Life Below the Wing

 

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Image captured by the lovely Derek

I must admit, life “Below the Wing” is pretty sweet at the moment! I figured I should properly share what my new role as Admin/HR Coordinator for QGS (Qantas Ground Services) actually involves, whilst it is still fresh in my mind and feeling that sparkly*, excited, new-job feeling!

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All of the heart eyes for my new role, and my old friends! 🙂 

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Feeling so lucky! 

I should stress that this may come as a shock for those of you that thought I was borderline- obsessed with my shift work lifestyle. It’s no secret that my little stint working for a HR company between Emirates and Qantas was not my favourite working environment. The office felt stagnant, the hours were long and the only light at the end of the tunnel was waiting for my “golden call” from Qantas. Once that arrived, I was all too happy to be thrust into the shift-work lifestyle again. I relished the hours, the flexibility and the ever-changing rosters and passengers and colleagues that come with such a diverse role.

I know I said that working in the Lounges was the perfect compromise between airport life and home life, and it is! For me, at this stage, my current role is just as fantastic, if not better! It is physically and emotionally very taxing to stand up for 8+ hours a day, with only 15-30 minutes of seated time (we are not permitted to sit on chairs for long stints in the Lounges) and be attending to passengers face to face, calling flights and answering the phone all at once.

Nowadays, I have my own cubicle, a chair, a laptop and two computer screens. My vision board sits next to me, along with a calendar, my Epipremnum aureum (ivy) and a diffuser. The ramp isn’t exactly like the Lounge in terms of croissant or cookie scented air, or decor. Hence me prettying it up!

My day is mostly occupied with managing and processing leave (which takes up a large chunk considering the 350+ employees I am taking care of), approving uniform orders, liaising with payroll to communicate shift changes, and managing employee details and ASIC requirements, as well as assisting with the on boarding of New Starters (for now). I will also be attending Ramp and Fleet Assessment Days, helping my team assess possible candidates and even assisting with the Interview Process. I can’t wait!

So far, while I am learning, I have been given many a tour. I have been shown around the Baggage Room; where all of the ASO or “Airline Service Officers” sort bags from the belts onto the barrows, which are the long trolley things that the dollies and “tugs” pull. I’ve been into the Cargo hold of all of the aircrafts that Qantas has flying out of Perth (save for the Dreamliner), I have ridden in the cleaning truck, and seen how the Fleet Presentation staff hook themselves into an abseiling harness in order to safely open the door, I have ridden on the piece of machinery that loads the AKE’s (a type of container) onto the aircrafts, I have patted various puppies in transit, and, possibly, the most exciting to date, I have ridden on a tug, as aircraft landed and took off right before my eyes!

Did You Know?

  • A tug is a reinforced steel car that weighs 4 tonnes and travels at a maximum speed of 25km an hour at Perth Airport.
  • An AKE is the name of the containers used on aircraft
  • The only line of employment that Qantas doesn’t have on staff is a Vet- I am quite certain we cater for almost every other profession, generally speaking!
  • You must have a special Airside Driver’s Licence to drive a road vehicle on the tarmac. I will be getting mine shortly! Watch this space!

This new role may not seem as “glamorous” as my other ones, but in truth they were far from it. I seem to be getting further and further away from the sky in terms of job role, but it really does feel as though my career is just taking off!

I am very much enjoying the novelty of my steel-cap boots, having to wear HI-VIS on the tarmac and hearing protection, too. I just laugh when I see colleagues from CE (Customer Experience) do a double-take when they see me in my gear! All of the boys have been very welcoming, and I kind of feel like Snow White with her 300 and something dwarves. Except I am the dwarf (haha)! They are mostly polite, sometimes shy and very usually friendly! It also helps that I am well accustomed to the ways of boys (thank you brothers, and James) and the importance of sport and foxtel and time off for these things.

I keep telling everyone who asks that I “just wanted to do something different”. I have catapulted myself out of my comfort zone and I couldn’t be happier. I have a good team, a nice leader, comfortable hours and it helps that I genuinely like waking up and coming to work (I even did when it was at 2am!!!). We have Safety Week coming up, and part of that is Mental Health and recognising charities such as Beyond Blue and initiatives such as “R U OK” Day. I’m very much enjoying organising and facilitating these events!

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Sometimes we might feel a bit backwards if we aren’t OK. That’s why it’s important to ask, everyday!

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My famous R U OK? Cookies!

 

I am still getting the feel of having weekends off, without swapping or bidding!

May your work-days be enjoyable and your days off be relaxing,

Taylor xx

 

* by sparkly I mean the feeling, not the work place itself. It is full of boys, and quite often smells a bit stale, like an aircon that needs cleaning, or like a mixture of pies and tomato sauce. Hence my pear and cassis diffuser 🙂

 

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