One of the toughest jobs out there is a flight attendant. You have to be courteous, look good at 5:00 a.m, know safety and first aid, handle the business class passenger who won't look you in the eye and deal with the most difficult passenger there is....the pilot!
In 2009 Air Canada's flight attendants won Best Flight Attendants in North America!
I do realize a few may contest this prestigious honour, but overall I think we have a great "back end."
Having said that, I had to flex my captain authority on my last three day pairing.
The young girl working "J" class, as well as looking after us, just didn't fit the bill for "exemplary service." She had to call twice to get our coffee orders straight and turned the J class cookies into cow paddies. They tasted good, but the in-charge flight attendant would not let her serve them because of what they looked like. The straw that broke the camels back was me going back only to see her sitting with a business passenger and not even asking if we pilots wanted anything. We truly are locked in a closet so coming and going is a task. (There were tons of J snacks left, but her thought process did not even think about offering us). It used to be SOP to check up on the pilots. Apparently that ruling is gone or hidden from the flight attendant manual. I don't know about you, but I think I would be checking up on the two people in the "pointy end" who has my life in their hands.
I had to say something. Of course that causes friction for the rest of the flight. It was the first for me. Again, it's uncomfortable having to point out the obvious.
Another aspect of being a flight attendant is bombarding the passenger with announcements.
I detested this when I commuted. Blah, blah, blah. We have to keep certain authorities happy so we must tell you how to do up your seat belt, where the exits are, how to work the masks, and if we are flying over water how the life jackets work. We must do that in our two official languages and if you are on an overseas flight this may include Cantonese and Mandarin or whatever other local language.
As a note, search for a picture from the internet showing the passengers standing on the wing when Capt. Sully ditched into the Hudson. Virtually no one is wearing that infamous yellow vest.
Well here's one airline's take on safety announcements. I think it would be cute to see our senior flight attendants dance this. Then again, maybe passengers would expect us pilots to "rap" our welcome aboard announcements. :)
Reader, "Stephen," sent this link. "Just flown back with U.K based Thomsonfly think this is a good inflight safety film." I modified this post to include it. Not only is it extremely cute and very well done, but it shows safety briefings around the world are amazingly similar.