Monday, April 17, 2006

Sick & Tired

Sometimes I feel like I am just sick and tired of my job. Turns out there may be some basis in fact, not just in my mind, for feeling this way.

According to an article in the Sidney Morning Herald, Flight Attendants are just one of several occupations cited for being at risk of seriously harming their health by a forced on-the-job friendliness and politeness.

Frankfurt (Germany) University researchers say that Flight Attendants, along with sales personnel, call center operators, wait staff, and others who have contact with the public for extended period of times, are at risk of seriously harming their health. Potential problems stemming from this faux friendliness is depression, stress, lowering of the immune system, and susceptibility to more serious ailments.

Professor Zapf of the university says:

"We are all able to rein in our emotions," he said. "It becomes difficult when you have to do this over a protracted period as cabin attendants are forced to on long-haul flights. "These people need space away from the passengers where they can be on their own and let their feelings run free. We have to get away from the 'customer is king' attitude and show more respect to those working in the service industries,"

I wonder when we’ll see this study cited as a defense in Flight Attendant discipline cases.

7 comments:

Astroprof said...

So, does that mean rude people are healthier?

I know that I try to give y'all a break when I fly. I deal with the public some, too, and I know how frustrating it can sometimes be. Most of the time, I think that flight attendants hardly notice me. I go get my seat, stuff my bag under the seat in front of me, smile and say "Coke, please" and "Thank you very much" at the appropriate times. And then I leave, smile, and say "Thank you" when I exit the plane. I don't ask for anything outrageous, don't argue over the rules, and don't complain about things that are out of everyone's control. I imagine that the irritating passengers are the ones that stick in your minds. I can see where it would get to you to always be nice to them.

Paul said...

Good to see you are reading Aussie news :) As a Sydney-sider its a little jarring to see it spelt Sidney though...

Also, having known a few air hosts/hostesses I've found they develop a rather wicked sense of humour, which must make it harder to bottle up when on a long haul flight with inconsiderate passengers. Perhaps instead of the safety demonstration on every flight, you could do a little demo of how NOT to behave?

Traytable said...

Ah yes, they had a snippet of that article in my local paper (meant to send it to you, but the one you found is better =)

I put it on the notice board at work, heh heh heh...

Sometimes with a difficult pax though, it can be SOOOO satisfying to have a little dig at them (smiling all the time of course) and them being so dense that they don't actually get that you are digging at them, and the actually say 'thank you'!!!

Bwahahahahaa!!! >:)

Fly Girl said...

Astroprof: We do like and remember the polite passengers. But yes, we remember the annoying ones -- and honestly, they are the fun ones to write about.

Paul in Sydney: Ooooops! Sorry!

Melissa said...

Even when tired, jetlagged and stressed, you still are expected to smile and be friendly. Not only that, you have to be like that to a lot of people during the whole flight... and back!

Maybe this study will pave the way for better work conditions for flight attendants?

Fly Girl said...

The majority of people can be nice day in, day out. It's just that sometimes it all piles up on you and you want to scream.

Humor helps.

And for me, writing being able to write about some of the craziness here helps a lot.

Paul said...

FlyGirl - no problems - Gday, throw another shrimp on the barbie etc :)