Sunday, January 08, 2006

Courting danger

I was watching a fairly interesting topic on the Big Fight today, the age-old debate over the diminishing relevance of Socialism vs unbridled capitalism. I'll probably write something about that soon, but what triggered this blog, was the presence of Vijay Mallya as one of the participants. Obviously, he stands for a whole lot of things, but today, his presence happened to remind me of the time I flew Kingfisher recently.

It was a pleasant enough experience, though I found that the glam factor was rather over-stressed and over-hyped. The food tasted decent, though not as great as its GUI was made out to be. The periodic announcements were the best, crisp and clear; and the staff, quite courteous. However (hehe, and now we come to the negative part. Inevitable!) what set me thinking was this underlying chauvinism that seemed to pervade the air... the outfits of the cabin-crew (and why, to the best of my knowledge, were *all* of them female? Is this some sort of discrimination?) - though they undoubtedly looked glam and eye-catching and eminently presentable and all that, appeared to me, to be woefully lacking in terms of safety and comfort.

This actually got me thinking abt whether those crew members would be able to effectively help out passengers in case of mishap in the skies (and there are loads of those disasters just waiting to happen, apparently, going by this report) . Would they even be able to fend for themselves properly? One doesn't care to imagine oneself running from disaster, or bailing out, or even being stranded for hours in inclement weather conditions, or hijacked, in uncomfortable tight high-heeled shoes, or a mini! Perfect for a pleasant evening out, no doubt, but definitely not what one would want to be equipped with, during life-threatening situations.

And actually, it's not just this particular airlines; I see this disregard to safety and functional comfort, in most of those that I've used. Not one of them seems to have a staff uniform that's comfortable enough to withstand long hours of work aboard, and emergency situations.

I do hope this isn't some sort of human rights violation.. I mean, sure, what with all this cut-throat competition in the airlines business, I guess every little perceived means of providing for a pleasant experience and retaining clientele, is needed, but not at the cost of employee safety, one hopes. And I'm sure there are loads of talented designers out there who'd think of something creative and comfortable and chic at the same time, to come to the rescue of this workforce!

2 comments:

Charu said...

This is to bring to your notice that the article that claims to be Lakshmi Mittal’s experience report on Jamshedpur has nothing to do with Mr Mittal. The article originally appeared in The Asian Age on May 5th, 2004 and is written by Suhel Seth, CEO, Equua Redcell. It has no connection with Mr Mittal whatsoever.

Thanks,
Charu K Khanna
Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick,
Mumbai

Empress of Blandings said...

Thanks for the information! I've now updated the blog :-).