I got back last night after a very long day of travel and of course, there's a bittersweet feeling that I'm sure will remain with me for a few weeks. No surprise there but still, it's weird being back here and knowing that I'll be staying here for good now.
So, regarding the blog title, I flew Southwest this time and as most of you who've flown Southwest know, they tend to be a little less "serious" when it comes to their employee's actions while on the clock for the company. It starts with their freedom given to employees to where casual clothes, tennis shoes and whatever (within reason) while working and this advertising decision has inevitably spread (probably with much encouragement from Southwest management) into the airplanes, where flight attendents appear to be both stand-up comedians, and/or struggling musicians on the side.
Well, yesterday--on both flights--there was one Southwest flight attendent lady who just couldn't keep from cracking jokes and inserting in sarcastic remarks over the microphone of the plane. Now, you all know what flight attendents sound like while they're reading that ridiculous safety sheet and while their two co-flight attendent friends are acting out how to buckle a safety belt and other seemingly foreign actions to middle class Americans (this whole routine annoys me--not becuase they do it, but how it's being done), BUT what I've never heard is a flight attendent deliberatly go along with this whole shpeal while interspersing his/her own witty commentary. Just like those Cedar Point roller coaster operators who give thumbs up to begin every single ride and tell you every record-breaking feature the coaster posesses (i.e., "we're gonna take you up 309 feet and then drop you 302 feet at an 83 degree angle where you'll reach speeds of 89 mph stretching over 6,300 feet of track for an incredible 2 minute and 40 second ride, which is why people call it the tallest, fastest, steepest and longest gigacoaster in the world!!!, etc.") these flight attendents recite this emergency script with a monotonous and mundane, yet, surprisingly rushed tone. Well, everything was serious until she reached the part about putting the little oxygen mask on yourself "before putting it on your children." Then, she broke away (but still continued with the same verbal tone):
"So if you're sitting next to a child or someone who acts like a child, put your mask on first and the proceed to put on the child's mask for them. If you're sitting by multiple children or again, adults who are acting like children, decide which one you like the best and put the oxygen mask on them first. Your seat can act as a floatation device, and...etc."
I was shocked and so was the rest of the plane and I thought, 'What a brilliant way to get people smiling and coming back for more (a.k.a., "an increase in Southwest sales")!' Of course, it's hard to reproduce how it actually sounded (the timing was perfect--like a graceful comedian) but you get the drift.
Oh and she also referred to the co-pilot as "wonder boy" periodically through the flight, which was funny until I saw who "wonder boy" really was as I was exiting the airplane: it was an 82-year-old man. Then I thought it was just hysterical.
Southwest, you can fly me anywhere and I'm proud to say your manipulative new marketing and advertising scheme as got me hooked.
Yay me...the consumer.