Where Blatant Rudeness Is Fully Accepted

In an airplane, of course. Every time I’m flying somewhere (yesterday no exception) and the attendants gently say “May I have your attention please so we can review the safety procedures” not one person listens. On Southwest, three flight attendants position themselves in the plane so everyone can see them demonstrate how to put on the oxygen mask, seat-belt, etc. Look, I’ve flown so many times that I could say the safety stuff in my sleep. But isn’t it a little strange that on every flight I’ve ever been on, during the 2 minute safety overview not one person listens?

I would have thought in a post 9/11 flight world people wouldn’t mind spending a minute thinking about where the exits are, what happens if cabin pressure drops, and the like. Instead, people seem to go out of their way to bury themselves in a newspaper and talk with their neighbors. On Southwest, it is particularly surprising because real humans are the ones asking for attention and real humans are standing right next to someone while that person pays absolutely no attention. On United, on the other hand, it’s a TV which tells you this so it’s easier to tune out.

I have two questions: 1) Why don’t flight attendants strongly say on the microphone “Everyone, yes that means you, pay attention, listen up, this is important. I’m going to wait till it’s quiet.” 2) Can anyone else think of where blatant rudeness is so practiced in America?

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