I have always reminded the crew under my charge to empathize toward passengers who seemingly to be first time on the plane. We have several destinations which usually carrying foreign workers into our country. These people are mostly first time fliers and they have never stepped foot onto any foreign land.
No doubt the fact that their upbringings, lack of educations and uncouth mannerism can be a challenge when dealing with especially language barrier and cultural differences.
I encouraged my crew members to observe these people during meal service and through out the flight. Some of them have never used modern cutlery and what more to cut a marble of beef steak into small pieces. They might add salt and pepper as sugar or creamers for their coffees. They may pointing out white wine for water. That is how naive these people are.
They may have smelled like a damp pair of socks taken out from smelly shoes, rotten,blackened and yellowish teeth that repel your senses. You simply had to endure and carry on giving them your best service.
It was funny and easy for us to laugh at these antics but I have had a great admiration for them. They had to leave their beloved parents and family, had to leave their familiar faces and surroundings for a living at far, far away foreign lands. If you look at those who were seated by the windows, most were staring at white clouds, gazing out looking dazed, weary and full of anxieties. Those seated in the middle, were simply stared at the back of the seats in front of them. It was not unusual to see amongst them who cried a river silently when gazing out to the open skies. For that I salute their determinations and courage.
Most of them were so petite and it is an indication of malnourished in the process of growing up. These are poor people from villages and now stepping out from their countries to work for unknown employers, unfamiliar places and to endure all sort of broken promises.I always have had a soft heart for those young and little girls who seemed so underage and underprivileged. My heart aches each time thinking of my own sisters if they were in the same boat like these poor girls.
These are special people who I wanted my crew members to pay extra attention and to give them a glimpse into what Malaysians are. If their first experience on board with the first few Malaysian crew members are already bad, then their minds would running wild thinking about their Malaysian employers. They have had many agonizing decisions to make before embarking onto this journey and now, let them have a bit of pleasant treatment from our award-winning crew.
and welcome to Malaysia.