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Old 06-16-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,370,316 times
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:15 PM
 
12,303 posts, read 18,425,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
That's a huge part of a F/A's job. When they whine about it, I can't help but think "Then why are you a F/A??? Get another job if you don't like it."

Just your attitude that a deck of cards, aspirin, and magazines are "resort" items shows me that you have a negative attitude.
Most of the time I'm on the FA's side, as a frequent flyer I see them as an ally. I'm also a "low maintanence" flyer - I mind my own business and stay quite and, if I'm in first, they just bring me my adult beverage on time, I am happy.

But at the same time, something to add to the above statement (and I'll probably get beat up again for this) - FAs face disullusionment with this job probably like no other except law enforcement. They take the job, low pay and all, expecting glamour and adventure. The allure of the job is there - Travel anywhere you want, jet setting, meet celebrities, visit the Eiffel Tower one day, the Collesioum the next, the nightlife of New York City the next, maybe marry a pilot, or a rich businessman, mix and mingle with the rich and famous.

Reality sets in quick as you take the daily route from Cincinnati to Tulsa, every day, for years. You find that you are nothing but a waitress, serving water and peanuts in a stuffy metal tube at 30,000 feet, serving a mass of smelly, angry, tired people, with a handful of crying babies, drunks, old people in wheel chairs, etc.

It's a job with a huge burn-out potential. We've heard from I believe two FAs in this post - one should leave her job, the other seems to have the temperment for it. It takes a particular personality that enjoys this work - dealing with customers, the stupid ones included. It takes a person that can enjoy the perks, as little time as you have to enjoy them, and knows when to get out and find a new career. That's the key to a good flight attendant.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,609,223 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It's not the FA's job to "Crack down" on this, This needs to be done by the gate agent. For any number of reasons you don't want the FA to have to manage that process.
The gate agents I dealt with in my time as an FA were totally worthless. They would put drunk passengers on planes, not work with families to let them sit together, sit minors in the emergency exits and put unaccompanied minors all over the cabin. When I would get one that did his/her job, I was elated. THEY are the ones who need to monitor the carry on bags before they allow anyone down the jetway. By the time they get on the plane, trying to get a bag off is nearly impossible...sort of like watching fish trying to swim upstream. Frankly, I don't think there are many airlines who have such a huge variety of size requirements, so they should probably be taken care of at security. If it doesn't fit through the little plastic piece, you have to get out of line and go check your bags. Everyone hates TSA anyway, what's another thing to add to their reputation? Just kidding, but they do have a hard job.

Although, having FAs deal with luggage reminds me of one of the funniest scenes in a movie..."Meet the Parents" when Ben Stiller has a total meltdown on the plane over checking his bag. That was awesome!
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,315,614 times
Reputation: 10018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
The allure of the job is there - Travel anywhere you want, jet setting, meet celebrities, visit the Eiffel Tower one day, the Collesioum the next, the nightlife of New York City the next, maybe marry a pilot, or a rich businessman, mix and mingle with the rich and famous.

Reality sets in quick as you take the daily route from Cincinnati to Tulsa, every day, for years. You find that you are nothing but a waitress, serving water and peanuts in a stuffy metal tube at 30,000 feet, serving a mass of smelly, angry, tired people, with a handful of crying babies, drunks, old people in wheel chairs, etc.

It's a job with a huge burn-out potential.
Heh. Sounds eerily similar to the world into which more than a few women grow up. They have dreams of this wonderful guy, success, glamor, etc. By 30, reality has set in--specifically, in the thighs. Not only can they not dream of squeezing into their jeans from when they were engaged, they are having a hard time getting through a day without cleaning up another human being's bodily emanations or soiled clothing, and they are barely getting paid room and board. And they're still supposed to serve dinner with a smile. And sometimes the people they are supposed to serve call them nasty names, or act childish, or get very demanding. And yet if they don't keep smiling, they're considered Not Nice.

I should think that flight attendants make outstanding stay-at-home moms. They have already learned all the necessary coping skills for putting up with crap.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,917,673 times
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I am laughing out loud at the previous post from Dd714! Maybe one reason I AM good with coping skills is that I raised two sons to teenagers before I started flying!

As to another earlier post..PLEASE realize that although some FAs give passengers aspirin out of their crew bag, they are risking being fired. Sorry, but no headache in the world would make me jeopardize my livelihood. I LOVE my job! What I will do, in lieu of that, is to ask (either in surrounding rows or even have made a PA announcement) if any passenger would be willing to help a fellow traveler by providing an aspirin. Its a round about way to get the passenger with a headache the aid he needs without putting my own tail on the line. There is always someone who offers the aspirin! Nobody says another passenger can't provide the needed meds! There is always a way around things.

Last edited by FlightAttendant; 06-16-2009 at 06:56 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:08 PM
 
12,303 posts, read 18,425,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
I am laughing out loud at the previous post from Dd714! Maybe one reason I AM good with coping skills is that I raised two sons to teenagers before I started flying!
LOL, if you didn't already know - you are the one I meant when I said one FA that responded here had the temperment for the job. You sound like an excellent FA, keep up the good work. I hope you work at Delta, if so I'll see you in the air.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:15 PM
 
28,250 posts, read 39,920,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
Most planes have magazines available and they should have aspirin available, but I don't expect them to have either. A deck of cards is hardly a "resort" luxury item, but again, I don't expect any plane to have decks of cards available for the passengers. That's not my point.

My point is that you are going to deal with the customers, and some of them will expect some of these things, or maybe not expect them but may still ask for them. A customer with a bad headache, who perhaps normally never gets headaches, may ask for aspirin out of desperation. It's not a federal case, if you have it, give it to him. I've seen GOOD F/A's take aspirin out of their own pockets/pocketbooks to give to customers and not gripe about it. That's my point - people will ask for these things, maybe even expect these things, and as wrong as they may be to do so, that is PART OF A CUSTOMER-FACING JOB.

I do call center customer service training for a living. One of the main focal points of the training in terms of dealing with customers is that customer service reps should understand that customers will be unreasonable and "wrong" in their expectations of what they want done for them, and they need to be handled properly. That means that we're usually not going to meet their unreasonable expectations, but we shouldn't be shocked and angry at them for having unreasonable expectations, because they are customers. So if a customer asks you for a deck of cards for their kid, which really isn't a rational expectation on his part, it's STILL your job to do your best to accommodate his request or handle it in as nice a way as possible. Too many F/A's instead cop an attitude when people make such requests, and their reasoning is along the lines of "we shouldn't be expected to provide that!" Yes, you shouldn't be expected to provide it, but you SHOULD be handling that situation PROFESSIONALLY using customer service skills. F/A's with that wrong attitude think they are not in the customer service business, but they ARE. Any front-line, customer-facing position, in any business, requires customer service skills.

I truly do empathize with F/A's because I realize, even as a passenger, that many passengers are boorish jerks and are very annoying. But that's the job you have, to deal with those passengers. When I train people in customer service, I go over the fact that they are not going to be getting calls from people who are just calling in to say, "Hey, everything is awesome, I don't need anything, just wanted to say thanks and have a good day!" but instead they will be getting calls from people who want help with a PROBLEM.

Same with flight attendants; nobody's going to hit their call button to call over a flight attendant to say, "Hey, just wanted to tell you to keep up the great work and thank you!" but instead they're going to call you over for help with a problem. That's just how it is. That's a huge part of a F/A's job. When they whine about it, I can't help but think "Then why are you a F/A??? Get another job if you don't like it."

Just your attitude that a deck of cards, aspirin, and magazines are "resort" items shows me that you have a negative attitude.
That is pure BS. Are you serious? After you spend three hours on the Internet sucking the life out of it finding the cheapest fare you can find you expect an FA to supply you with playing cards and reading material and pay for it out of their own pocket? If you want to play cards or read on the plane go on the Internet for three hours and suck the life out of it and find the cheapest deck of cards and the cheapest magazine you can and carry it on the plane in your over-sized carry-on.

Aspirin is a whole 'nother story. It's drug. Don't expect an FA to give you drugs. Aren't you smart enough to anticipate that you will have a headache after spending all that time on the Internet finding all those cheapo items? Take your own aspirin on the plane. You have plenty of room in that sherpa bag, I'm sure.

As someone mentioned earlier people's IQ's drop in half when they get on a plane.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:19 PM
 
28,250 posts, read 39,920,849 times
Reputation: 36758
Surly FA's? I find a big smile and a warm, "Hello, how are you today?" will help them get past the ass they just dealt with two rows up. While it's not a cure-all it at least let's them know that someone appreciates them, and I do.

Walk down the street with a frown on your face and watch those you meet.

Walk down the street with a big smile on your face and watch those you meet.

Amazing difference.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:23 PM
 
28,250 posts, read 39,920,849 times
Reputation: 36758
Fascinating thread! Love the FA stories. I thought I knew how poorly they were paid; guess I was wrong.

Time for high speed trains down the middle of the interstates. FA's can become TA's and probably get paid better to boot. Over-sized carry ons just get tossed out the window and a carvan of homeless will collect them for whatever they find.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,239 posts, read 15,452,895 times
Reputation: 8110
There are certain jobs that make me think, "Thank God I don't do that for a living!" Being a flight attendant is one of them. Dealing with the general public at all is incredibly annoying, but flying is a situation that just breeds bad behavior and stupidity. My hat is off to the flight attendants who do a good job, and who like what they do. I'm one of the quiet and meek passengers who keeps to myself, reads a book, etc. I figure they're already busy, and unless I really need something extraordinary, I don't want to add to the burden.

I don't have the sense of entitlement that some people seem to have these days. You know, that "I paid for a ticket, damn it, and therefore I expect exceptional service every single minute!" syndrome. My ticket entitles me to be flown from point A to point B safely. That's pretty much it, and I don't expect more than that. If I wanted premium service, I could spend hundreds more on a first class ticket.
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