Air hostess’s death: Gunshot in concert hall

Air hostess's death: Gunshot in concert hall

Air hostess's death: Gunshot in concert hall

It has emerged that the flight attendant who recently committed suicide had preferred the excruciating finality to an inquiry that could have been initiated by her airline into her unexplained absence – for just one work shift. It is a tragedy and a shame that should not be ignored. The suicide represents to me the sense of shock encoded in an image that the literary types love: a gunshot in the concert hall.
The self-lavished puffery of the Indian service industry is the concert hall, and the death of the flight attendant is the gunshot. Airlines oppress their employees into the stupor of perennial cheer. Even an infinitesimal droop in the winsome smile of graciousness is not tolerated. I know because I have friends on both sides of the counter. My frequent-flying friends have told me how easy it has become to send to an airline a detailed log of every perceived slight handed down by an airhostess. “You log in to an airline’s web site and wreck a career,” a friend, the marketing head of an IT firm told me. “It is as easy as that!”
On the other hand, a senior flight stewardess, whom I have known for some time, explained the abrasive frustration of her profession.
“Once I accidentally spilled coffee on a passenger and began to profusely apologise,” she told me. “He seemed very nice and said I should forget it. Just as I was about to turn away in relief, he said,
‘Baby, you can give me your phone number though.’ He was leering. I nearly lost it.” She told me that she held her tears back because she could not let out a sentiment that was crushing her. She said: “I wanted to tell him, ‘You ugly piece of junk, why don’t I pay your dry-cleaning bill instead’; but of course I could not.”
If the airlines focus on efficiency rather than brutally whipping their flight attendants into unnatural solicitousness, they will relieve some of the stress their young, and dangerously nervous employees feel.

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~ by anand213 on March 26, 2009.

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