Taking Responsibility
ATTITUDE: Affects job satisfaction

Travelisa great way to open our minds so we can see different ways of doing things.

It also provides topics for this column.

I say that because when I fly, I usually write about something that occurred on the trip.

That’s what is happening again today, but this time, instead of focusing on one incident, I want to talk about how three women handled the exact same job… and about how their approach affected their own experience.

All the ladies were part of the cabin crew on the flight my daughters and I took from England to the USA last week.

The first was the flight attendant one of my daughters spoke to when she wanted to get a vegetarian meal.

The attendant was neither helpful nor happy.

Her response was to tell my daughter that special dietary requirements were supposed to be listed when the flight was booked.

That statement helped my daughter see I had probably missed something when I bought the tickets two months earlier, but it did nothing to satisfy her request.

The attendant’s tone of voice indicated she had no intention of pursuing the matter to see if a spare vegetarian meal could be found and that she was not happy about being bothered with what she saw as a silly request.

She had a frown on her face during the exchange and I do not recall seeing her smile during the rest of the flight.

The second attendant was the one my other daughter first dealt with when she discovered she could not listen to the film she wanted to watch because she could not insert her headphone connection into the armrest socket.

Apparently, the last person who had used the socket snapped off the connection pin and it was still inside.

At first, this attendant wasn’t smiling either, but she wasn’t frowning.

She listened intently and then brightened up and announced she would be back in a moment with one of her colleagues.

The third attendant arrived with a set of small screwdrivers in her hand and a big smile on her face, and after a bit of shuffling around, she started taking it apart so she could remove the snapped-off pin.

During the operation, she smiled a lot and kept up a pleasant conversation with my daughters as she taught her colleague the procedure.

She also mentioned the screwdrivers were not airline property, she had bought them herself to be prepared for these kinds of problems.

When she removed the pin, my daughters and I were all smiling as well.

My girls were happy because they would be able to watch the same film and because they had spent time with two friendly ladies, and I was smiling because I enjoy seeing people do their jobs well.

The two attendants, meanwhile looked very pleased with themselves and they smiled a lot during the rest of the flight.

One of them wasted no time finding the right person to sort my daughter’s problem and stuck around to learn from her, and the other went out of her way to be prepared for the job.

Unlike the first attendant, helping customers made them happy and their approach to their jobs gave them a great deal of satisfaction.

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