The Manual for Cabin Attendants


Somebody has just brought to light, and exposed, the Air New Zealand’s Trolley Dolly’s Manual. I understand that it’s currently it’s still in use. We know it’s a few years old, but most of it’s instructions and suggestions, are still relevant today. This is in spite of the job description which it covers has largely changed. Today’s air Craft are larger, travel greater distances, and the cabin staff’s duties are more onerous. Once I seem to remember, that Cabin Crew were mainly recruited from the Nursing Profession, but today that’s no longer the case.


The manual is comprehensive, gives tips on basic personal grooming, as well behaviour that’s expected from Air New Zealand employees. The media of course is having a wonderful time with it’s expose’. They are busy poking fun over some of the suggested conduct, even with today’s changed attitudes. Naturally, some suggestions will cause an uproar, but not where you would expect. What seems to have caused the most offence was a warning to the cabin crew that they should be careful of any Tongans passengers’ drinking. And as a result become an unmanageable problem. For sure some Islanders are big drinkers, and they don’t require any encouragement to binge when free alcohol is concerned. Any drunken behaviour in the confined space of an Air Craft’s crowded cabin is most undesirable, as far as the other passengers are concerned. There is no avoiding it, and no escape. Possibly the fact that everyone is in a holiday mood, then being plied with drinks they naturally don’t need any motivation to endeavour to drink the Bar dry. I would have thought the manual should have included another group who on occasions can and do cause similar problems, that’s the male ‘Sports Teams’, who today with professionalism are frequent travellers. From my observation, I would suggest they as a group, have the potential to cause trouble when liquored up. This of course makes them as well the most undesirable travelling companions.


However most of the balance of the Manual seems to cover very basic grooming. I wouldn’t have thought something like this today was even unnecessary for someone whose work is conducted in such confined work space. This work area puts cabin crew in close contact with the public in a crowded Aircraft Cabin. Common sense should tell anyone who choses the job of Cabin Attendant, to be aware that the job calls for great attention to personal grooming. Mention is made in the manual that is more explicit, it suggests the need to take a daily shower. The use of a deodorant, to clip nasal hair, Pluck monobrows. I can remember back to my youth, a couple of young, healthy maidens whom I liked, but unfortunately they seemed to have a very casual attitude towards the use of soap and regular bathing. As far as I was concerned, this was the one reason that I kept them at arms length, no relationship was going to progress very far. There were many jokes about this time, of the giving of a subtle hint to the one offending. A cake of Palmolive soap as a gift, or leaving it under their pillow. I never tried it, considering it would be a ‘sure fire’ way of getting a black eye. To be fair at this time not many New Zealand homes had bathrooms fitted as a norm. Even Hotels at this time only went as far as a wash basin in your room, with a shared bathroom at the end of the corridor. Many people at this time depending how they had been brought up, didn’t see any need for a daily shower. In my personal opinion the War changed a lot of peoples’ attitude towards bathing. Troops were not as sensitive as civilians about telling a mate or someone that you are in close daily contact with, that they needed to take a shower more frequently. After the War It seemed attitudes had changed, the houses that were now being built had bathrooms fitted as a matter of course. Toilets were also going under a change, they were now being shifted from the bottom of the garden to inside the house.


In a way it’s very easy to offend and not be aware of it. I remember years ago when we led an isolated existence and use of Garlic was yet to be accepted. We thought our selves quiet sophisticated if we cut a clove of garlic and rubbed it around a salad bowl. About this time I had to travel across to New Caledonia and carry out some business. When this was concluded, I stayed on for a couple of weeks holidaying at a small village, living and eating with the locals. Imagine my surprise when I observed the girl preparing our dinner. She was busy pounding, in a mortar at least three large bulbs of garlic, this she casually tossed into the Pote’e Champenoise (Stew with vegetables) for our evening meal. After a couple of weeks of this diet I didn’t considered that I was any different. However on returning home, taking a hot shower one morning, my daughter entered the steamy bathroom. She immediately exclaimed, ‘It’s you who smells, You reek of Garlic’. I was completely unaware that I was offending the folks back home, and that the garlic I had eaten overseas had systemically entered my system.


Today with our new International attitude and acceptance towards exotic foods, I suppose the eating of garlic has become more acceptable but now I’m careful of my intake.




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