Flight attendant life: impossible-to-please customers.
Oh yes, this can happen!
I experienced myself grumpy, angry, disappointed and in a bad mood Private Jet customers.
It’s not so pleasant because you are dealing a situation that it’s difficult to handle.
How bad can it be?
According to my experience, seldomly you’ll find customers who swears, shout at you or call you stupid.
They show their disappointments on a different level.
The tone of the voce is usually a detector of what they really mean to tell you.
Imagine this situation, for example.
You ask to your customer during disembarkation if he has a favourite restaurant in Los Angeles where you could get the catering for the next flight, and he answers “That’s your job to find out.”
As you see, It’s nothing technically offensive, yet not so pleasant to hear.
Now, imagine you worked for a coupe of days on a menu that you have searched and chosen with meticulousness.
You want to impress your customer by getting the catering from his favourite restaurant and everything looks perfect.
When you show him the menu, he tells you “ I find this selection disgusting!”.
You may feel like all your efforts and your hard work have just been wasted.
Again, you probably would have chosen different words, but he is just telling you he doesn’t like the food you are proposing.
And what if you organise a birthday cake for your customer?
Great idea! Let’s assume this hasn’t been an easy task due to the lack of resources.
Finally, you find an open restaurant and you buy a nice chocolate cake.
You decorate it and present it during boarding as a surprise for your customer.
When she comes on board, she looks at the cake and states “I don’t eat cakes.”
She leaves you there with no further words and goes to seat in the cabin, just like that.
Sometimes they can really break your heart but there are two things you have to keep in mind.
Point Number One
It’s not about you.
Do not take anything personal, because they don’t even know your name.
They don’t know who you are, where you are from, your story etc.
And you don’t know theirs.
They are not judging you as the person you are, they are expressing a discomfort.
In a not very pleasant way, sure, but still.
In some situation you have to understand that it doesn’t matter how hard you try: today nothing can please them.
Nothing at all.
If you are on time, if you make everything perfect, if the hand luggage is in the hold, if it’s in the cabin, if the temperature is warm, if the temperature is cool.
Take it for what it is: an expression of feelings.
Which takes me to point number two….
Point Number Two
People who fly Private Jets are usually very well educated and mannered.
They have experienced many things in their life and have seen all the places.
Yet they often don’t know how to handle their emotions, to control or divert them towards other directions.
As a result, they look moody or even grumpy sometimes.
They throw their feeling out violently sometimes, and, if you are nearby, well, that’s unfortunate.
If I have to find an image to describe it, I would say it looks like a slammed door.
But it doesn’t have anything to do with you.
How to handle it?
Take a deep breath and let the hurricane pass.
Let them talk, even shout if they need to (never happened to me directly), but keep your posture.
Back straight, open shoulders, chin up.
Do not let the situation squash you.
If you didn’t do anything intentionally to create them a problem, you have nothing to blame yourself for.
Apologise with dignity and find a solution or an alternative.
Remember it’s not a fight for supremacy, it’s a matter of maturity.
And the most mature person is the one who knows how to stop the free fall of a discussion, or the continue explosion of anger.
And keep yourself away form the sense of guilt.
No room for that, you have to find a solution for the current situation.
The guiltiness is a waste of energy and time.
Keep control of your emotions (yes, you know how to do it!) and don’t rush your movements.
Walk slowly, be efficient, do it again.
Later, when the emotional spin will be over, you can analyse again the whole event.
But not now.
I hope this article helps to make any fellow colleague feel better….
Hey honey, you’ll survive!