Just a short observation. Medicine is immersed in the customer service mentality. We’re always reminded to be appropriate and understanding, especially when patients are frustrated or upset. I get that.
Right now, I’m sitting in the airport in Detroit. We’re about 3 hours late leaving because we don’t have a flight attendant. That’s right; it’s not the weather (as it was on one of my earlier flights this week). And it’s not mechanical, like when the “turny thing” wasn’t working on another flight a few days ago.
It’s just that we don’t have someone to remind us how seat-belts buckle, and to keep our tray tables up.
And yet, as frustrating as it is to this customer, I know this. I have no reason to yell at, berate, insult or make miserable anyone behind the counter; or for that matter the pilot (hostage as surely as I) or the coming flight attendant who is surely as tired at midnight as I am.
The ticketing agents and gate-clerks and all the rest have zero control over the flight, the weather or the availability of flight attendants.
It is important for all of us to remember, as customers, to be kind. It’s one thing to be frustrated, tired, hungry, cold and all the rest. But we need to remember to channel our anger in ways that are polite and constructive.
I wish I were with my family right now. But there’s nobody here who deserves to have me yell about it.
Even though I still haven’t seen the flight attendant. And I’m worried that she won’t bring pretzels.