Friday, October 5, 2007

Gold Star for publisher Bob Buckel

Gold StarsIt's been awhile since I handed out a Gold Star, which is my way to give a little recognition to someone outside the aviation industry who spontaneously demonstrates an appreciation for flight attendants and their work. Today I'm giving a Gold Star to Bob Buckel, who is the publisher of the Azle News (as in Azle, Texas).

Mr. Buckel gets a Gold Star for Smile, and my heart takes flight, an article he wrote in yesterday's Azle News. In his article he talks about jobs he used to have, and jobs he had considered over the course of his life. He has this to say about flight attendants' work:

Pack a couple of hundred people into seats and strap them in. Put some G-forces on them – bounce them around a little – in addition to whatever stresses they brought with them. Serve them some drinks, then point out that their restroom options are very limited.

Crying babies, claustrophobic type-A businessmen late for appointments, spike-haired musicians, talkative teens and people who just don’t quite fit into those seats – it’s not a scene many of us would like to preside over.

The glamour of seeing all these exotic locales dims somewhat when you realize that at most stops, the flight attendants barely make it off the airplane. They’re busy putting up pillows, picking up trash and getting the seats ready for the next crowd of passengers.

Just for the record, I couldn’t carry a tray of drinks around all day on solid ground without dumping it. They do it all day long, along a shifting, narrow aisle – at least they don’t have to wear high heels anymore. And through it all, some of them still manage to smile.
They do indeed! Thanks for writing that, Mr Buckel. In appreciation for your understanding, you get a Gold Star.

Click here to see who else was awarded a gold star.