A flying-high attitude

May 2, 2009

…The flight was about to take off. The announcement requesting passengers to switchoff their mobile phones had been made. However, the man sitting a row ahead of me would not oblige. The airhostess requested him again. I could not listen to their conversation but the body language conveyed it all. The man was agitated, arrogant and defiant. The airhostess was polite and patient, yet firm. Finally, he complied after he was done with his rude behaviour. The plane took off and the crew got busy with their service. Despite what had happened, the airhostess kept on attending to his frequent demands for food, drinks and various complaints. He was the most demanding passenger on board. After a while, the man felt uneasiness and needed some attention. The same airhostess attended to him, got him some medicine, followed by a drink. The man felt better and for the fist time in the journey smiled and thanked the airhostess. She smiled back, said “ My pleasure, Sir”, and moved on.

Later, I appreciated the airhostess for her attitude and asked her how can she keep her cool at such times, and if she really liked her work. She said, “ Yes, I like my work. It gives me a chance to see different places, meet different people and attend to their needs. I have flown with passengers going to attend funerals of their close family members or friends, I try my best to console them and cheer them up. Some travel with anxiety of a critical business meeting and are tense and so on”. She also shared that majority of passengers are very nice and courtesous.

… the lesson is simple. The airhostess saw more positive points in her work than negatives. She found relevance in her wok. She remembered good behaviour of most passengers and this gave her strength to forget the rudeness of some. In short, she took pride in her work, and that attitude helped her always.

Take pride in your work – It is an important attitude that brings the best out of you. The best way to develop this attitude for all of us is to make a list of things that we like in our work, and keep the broader perspective in mind. Just like there are some rude passegers while flying, there are some things/issues/people that we may not like in our work. We should not let them affect us. We should rather find a way to work with them. Taking pride in our work is necessary to give our best service. A flying-high attitude, indeed.