October 22, 2008

The nearest exit may be behind you



This post by Darren Fleming about using humor to lighten up a serious message reminded me of the second leg of my flight home on Monday.

As it is, the announcements made by most flight attendants are boring, but I still pay attention out of habit. Different plane, different emergency lighting, right?

But the flight attendant on our small plane was obviously new at making all of the announcements, from safety to beverage service, and it was quite painful to listen.

She would start speaking, then stop and disappear around the corner to find her script. Sometimes she would pick up where she left off, and sometimes she would start over. Sometimes there were pauses of up to 30 seconds while she tried to find her place.

She spoke haltingly, fumbling over her words. The sound levels kept changing from one announcement to the next; at one point, the sound was so low we couldn't hear her at all.

In this case, I would rather have watched her read from a script than sit through this painful presentation. I don't know if she was just trying to tough it out, or if she's not actually allowed to read from a script, but the announcements were so fragmented, they weren't effective at all.

I hope she finds some time to practice and memorize her lines soon. It's a good thing we didn't have to know what to do in an emergency...

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

All the planes I've been on lately have a pre-recorded safety speech. The flight attendants just follow along and do the motions.
A speech that is made into a recording (or podcast) and it is the same every time can get boring but if you're reciting the same set of SAFETY instructions, it is important that it be exactly the same way every time in BOTH official languages. Not all flight attendants speak both languages but they are responsible for doing the safety talk in both. Listening to the recorded voice makes it less painful for everyone.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Hey Jackie,

One of my flights had the announcement on TV, with no flight attendants following along. No one paid any attention and passengers talked right through it.

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