Read the Book

#35 Tell a Flight Attendant to Smile

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.

#85 Ring Your Call Button Often

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

first aid.

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.