in yesterdays post, I spoke about meals on planes. thus I figure why not talk about the people serving the food…
On my recent flight with American Airlines from Chicago to Tokyo, I must say I was served by a couple of airline stewards/s who were old enough to be my grandparents. Now please don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against older people being air stewards, though these people did not seem to happy to be doing what they were doing.
Many people who fly are accustomed to the sickening, overly-smiling airline workers who seem to smile from take off to landing. I’ve always wondered how they do it. Fly Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, various Asian Airlines, and many other airlines and you will most likely be served by a young-smiling-happy person. This is not the case with many of the American based airlines.
The people serving me on my American Airlines flight looked like they were in their fifties and sixties, and I did not see a single smile ONCE! They seemed to go about their job with monotony, indifference and boredom. My wife reported a similar experience on her recent flights with United Airlines; in fact, she said she had the worst flight she had ever experienced because of the negative attitude of the flight attendants.
Why is this?
Working as an airline hostess/stewardess used to be a job for young people, something they did for just a few years. They would fly around the world, get to travel, meet new people, and overall just have a good time. It was never a career decision. No one would say “I want to spend the next twenty plus years being an airline steward/ess.” It was more like something you did for 2-3 years while you figured out what you wanted to do with your life. You had to take a relatively short and easy course, and if you had a pleasant personality (and you weren’t too short to close the overhead bins, or to fat to fit down the aisle) you cold get the job.
But in America it has changed. Now there are middle-aged people who have made being an airline hostess a career, and I don’t think this is such a good thing. Instead of viewing their job as a fun adventure, they view it with resentment because it takes them away from their home and family. If you are a middle-aged person who enjoys your job as an airline host/ess and you are full of joy every day (my wife met a woman like this on a recent US Airways flight, so they do exist!), then by all means continue fulfilling your passions, but if you are no longer happy with this choice, then please move on to a new career!