"We're not all Bimbo's you know....."

Old Oct 16, 05, 3:54 am
  #1  
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"We're not all Bimbos (bimbi?) you know....."

Situation

Full WT+ cabin on a 744 ex-LHR to an East-coast US destination that shall remain nameless. Lunch service. Elderly American couple, wife in 19A, husband in 19B; yours truly in 20A.

CSD passes through cabin with survey forms, and asks wife to complete one. Somewhat later, husband agonises over choice (!) of red wine to go with his chicken stew or beef lasagne. He to the FA, "I'd like some Cabernet please, that's a red wine", FA responds "I know, we're not all Bimbos you know"

Complication

Although I took a very dim view of her comment, PAX didn't appear to detect the sarcasm (maybe the hearing-aid was set to auto-filter), or at least didn't take obvious umbrage.

Implication

Thought about the issue for some time - having been dragged over the pond for a meeting at short notice, I was happy to have something to do, in order to avoid the things to do (IYKWIM !)

I'm a very minor shareholder in the outfit, sufficient only to establish the shareholder discount arrangements, so my stake in this is two-fold:

1) I want the service to be the best it can be, loadings to be strong, and Willie to keep up the good work!

2) Leaving aside the whole controversy over sarcasm and irony viz-a-viz our friends from the new world; I really detest the attitude shown by the FA. Dealing with the public can be the hardest job in the world - however, if one can't take the heat.........


I considered several options, talking to her 1:1, involving the cabin purser and/or the CSD; the FA in question certainly was sub-par in service delivery during the lunch service, although in fairness to her did, she at least manage to smile later during the flight.

The reason that I chose not to share my concerns with her or her colleagues were:

1) the PAX themselves had adequate opportunity to express their concern themselves, either in person or via the survey form

2) the situation had plenty of potential to unravel into a "she said, he said" scenario, with little upside all round!

Therefore

I'm not losing much sleep, however the incident did disappoint me greatly. If the powers that be in Waterworld need any more examples of the need to continually keep on top of the service issues then I'm available to assist with sense of humour training.

The FA had no way of knowing if the couple were my parents, for example, or indeed who was able to overhear her clumsy use of sarcasm. The instant of self-gratification it undoubtedly produced for her weighs little against the reputational risk to her employer and the demeaning of herself in the eyes of those to whom her remarks were directed.

It's not big, and it's not funny - but then you all know that already.

No homily to FAs', no demand for compo, no "Outraged of Harpenden" letters (I don't live in Harpenden anyway!), just another EC member pissed off at the poor attitude shown, oh - and just another shareholder who thinks the Barcle Bogle Hegerty boys better do something smartish if the "Worlds Favourite Airline" tag isn't to be the subject of some major class action.

Keep smiling.

(Edited to remove inappropriate use of the apostrophe. What is the plural of bimbo btw? bimbi?, for that matter, I haven't the foggiest what the collective noun for a group of bimbi or bimbos is................)

Last edited by reviewerb; Oct 16, 05 at 4:49 am
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:08 am
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I think that as a fellow pax it really doeas fall into the 'nothing to do with you' category.

In terms of the shareholder issue you certainly have a right to take the matter up - but certainly not on the plane, you have no right to micro-manage the business.

Maybe a letter to the company secretary is in order.

By the way.... I though the outraged were always from St Albans?
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:13 am
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Sorry, I fail to see any issue here. On the face of it the remark seems pretty benign to me. Cabin crew are human too and personally its a joy to be able to engage them as equals. That is, without any doubt the number one reason I continue to fly BA.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:31 am
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/bearchest on/

You're spot on GregM, and I do also value the opportunity for a bit of badinage...........

In this case, sadly, there was no smile; the remark was delivered as a rebuke rather than a witty riposte.

/bearchest off/

/system looplimit (2) has been reached/
/contact your system administrator for advice, guidance or prozac as required/
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:40 am
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Those who are outraged, as any fule know, are always from Tunbridge Wells.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by Wingnut
Those who are outraged, as any fule know, are always from Tunbridge Wells.
Wingnut take 100 lines. It is any fule kno as any fule should kno
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:50 am
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You've highlighted an excellent point here : it's nice for flight attendants to banter with the passengers, to build a rapport and to enjoy a laugh and a joke. They just have to be careful to ensure that those the joke/banter/laugh/rappor building is aimed at KNOW that it is such, and not a rude or inappropriate remark.

It's amazing what power a smile can posess. It could have turned this situation in to something completely and utterly different; a bit of fun that could likely have had the opposite kind of halo effect - making other passengers laugh and giggle.

I love to joke around with passengers. I know how far I can push it without overstepping the line. I can on occasion be rude, smutty or insulting to a passenger but with a grin on my face from ear to ear, the passenger knows that it's not meant and I am often treated to the same in return. If it's done the right way, things like this can really help make the day of the crew and, indeed, of the passenger.

Thanks for your observations and also, thanks for not taking it up with the crew on the flight. This could have taken the situation to places that nobody would really want to go to.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:50 am
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Originally Posted by The Disco Volante
Wingnut take 100 lines. It is any fule kno as any fule should kno
Damn. I knew I'd got it wrong. I toyed with "any fule no" but I knew (kno'd?) that wasn't right.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by phillipas
I think that as a fellow pax it really does fall into the 'nothing to do with you' category.
I agree. I also don't think you need to be be protective of those from across the water, they can usually look after themselves. Alistair Cooke in Letters from America, describes the character of Americans as including " the capacity to withstand a great deal of outside interference.....a willingness to let other people have and assert their own lively and even offensive character"

Last edited by DocH; Oct 16, 05 at 11:53 am Reason: shortened
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Old Oct 16, 05, 5:01 am
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Moderator, please help...................

To the eternal shame of my English teacher...........

I've managed to change the title of my original post however the thread is still showing "We're not all Bimbo's you know......" I actually don't have any reason to suppose that the FA in question did or did not belong to some lucky person called Bimbo.

Once fellow board members, with more advanced language skills than I, arrive at a decision as to what the plural of bimbo actually is, would you please use your editing powers to change the thread title to accurately reflect the subject................

Ta very much!
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Old Oct 16, 05, 5:04 am
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Changed my mind.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 5:07 am
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Originally Posted by Tits McGhee
Changed my mind.
Is this something you want to share with us?
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Old Oct 16, 05, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by DocH
Is this something you want to share with us?
I was trying to be smart but failed miserably. What's that Reviewerb said abount bimbos?
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Old Oct 16, 05, 5:44 am
  #14  
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Is there some right pax have to make arrogant comments to crew? I see no issue here. I expect service, not subservience from crew.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 7:00 am
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I also fail to see the problem here.

How is the casual observer of this transaction to know the full extent of the relationship between the elderly passengers and the flight attendant? And how is one to judge someone's reaction when sitting behind them, not able to see facial expressions? Maybe there was an inside joke somewhere. Maybe the passengers did not think anything of the remark, and the FA responded warmly and appropriately to what she thought the pax would like and/or appreciate. And who knows if the pax took offence? Maybe they would not care to hear the comment again, but have no reason to complain and no reason to allow it to affect decisions to fly with BA again in future. If the pax are happy at the end of the day, then is there really a problem, even for a shareholder? There may not even have been a problem on the part of the FA; it may just have been the nature of the passenger to qualify his statements and elaborate on his desires, more so than the next passenger, and she realised this (and her way of responding was to make a brief sarcastic comment, no harm done really). Judging purely from the observations presented, there seems to be no issue.

Definately, getting involved in this situation would have been out of the question and none of anyone's business, except that of the FA and the pax. I don't even think a letter as a shareholder is appropriate. There seems to be little point in making an issue where one potentially does not exist. If service standards are to become robotic and purely efficient, then one would have people complaing about that instead! Flexibility is key. Service based on relationships of subserviance, with the crew member is little mimion to do the bidding of madam and sir, is not the hallmark of good service.

Last edited by SchmeckFlyer; Oct 16, 05 at 7:04 am
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