May I call you Jerry? After Lady Gaga removed her shirt and held up her middle finger at a Mets game, she was escorted to your private box seats. Later on you complained about the singer’s behavior by stating, “I can’t believe they put her in my box that I paid for! You give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we’re living in now?”
Hate to break it to you but the answer is yes, Jerry, this is the world we’re living in now. Sad, isn’t it? All one has to do is act up and they’re instantly rewarded for bad behavior. Never mind the nice people. Let’s just reward the jerk who yells the loudest. I see this happening all the time – on the airplane. I’m a flight attendant.
“Excuse me, Miss, my reading light doesn’t work,” said a woman seated in an aisle seat at the front of the cabin. An elderly gentleman rested his head upon her shoulder.
“Feel free to move to any open seat in coach,” I told her.
“Do you have two seats together?”
I looked around. “No…sorry. But there’s another aisle seat available three rows back.”
She sighed. “What about first class?”What about first class, I wanted to say, but didn’t. Instead I smiled. “We don’t upgrade for things like broken reading lights.” She made a face. and rolled her eyes. She may as well have flipped me the bird because that’s the kind of face we’re talking about here. I suggested, “Why don’t you open your window shade? It’s still light outside.”
She pointed to the man beside her. “Can’t you see he’s sleeping! This is ridiculous! I’d like to speak to someone in charge!”
Here we go, I thought, make a scene until you get your way.
Last week my commuter flight from New York to Los Angeles was delayed for three hours due to a mechanical. I wasn’t dressed in uniform so no one knew I worked for the airline. Like most savvy travelers, I decided to jump ship and walk to the gate where the next flight bound for Los Angeles was already in the process of boarding. Patiently I waited my turn to speak to an agent. Finally I stepped up to the counter. I just wanted to quickly let her know I’d take the jump seat before another coworker beat me to it. That’s it.
This is when an inconsiderate passenger walked past the long line of people standing behind me, practically pushing me out of his way, and yelled out his name, adding, “I’m on the standby list for first class!”
I understand he’s a paying passenger and comes before me. Rightly so. But what about the passengers patiently waiting behind me? Don’t they count? They could be on the first class standby list as well.
The frazzled agent continued to ignore me, typing away frantically at her keyboard, and then handed the loud mouth a boarding pass. Soon others were barging up to the counter and calling out their names, ignoring the long line behind me. The agent handed out one, two, three, boarding passes before I became so annoyed, I gave up and walked back to the broken airplane. I’m not sure what the other passengers did, ya know, the ones with manners who were ignored because they were nice.
I always say if you want to see what society is like, really like, today, get on an airplane and take a good look around. It’s an A.D.D, me- me-me first kind of world on board, Jerry, and everyone is quick to react, expecting immediate results and upgrades for free. Lady Ga-Ga is a performer. Bad behavior, fishnet hose and platform heels are all part of the act. You should understand that. But what’s the excuse for everyone else?
The Flight Attendant
P.S. If I flip you the bird can I have your box seats?
Photo courtesy of Ama_lia