Because passengers never say this to male FAs, their purpose
in this statement must not be to cheer us up.
Though I guess having a flight attendant mimic a Barbie
doll for their personal pleasure might make them chuckle
a bit. One day I told a silly man who said this to me that
he should smile for the duration of the flight, and I would
come back to monitor his grin every five minutes.
Come on, give us a break. Flight attendants are never
without an audience—we’d have to put Vaseline on our
teeth to accomplish a 12-hour smile.
FYI—When you observe that vacant, hardened gaze
in your FA’s eyes and a slight frozen smirk upon her lips,
she is not smiling at you. Your flight attendant is not with
us anymore. She has escaped to her “happy place,” the
only defense against her breaking point of no return. It
may be best to leave her alone for a while.
So you’re hooked on that powerful sensation of pushing
a button with a picture of a slave on it and having one
come running? You’ll merely need
your cup picked up, and I’ll be expecting to administer
Pavlov’s dog couldn’t have been more conditioned to
his buzzers than an FA is to the call chimes on an airplane.
Even at home, we automatically glance at the ceiling when
the doorbell rings. And not one flight attendant would
miss a morning flight or hit that sleep button if our alarm
clocks mimicked a passenger call bell.
Our training goes something like this: One ring means
a passenger call or a seat belt sign has been turned on or
off; two rings, crewmember call; three rings, communicate
immediately with the cockpit; and so on. Don’t mess
with an FA’s communication system unless you have an
important concern. And never ring your call button while
we are taxiing, landing, or in our climb unless you are
prepared to have CPR performed on you—which we prefer
to do on unconscious victims. When passengers ring their
call button to have a cup picked up in severe turbulence,
their primary intention must be to watch a flight attendant
hit the ceiling of an airplane.
So, please, think of another way to entertain Junior
than allowing him to play with the pretty, colorful buttons
above his head.