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"I didn't stick my finger in it" (FA response to type of pasta)- Recent AA Experience

"I didn't stick my finger in it" (FA response to type of pasta)- Recent AA Experience

Old Sep 15, 17, 1:18 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by SvenAge View Post
.... my partner tries to explain headphones don't work and she needs a replacement. fa returns with a scornful look and reluctantly hands them over.. stands over for a bit as if waiting for payment..
Maybe just waiting to see if this set of headphones works?
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Old Sep 15, 17, 4:20 pm
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by SvenAge View Post
<redacted>
Fixed it for you. Because the text you removed was literally the clarification that the OP issued to the flight attendant—"What kind of sauce..."—which precipitated the "I didn't stick my finger in it" response.

I understand that you're not trying to say the OP was wrong, but you are brining up examples and hypotheticals unrelated to the situation in a way that allows you to group the OP's completely within-bounds question that the FA could take one quick look at the dish to answer.

I spend lots of time in restaurants, in hotels, on airlines in Europe and the UK, and I've asked many people some basic questions about how a dish is prepared. People have always been gracious. So I do find the idea that in Europe and the UK, asking a basic question about what kind of sauce comes on a plate of pasta is akin to demanding Michelin Star service and is justifiably met with indifference or rudeness, to be preposterous.

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 15, 17 at 10:03 pm Reason: Redacted misquote
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Old Sep 15, 17, 6:22 pm
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by DMPHL View Post
Fixed it for you. Because the text you removed was literally the clarification that the OP issued to the flight attendant—"What kind of sauce..."—which precipitated the "I didn't stick my finger in it" response.

I understand that you're not trying to say the OP was wrong, but you are brining up examples and hypotheticals unrelated to the situation in a way that allows you to group the OP's completely within-bounds question that the FA could take one quick look at the dish to answer.

I spend lots of time in restaurants, in hotels, on airlines in Europe and the UK, and I've asked many people some basic questions about how a dish is prepared. People have always been gracious. So I do find the idea that in Europe and the UK, asking a basic question about what kind of sauce comes on a plate of pasta is akin to demanding Michelin Star service and is justifiably met with indifference or rudeness, to be preposterous.
No, what I'm doing is categorising behaviour on a flight that may explain why people in the service industry do not behave as perfect as they may be expected to. It isn't to justify perceived poor performance, but to suggest that things aren't black and white, like the majority here may be claiming. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt if at all possible. While you might claim the FA didn't do that in this instance, when people are time pressured and stressed, they can behave irrationally. I'm suggesting the environment in which the service was held was likely to have had a number of contributing factors, which, when I think about it, can easily explain why the FA may have been 'off hand'. That is because I think people have unrealistic expectations of one another and I find this one-sized approach a little bit silly. I've seen FA treated poorly and others in the service industry and I have a lot of sympathy for them. Who didn't have a bad day? To say that they're in a safety critical role and therefore shouldn't (as others have said) make an 'off the cuff' remark seems to really be quite over the top in my opinion.
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Old Sep 15, 17, 6:26 pm
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by Paulchili View Post
Maybe just waiting to see if this set of headphones works?
Anything is possible I guess. But I don't think so.. she looked really annoyed like she wanted to shout. Alls well that ends well.
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Old Sep 15, 17, 7:14 pm
  #140  
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Originally Posted by SvenAge View Post
No, what I'm doing is categorising behaviour on a flight that may explain why people in the service industry do not behave as perfect as they may be expected to. It isn't to justify perceived poor performance, but to suggest that things aren't black and white, like the majority here may be claiming. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt if at all possible. While you might claim the FA didn't do that in this instance, when people are time pressured and stressed, they can behave irrationally. I'm suggesting the environment in which the service was held was likely to have had a number of contributing factors, which, when I think about it, can easily explain why the FA may have been 'off hand'. That is because I think people have unrealistic expectations of one another and I find this one-sized approach a little bit silly. I've seen FA treated poorly and others in the service industry and I have a lot of sympathy for them. Who didn't have a bad day? To say that they're in a safety critical role and therefore shouldn't (as others have said) make an 'off the cuff' remark seems to really be quite over the top in my opinion.
Sorry, but having a bad or stressful day does not excuse rudeness, sarcasm or the like for people in a customer-facing service role. Dealing with customer inquiries is their job. If they can't do their job because they're having a bad day, they should call in sick.
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Old Sep 15, 17, 8:03 pm
  #141  
 
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The bow tie pasta has a light tomato sauce
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Old Sep 15, 17, 8:36 pm
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by SvenAge View Post
No, what I'm doing is categorising behaviour on a flight that may explain why people in the service industry do not behave as perfect as they may be expected to. It isn't to justify perceived poor performance, but to suggest that things aren't black and white, like the majority here may be claiming. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt if at all possible. While you might claim the FA didn't do that in this instance, when people are time pressured and stressed, they can behave irrationally. I'm suggesting the environment in which the service was held was likely to have had a number of contributing factors, which, when I think about it, can easily explain why the FA may have been 'off hand'. That is because I think people have unrealistic expectations of one another and I find this one-sized approach a little bit silly. I've seen FA treated poorly and others in the service industry and I have a lot of sympathy for them. Who didn't have a bad day? To say that they're in a safety critical role and therefore shouldn't (as others have said) make an 'off the cuff' remark seems to really be quite over the top in my opinion.
This I agree with. Others in this thread have tried to suggest that the OP was asking for something over-the-top by asking what sauce was on the pasta.

I do agree, however, that, while the FA was out of line and rude, sometimes people are just stressed out, or their mother is sick, or they're missing a kid's birthday...I think we can have compassion for that, and still expect that they won't snap at us.
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Old Sep 15, 17, 8:42 pm
  #143  
 
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Originally Posted by skylady View Post
The bow tie pasta has a light tomato sauce
Thank you. In that case I'll take the chicken
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Old Sep 16, 17, 10:06 am
  #144  
 
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All this reminds me of one of the funniest overheard passenger-FA interactions I've experienced in my decades of flying.

Seatmate: "What kind of wine do you have?"
FA: "Red or white"
Seatmate: "What kind of red wine do you have?"
FA: "No I meant that's what I have. Red or white."
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Old Sep 16, 17, 10:07 am
  #145  
 
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Originally Posted by Gabrca View Post

FA: "Chicken or Pasta?"
Me: "What sort of pasta is it?"
FA: *Audible Sigh*
FA:"Uh, some sort of bowtie thing"
Me:"Sorry, do you know what type of sauce is on it"
FA:*Louder audible sigh*
FA:"No, I didn't stick my finger in it. Do you want chicken or pasta?"
Originally Posted by Rebob View Post
Lot's of interesting opinions on this one.

What I have found, especially in the current environment, is that it helps to be proactive and pleasant. The OP probably didn't care about the type of pasta (though we don't know that from the post) but did care, as so many have pointed out, about the sauce. In that case, rephrasing the original question to "what type of sauce is on the pasta?" may have elicited an informative response and eliminated all of the angst expressed in these 9 or so pages to date.

I'm certainly not trying to blame the OP in any way, I just find it helpful to be specific with the questions I ask. It tends to receive a more accurate response. A smile and a little congeniality have never hurt (oh there was that one time...).
The issue is more staffing. You can't compare UA/DL/AA to the likes of CX/JL/QR etc. Foreign carriers staff well over FAA minimums to provide a higher FA to passenger ratio.

With such low staffing in most cases they have 2 people handing out meals for ~260 passengers. Split that out and each has to give out 130 meals, ideally as quick as possible. Even at 30 second for each person that is still over an hour to get everyone a meal. Throw in some crazy, off the wall questions and it may not be as easy as just "chicken or pasta".
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Old Sep 16, 17, 1:24 pm
  #146  
 
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
All this reminds me of one of the funniest overheard passenger-FA interactions I've experienced in my decades of flying.

Seatmate: "What kind of wine do you have?"
FA: "Red or white"
Seatmate: "What kind of red wine do you have?"
FA: "No I meant that's what I have. Red or white."
This made me laugh. I've heard this so often it's crazy.
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