A Malaysian woman who achieved her dream of becoming a flight attendant said she remains thankful despite being laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has impacted the aviation industry.
Achieved her dream at 19
In a lengthy Facebook post published on Thursday (Dec. 17), the former Singapore Airlines (SIA) girl Melisa Yon said she managed to pass the interview at Singapore Airlines back in 2018 at the age of 19, attaining her dream of becoming an air stewardess.She had wanted to be a flight attendant since she was 16, and had started applying for such jobs after she graduated high school.
But before she was accepted by SIA, she failed all the interviews she went for, including the one at Air Asia.
When she learnt that she got into SIA, she was ecstatic.
She said in her post: "I can't believe that I actually passed the interviews... I kept wondering how did I manage to get it, and kept doubting myself, but then I finally said 'since I've already succeeded, I must give it my all'.”
Yon then recounted her training days, when she had to "rebatch" by joining a new class after she failed three tests six weeks into the 16-week training.
She also hit back at the naysayers who discouraged her from pursuing her dream, saying: "To those that told me those who want to become flight attendants are 'all hopeless at studying' and 'think they are very pretty (when they are not)', now I've truly achieved my goal and defied their expectations!"
After she completed her training, Yon finally started on her work assignments.
Went to many countries for work
On her flying assignments, she said she visited many countries that she had always wanted to go since she was a child, such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and France.
But her work gradually lessened due to the impact of Covid-19 -- she only had two trips in a month in February this year.
To save on living expenses, she returned to Malaysia on April 1, and was finally able to see her family and spend time with them.
Pandemic affected many
But as the pandemic dragged on, her work continued to be affected. Since she had no income in Malaysia, she wanted to return to Singapore, but that could not be done.
Yon continued to say that in July and August, she and her colleagues started hearing rumours of a retrenchment exercise that was supposedly coming up.
The rumours turned out to be true. Yon said: "They have also decided to lay off the newer employees first (those who have worked for less than two years), and I'm one of the newer staff."
Recounting her feelings when she received her termination letter, she said: "I cried when I saw the email informing me that I've been let go... the company retrenched 4,300 of its staff, and I'm simply one of them, should I take comfort in that?"
She added that as she was unable to attend the conference held for retrenched staff in Singapore, her company called to inform her of all the terms that she needed to know.
"The company laid me off in just 10 minutes," she said.
Nevertheless, Yon said she does not regret her flying experience at all as she has already fulfilled her dream.
"I've tried, and that's enough for me," she said.
Yon now manages an indoor hydroponic farm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Top image adapted via Melisa Yon's Facebook