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Working with Kids

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 14 November, 2009 by Thomas

One of my greatest passenger pet peeves is not following simple rules.  After reading a post on Heather’s blog I decided to go ahead and write my own piece instead of waiting until a more opportune moment.

Honestly, folks.  It’s like working with schoolchildren these days.  And not advanced reading class schoolchildren, either, but the short bus, head start, helmet-wearing, I-pull-my-pants-all-the-way-down-to-go-to-the-bathroom schoolchildren.

As a flight attendant there are certain things I’m required to do and say over the course of a flight, from boarding to deplaning.  Some of these things – like saying “hello” and standing at the main cabin door during boarding – are directions from the company.  Some of these things – like ensuring seat belts are fastened and tray tables are stowed – come from a higher authority (FAA).  I’m not telling you to do all the things I tell you to be a jerk or to hear my own voice, because frankly, I can think of much more satisfying ways to be a jerk, and I hate the sound of my voice.  The only things flight attendants want to say to you are, “Hello,” “Anything to drink,” and “Bye, now.”  You want to be left the hell alone, and we will leave you the hell alone if you do what the hell we tell you to.

Most of you do what we ask the first time, however, there is always at least one guy that wants to be stubborn.  Even if there are only 11 people on the flight he’s going to keep playing on his phone or iPod, regardless of how many times he’s asked to turn it off.  Don’t be that guy.  We hate that guy.  We will say bad things about that guy.  We will not be nice to that guy.  We, when presented with the opportunity, will make life just a bit more difficult for that guy.  We give to you what we imagine to be simple instructions, but apparently a Mensa membership should be required to fly commercially with all the people having trouble following them.

If you decide that you’d like to be that guy, don’t be so obvious about it.  When flying at night when the lights are off, don’t think I can’t see the light from your cell phone or iPod.  Remember, I’m on a little RJ, and I can see most everything.  I will get out of my seat, walk all the way to the back of the plane, and tell you to turn it off in front of everyone.  Here’s a tip: Try turning on your reading light so I can’t that you have it on.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  And just because you’re an off duty or deadheading crew member that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from following the rules.

To reiterate: Don’t be that guy…or this guy.