and went straight away to shower. Everything happened in a flash. Getting dressed, getting makeup done, hair-do, helping one another, having breakfast, and the next thing I knew we were in a bus, at 6 a.m., heading to Garuda City Center.
In this final part we got to wear Garuda Indonesia’s Flight Attendant uniform (of course without the wing pin, the brooch and the ID) but were not allowed to take pictures since we were not actual flight attendants. We went to a room in a group of seven and were faced with some seemingly very important people, who actually are very, very important. One by one we introduced ourselves and got asked some questions before we were finally allowed to leave the room. All I remembered was thinking, “Don’t trip. Don’t trip.”
We waited up to lunchtime until all the candidates had finished their interviews and the staff in charge said that the results would be announced later that same day, at around 5 p.m. We took some pictures together with the candidates and went back to the hotel discussing each other’s performance.
After all the candidates finished the interview went back to the hotel, got a lunch, and waited nervously until…
Until that text message came! I passed the final interview! The Pantuhir! All 29 candidates from Bandung passed and the mister who was in charge said that it was the first time EVER that out of a group of candidates from outside of Jakarta, each and every one passed the Pantuhir. We were more than delighted. We screamed. We hugged. We were in tears. We were visited by a security person and was told to keep it down. A minute later we forgot about his warnings and continued screaming.
Thank you, the great conspiracy of the mighty universe. Everything has finally come together and made my dream come true. Now I’m counting days to the beginning of my training days. I’ve had it all prepared, and I’m ready to own the sky. And of course the biggest thanks goes to my mother. She’s my inspiration, my love, my life.
I never gave up my dream. I’ve always believed. And do you remember what people say about dreams coming true? Well, they DO come true if you really, really want it.
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
– Paulo Coelho
It’s true. Now my delayed dreams is finally boarding.