Is There A Doctor In the House?

Well, I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, or people are just becoming ruder. In the last few weeks, I’ve had many experiences on the airplanes, with whining, tantrums, and self-centered behavior. And that isn’t the  babies.

A few weeks ago, a woman left her suitcase right in the aisle and sat down. As I approached to ask who owned the bag, the man in the aisle, pointed to her. He looked disgusted as well. I said, “Mam, your bag must be stowed for takeoff.” “Well,” she said, someone took all of my overhead space.” I reminded her that this is shared space, and that I had made several announcements to let people know that there was space int the next cabin. She defiantly crossed her arms, as if to say, “I’m not going to budge.” As if the man on the aisle could read my mind, he stood up. I said, “Go on.” At this she stood and took her bag up front. I saw the flight attendants, very graciously place it into the business class closet. I thought, she probably told them that I gave her the ok, to do this.

At any rate, it was taken care of. Or so I thought. After we were inflight, she came to the back. She asked for my name and the name of the other flight attendant. I asked her if I could help her with something. She claimed, “No, I’m going to file a complaint.” “Oh,” I said, “About your bag?” “Yes,” “I’ve been flying for 20 years, and someone always, takes my bag and puts it away for me.” At this I laughed. Now, this was no little old lady that needed assistance, or I’d be happy to help. She was a con artist. So, I said, “Well, that was very kind of them, but when you bring a carry-on, you are responsible for carrying it on, stowing it, and then carrying it off.”

“No!” She said, “That is your job!” I couldn’t believe my ears. “Are you serious?” I said. “That is an occupational hazard for us. We can’t lift everyone’s bags and put them away. Just a year ago, I tore my rotator cuff, and there is no way I’m lifting hundreds of people’s bags all day.” Then she said something that made me laugh even harder. “Then you go out and heal, and come back to work. I can’t help it, you are a small, weak woman!” I was just beside myself, and I wondered how long she had gotten away with this. I wanted to say, “If I’m small and weak, what’s your excuse for not lifting your own bag?”

Now I said, “Listen when you file your complaint, make sure you ask them if this is a job requirement for us. I would like to hear the response. And perhaps then you will understand.”She huffed at me, and went back to her seat. The other flight attendant’s couldn’t believe it, when I told them what she had said.

Then we had a woman with an earache, on my next flight. The woman on the aisle called the flight attendant, and said, “Isn’t there something your airline does for sick people? Like move them to First Class or something?” The flight attendant in the back told us about the conversation. We had all kinds of scenarios for interfering woman. I said, “Hey, let’s take the red/infection control bag, to the back and wrap the woman in it.” “Yea,” and we can all put on our gloves and white masks.” We were all laughing.

The purser went back to find out what was going on, and she finally asked the woman in the aisle, “Are you traveling with this woman?” “No,” She said. “Oh, because you seem so concerned,” she said. She just kept sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong. First of all, if the woman had an earache, she probably was traveling with a cold, and as I pointed out to the Purser, “the air pressure in every cabin is the same.” And the sick woman, wasn’t the one asking for an upgrade. It was the nosy woman sitting in her row. She probably wanted extra room.

Now last night, there was a couple sitting in business class. Right before the service was about to begin, the woman across the aisle from them, handed the flight attendant a note. On the note it said;”Can you page to see if there is a marriage doctor, on board? The couple across from me won’t stop arguing!”

The flight attendant, thinking she was joking, wrote on her note, “You’re kidding, right?” The woman was not. I came up to help them with their service and they told me the story. I realized that this woman was serious. And that, although the couple were having little arguments, here and there, it wasn’t loud and abusive. More like hen-pecking by the wife. I just laughed as I said, “Hey, can you imagine that announcement? If there is a marriage doctor onboard, please ring your call button. We have an emergency! There is a couple onboard having an argument, and it may cause the woman next to them, to have stress-related illness.”

I wondered at the terrible behavior I’ve seen. I’ve always said, “We can avoid 99% of the problems in this world, if people stopped minding other people’s business.” Now I’m not talking about serious issues, where someone needs to get involved. But it seems some people just create drama, wherever they go. And more often than not, it happens on airplanes.

Last night a woman was in the last row, with her two children. She let these toddlers make all the decisions, for everything. I see future, bad-mannered, adults, coming down the pike. Then she took all her trash, and stuffed it on the floor,under her seat. My flying partner and I, surmised that her home, is probably like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on an episode of, ‘Hoarders, Buried Alive!’

I wonder if it really is a change because of the confined space. Or the air pressure. I have seen it all, but lately the common courtesies, are not very common.

I know a flight attendant with a blog that addresses these very issues; He is The SkySteward.And He writes about, Jetiquette. Yes, it is very useful information. However, what I said about therapy patients, holds true in this case too; Sane people go to therapy to learn how to deal with the crazy people around them. Crazy people don’t think they’re crazy, so you’ll never see them going to the therapist. (Unless a court order) Which doesn’t count. By the same token, rude, ill-mannered people, would not be reading information on etiquette, and common social graces. Because they have none, and yet they don’t realize that what they are doing is rude.

So, with that in mind, read the info, so you’re prepared when you come across these folks. Perhaps take copies with you, to hand out. I personally think, it would be nice to have a little booklet, addressing these issues, in the seat-pocket. Now wouldn’t that be fun? And as your reading your copy, the rude person next to you, who loves to be observant and read over your shoulder, will be able to read about themselves! Yes, that could probably one of the last pages, so they can get the full benefit of the text. Like, “Rule Number 10. Never, ever, read over another person’s shoulder. It is similar to eavesdropping. An invasion of privacy.”At this point you may look right into their eyes. That should be effective.

Oh, yes, and as I’m sitting here in the gate area, I am reminded of a huge pet-peeve, for many of us, non-revenues, commuting home. It’s the people that wander up to the gate, with food and coffee, 5 minutes before departure, and ask, “Are you boarding?” What is that all about? Don’t they read their itinerary? Don’t they realize TSA, has control issues of their own? And if they choose to go through your stuff, well, game over. And then they get through security and stop to get food? Many of us commuters, have been walking down jetbridges, or on airplanes, only to be pulled off last minute, because someone got out of bed late.

Just a few minutes ago, a guy got his boarding pass with 10 minutes to spare and asked, “Can’t I just go get a paper?” All of us looked at each other in amazement.The agents said, “No sir! We’re ready to leave!” He argued, “It’s right over there!” I was thinking, this guy has a lot of nerve. And what is going to change in that paper between now and when he lands. Besides, there’s broadcast news on the plane. Once again, “It’s a dollar waiting on a dime.”

I’m just growing weary of the whole, “entitlement’ attitude. I found one simple word to put an end to all of this nonsense. And it’s a word that, rude, arrogant people, have not heard enough. “NO.” It’s simple and to the point. It’s a solution to ending ‘world rudeness.’ And it’s  a universal word, that everyone understands.

Have a great holiday, and don’t let those Grinch’s,  ruin your travel plans!!!!

Beware of My Tantrum

It happened again today. It never ceases to amaze me. No matter how terrible the tragedies in this country, there are always people, who seem to go about their lives, in a total funk, oblivious to what is happening in this world. We all seem to exist to make their every wish come true, and when that doesn’t happen, they will make sure we hear about it. This is most miserable for all of us, when it takes place on that metal tube.

This morning, Ms. Sour Grapes, had her turn. She started out pleasant enough as I briefed her about her emergency exit, and made a few jokes with her. She seemed pleasant. But, as I gathered later, it was only a ruse, for the ambush, at dinner.

I came up from the back to help the flight attendants working Business Class. And as I served her the meal, she didn’t seem to say anything. It was later, as I passed by, when she called me over, and pointed to her tray, “please take this,” she said, in disgust. “I’m not going to eat this.”

I was quite surprised, as it was the most popular meal we offered, and she hadn’t touched it. As I brought it into the galley, I set it down and asked the galley flight attendant about her. “Oh, she was all upset because she didn’t get her first choice.”

“Oh,my gosh! Not that again” I said. “I’m getting so tired of this.” “Yes,” he said,”I took them in order of status, and asked her what her second choice would be, and she told me, and that’s what she got. She seemed fine with it.” “Well,she sure wasn’t when she called me over.”

Now I was still running meals out, when she called me over again. “Excuse me,” she said. “Could you please tell me why, I got that meal, when people behind me are getting the meal I chose?” “Yes, I will be happy to explain. We take meal orders according to mileage status. It is our policy. We take a first meal order and a secondary order to ensure you have another choice. In mid-sentence she cut me off and said, “I don’t want to hear this. I’m writing a letter.” I bit my tongue, as I wanted to say, Excuse me, but you’re the one who called me over to ask me a question, so obviously, you did want to hear this!”I think  that what she didn’t want to hear was that she didn’t have status. And the baby in the car seat behind her carried more status than she did.

Yes, that was a family of 4, and I carried those trays past her, but she was so sarcastic, I just wanted to parade it right up to her seat and stop in front of her and say, “Oops! I’m at the wrong seat. It’s not my fault you’re not as successful as that little toddler back there! Maybe you should have tried harder!”

I’m just a little tired of people acting so entitled. And just plain rude. She wouldn’t take anything for the rest of the flight, as if it was our fault. Those little kids had more manners. Every time we gave them something they said please and thank you. And the woman was just angry. Over a meal choice? Really? Is this really worth it?

I went to the back later and I was talking with the flight attendant about the issue of the epidemic in China and the elderly crisis. It seems because they had allowed couples to only have one child, the elderly population with Alzheimer’s and dementia is outnumbering the population, which is able to care for them. Because I have my elderly mother living with me, I was thinking about this dilemma. What a terrible crisis. They are trying to come up with solutions to the problem. I couldn’t help but think of this woman, I had just dealt with. I thought, yes, perhaps we might have to step up to the plate, and instead of bringing babies back from China, we may have to bring the elderly back.

Then the thought occurred to me. You know, that just might be a trip to cure this crotchety women. She should go to China and bring some of these elderly people back. Perhaps our government could assign people like her to some kind of a post. Then she could really feel important. It would be a win-win, situation. She would get a very important title, she would get her first meal choice, and she would be a government employee, with all those perks. Even though her real job would be babysitting. Who cares? It wouldn’t be long before she needs the services herself, and then they would be paid for.

By the time she had done enough of these trips, I’m sure she would be humbled enough, to stop acting like spoiled brat!

 Yes, we are supposed to give out little compensatory coupons to customers every now and then, but I don’t agree with giving them to people like this. It just encourages the very worst in behavior. If I had my way, I would be giving out tickets to do work in mission camps to people like this. It would be like a game show. We could simply take a vote by working crew and announce to the lucky customer; “Congratulations! You are the customer who needs a character makeover! You have a ticket to Haiti for one month! We bought you this nice shovel, as a going away present. Buh-Bye!!!!”