Wanted: men!

Posted by at 12:35

I’ve always wondered why the majority of people I meet think that the job of cabin attendant is a typically female thing. It’s an idea that must have grown over the years. According to the stories of retired cabin attendants I spoke to, who used to work in the business in the early years, it used to be a typically male thing at that time.

I’m going to skate on thin ice now, but if you asked me, I would say there are quite a few reasons to claim that the job of cabin attendant is still more a male thing. We ladies survive rather well in this job nowadays, but if you look at some of the aspects of our work, I guess males are just better qualified.

There’s little need to mention that the physical requirements of this job can be rather high. Fortunately, it’s common for women to work out frequently as well these days, which makes the average female body fitter for the tough work. But the average man has some mental advantages too. I realise that many female readers will hate me from now on, so please be aware that I speak for myself on this point.

cabin attendantOkay, I tend to take things more seriously and personally than the average man. If there’s a problem to be solved during a flight, I think it over, look at all aspects involved, discuss the pros and cons with my colleagues and then think it over again. The flight might well be ended before I finally take action! How refreshing it is when a male colleague takes the bull by the horns. Immediate action, a joke and a smile: problem solved. And then back to work. Whereas I would want to evaluate the situation thoroughly afterwards as well.Male characteristics like common sense, authority and quick-wittedness are awfully handy in our job. Mind you, I’m not saying that women lack these virtues. It’s just that (speaking for myself again!) they aren’t – how shall I put this? – well, part of my nature. I learned to use my common sense, show some authority and become more alert. It didn’t come naturally.

Ah well, so much has been said about the differences between men and women. And about the fact that a lot of it is nonsense. Who am I to add anything to that? Maybe I should just make a simple statement: cabin attendant is neither a typically female nor a typically male job. But I’d love to have more male colleagues!

So you, flexible, enthusiastic, open-minded, cool, adventurous guy, please apply for this job with KLM and become my colleague!

Caroline

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42 Responses to Wanted: men!

  1. Mario

    Of course i would love to work as Cabin Crew. I was rejected so many times. I think it’s the way of me not being able to ‘sell’ myself to the people.

  2. Mario

    Of course i would love to work as Cabin Crew. I was rejected so many times. I think it’s the way of me not being able to ‘sell’ myself to the people.

  3. AnoukM

    I love your blogs, Caroline. Thanks!

  4. AnoukM

    I love your blogs, Caroline. Thanks!

  5. Saratempleton

    Speaking as a woman I think that men are more patient, they can probably handle stress better!

  6. Saratempleton

    Speaking as a woman I think that men are more patient, they can probably handle stress better!

  7. Sara Lomas

    Really? “Male characteristics like common sense, authority and quick-wittedness are awfully handy in our job”.
    Didn’t know those were universally male traits. I guess the flakey, submissive, dull-brained people I’ve met in my time are women, or women disguised as men. Tricky little numbskulls.
    Honestly, I don’t think you meant harm with this post, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t create any. Generalizations and stereotypes are a waste of everyone’s time. Even if you insert a caveat of “it’s just my opinion”… Your opinion is ill informed.

  8. Sara Lomas

    Really? “Male characteristics like common sense, authority and quick-wittedness are awfully handy in our job”.
    Didn’t know those were universally male traits. I guess the flakey, submissive, dull-brained people I’ve met in my time are women, or women disguised as men. Tricky little numbskulls.
    Honestly, I don’t think you meant harm with this post, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t create any. Generalizations and stereotypes are a waste of everyone’s time. Even if you insert a caveat of “it’s just my opinion”… Your opinion is ill informed.

  9. Trish Z

    “Male characteristics like common sense, authority and quick-wittedness are awfully handy in our job. Mind you, I’m not saying that women lack these virtues. …blah blah blah.”

    No, you’re not saying women lack these virtues, you’re just gendering them as male virtues, with a social sample of one – yourself. So my common sense, authority and quick-wittedness, which come very naturally to me (a woman), make me what, masculine? De-feminize me? And if some of the men I know lack common sense etc, does that emasculate them as well as making them boring, indecisive goofballs?

    You are right, you do lack common sense, but please don’t ascribe that to your being female. You have as much common sense as a guy in high school who once told me that my musical talent and enjoying meat was very “masculine” of me. I guess there are a lot of people out there with bizarre notions of masculine and feminine.

    I would also like to suggest that your employer fire you and replace you with someone who is actually qualified to do your job, instead of dithering over decisions until the plane lands, as you say you have the capacity to do.

    • Sara Lomas

      I agree Trish. This is an issue of competence and not sex or gender. Caroline has just outed herself as being incompetent, a it has nothing to do with being a woman. Perhaps KLM should replace her, or at least step up their training.

  10. Trish Z

    “Male characteristics like common sense, authority and quick-wittedness are awfully handy in our job. Mind you, I’m not saying that women lack these virtues. …blah blah blah.”

    No, you’re not saying women lack these virtues, you’re just gendering them as male virtues, with a social sample of one – yourself. So my common sense, authority and quick-wittedness, which come very naturally to me (a woman), make me what, masculine? De-feminize me? And if some of the men I know lack common sense etc, does that emasculate them as well as making them boring, indecisive goofballs?

    You are right, you do lack common sense, but please don’t ascribe that to your being female. You have as much common sense as a guy in high school who once told me that my musical talent and enjoying meat was very “masculine” of me. I guess there are a lot of people out there with bizarre notions of masculine and feminine.

    I would also like to suggest that your employer fire you and replace you with someone who is actually qualified to do your job, instead of dithering over decisions until the plane lands, as you say you have the capacity to do.

    • Sara Lomas

      I agree Trish. This is an issue of competence and not sex or gender. Caroline has just outed herself as being incompetent, a it has nothing to do with being a woman. Perhaps KLM should replace her, or at least step up their training.

  11. A TOURIGN

    Your comments are sexist and should be reported to HR . Obviously you have mental-emotional issues about working with women and should seek therapy. Get a life.

    • Anonymous

      lol and how would you describe your comment? Pretty emotional as well if you ask me..

      • Eric

        How else would one feel in light of such of a blog? I don’t think there’s any other reaction BUT an emotional one to this comment.

  12. A TOURIGN

    Your comments are sexist and should be reported to HR . Obviously you have mental-emotional issues about working with women and should seek therapy. Get a life.

    • Rakuzator

      lol and how would you describe your comment? Pretty emotional as well if you ask me..

      • Eric

        How else would one feel in light of such of a blog? I don’t think there’s any other reaction BUT an emotional one to this comment.

  13. Mantini

    If I lived in Holland and had a work permit, I’d be there!

  14. Mantini

    If I lived in Holland and had a work permit, I’d be there!

  15. Anonymous

    Qantas has had many male flight attendants since the 1980’s. Ansett was the first airline to have an all-male flight attendant crew and an all-female cockpit crew on a flight, (MEL-TPE I believe). But I see no risk to having men replace Singapore Girl.

  16. yikesarama

    Qantas has had many male flight attendants since the 1980’s. Ansett was the first airline to have an all-male flight attendant crew and an all-female cockpit crew on a flight, (MEL-TPE I believe). But I see no risk to having men replace Singapore Girl.

  17. Eric

    I have been coming back to this blog since I have first read Trish’s and Sara’s comments, and I was hoping for a response from either Caroline or KLM, and to my surprise, there has been no follow-ups from either. Choosing to ignore your readers’ opinions is not a great social strategy, and furthermore, choosing silence will not make a misstep go away. I’m very interested in reading what KLM has to say about this. Are you responsible for your blogger’s posts, or do they have complete liberty as to what they write, without moderation? If the comment was racist (in this case sexist), would you ignore it equally? This worries me. It’s difficult for me to think that KLM supports offending and clumsy articles like this one.

    Now I’m curious to see if this blog post will be erased, or will anyone comment, apologize or explain why making sexist statements is tolerated by an airline of your stature. For all I know, the competition is ferocious in your industry…

    Thank you,

    Eric

    • TrishZ

      My guess is the post by Caroline was a paid piece intended as to recruit male staff. With so many men out there who would make great attendants, does KLM really need to pander to them? What kind of staff would you attract with “we need men for the job because we just can’t do it as well”?

  18. Eric

    I have been coming back to this blog since I have first read Trish’s and Sara’s comments, and I was hoping for a response from either Caroline or KLM, and to my surprise, there has been no follow-ups from either. Choosing to ignore your readers’ opinions is not a great social strategy, and furthermore, choosing silence will not make a misstep go away. I’m very interested in reading what KLM has to say about this. Are you responsible for your blogger’s posts, or do they have complete liberty as to what they write, without moderation? If the comment was racist (in this case sexist), would you ignore it equally? This worries me. It’s difficult for me to think that KLM supports offending and clumsy articles like this one.

    Now I’m curious to see if this blog post will be erased, or will anyone comment, apologize or explain why making sexist statements is tolerated by an airline of your stature. For all I know, the competition is ferocious in your industry…

    Thank you,

    Eric

    • TrishZ

      My guess is the post by Caroline was a paid piece intended as to recruit male staff. With so many men out there who would make great attendants, does KLM really need to pander to them? What kind of staff would you attract with “we need men for the job because we just can’t do it as well”?

  19. KLM

    Dear all, this blog has provoked many reactions on this page, mostly not very positive. This, of course has never been the intention of Caroline or KLM. Before posting the blog we have considered the possibility that not everyone might appreciate the tone of voice of this particular blog. We decided to go ahead with it because we think Caroline makes it very clear these are her personal thoughts on the subject and there clearly is a certain amount of self-mockery involved. Obviously not everybody is amused and we do apologize to everyone who has taken offence.

    The KLM Blog team

    • Sara Lomas

      Thanks for the reply, KLM Blog team.
      Though I can appreciate intention, what is important is the impact (as my husband always says) especially in Social Media.
      The supposed self-mockery comes across as self-deprecation, and though Caroline clearly states it’s only her opinion, she makes sweeping sexist generalizations abut men and women. As a blogger for your company, she is an online representative and spokesperson for KLM. No matter how many caveats are in place, her ideas read as your ideas, sexism and all.
      Tongue-in-cheek and humour can be a very successful strategy, but in this case, as they say in the SM world, #FAIL.

  20. KLM

    Dear all, this blog has provoked many reactions on this page, mostly not very positive. This, of course has never been the intention of Caroline or KLM. Before posting the blog we have considered the possibility that not everyone might appreciate the tone of voice of this particular blog. We decided to go ahead with it because we think Caroline makes it very clear these are her personal thoughts on the subject and there clearly is a certain amount of self-mockery involved. Obviously not everybody is amused and we do apologize to everyone who has taken offence.

    The KLM Blog team

    • Sara Lomas

      Thanks for the reply, KLM Blog team.
      Though I can appreciate intention, what is important is the impact (as my husband always says) especially in Social Media.
      The supposed self-mockery comes across as self-deprecation, and though Caroline clearly states it’s only her opinion, she makes sweeping sexist generalizations abut men and women. As a blogger for your company, she is an online representative and spokesperson for KLM. No matter how many caveats are in place, her ideas read as your ideas, sexism and all.
      Tongue-in-cheek and humour can be a very successful strategy, but in this case, as they say in the SM world, #FAIL.

  21. Marco

    Hi everybody,

    Sorry but I couldn t think at a better method to look up for a KLM Stewardess who I saw 2 days ago on the flight from Amsterdam to Venice  (21-08.11). I’m a frequent flyer but I had never flown with KLM before and I must admit that I was very impressed by the service on board. On top of that there was a lovely, patient and super gentle hostess who made smile each passenger on board…I believe her name was Marijn but not being datch, but Italian, I probably misunderstood her name.
    So if somebody could help me out to have her contact I would appreciate; in case that wouldn t be possible for privacy reason I would completely understand.

    Thanks everybody,
                                                    Marco

    • KLM

      Hi Marco, thanks for the nice words. We appreciate it. Due privacy reasons we would not be able to put you in contact with the stewardess in question. We can, though, pass on your compliment. If you give us your flight number, we will be ever so happy to do so. We are very pleased you had a great and memorable flight.

      • Makelibo

        Hi,

        the flight number was 1665 on the 21/08. I believe her name was the one i wrote above.

        Thanks for the reply and in case she were happy and she’d like to directly answer me here is my email address: makelibo@gmail.com

        Thanks agian, Regards

  22. Marco

    Hi everybody,

    Sorry but I couldn t think at a better method to look up for a KLM Stewardess who I saw 2 days ago on the flight from Amsterdam to Venice  (21-08.11). I’m a frequent flyer but I had never flown with KLM before and I must admit that I was very impressed by the service on board. On top of that there was a lovely, patient and super gentle hostess who made smile each passenger on board…I believe her name was Marijn but not being datch, but Italian, I probably misunderstood her name.
    So if somebody could help me out to have her contact I would appreciate; in case that wouldn t be possible for privacy reason I would completely understand.

    Thanks everybody,
                                                    Marco

    • KLM

      Hi Marco, thanks for the nice words. We appreciate it. Due privacy reasons we would not be able to put you in contact with the stewardess in question. We can, though, pass on your compliment. If you give us your flight number, we will be ever so happy to do so. We are very pleased you had a great and memorable flight.

      • Makelibo

        Hi,

        the flight number was 1665 on the 21/08. I believe her name was the one i wrote above.

        Thanks for the reply and in case she were happy and she’d like to directly answer me here is my email address: makelibo@gmail.com

        Thanks agian, Regards

  23. Dave

    Hallo Caroline,
    Goed stukje! Let niet al teveel op de teksten hieronder. Zijn wellicht geen nuchtere Hollanders. Wij begrijpen deze tekst al te goed en snappen de zelfspot weldegelijk !
    Wie weet ben ik in de nabije toekomst je “male-collegue”. Ik sta op de wachtlijst bij de KLM voor een interview als CA.

  24. Dave

    Hallo Caroline,
    Goed stukje! Let niet al teveel op de teksten hieronder. Zijn wellicht geen nuchtere Hollanders. Wij begrijpen deze tekst al te goed en snappen de zelfspot weldegelijk !
    Wie weet ben ik in de nabije toekomst je “male-collegue”. Ik sta op de wachtlijst bij de KLM voor een interview als CA.

  25. Josué Berrú

    I would really love to be a KLM flight attendan.. even for one time! KLM should organize a  contest to be a KLM flight attendant for one day :D

  26. Josué Berrú

    I would really love to be a KLM flight attendan.. even for one time! KLM should organize a  contest to be a KLM flight attendant for one day :D

  27. Josué Berrú

    I really admire your job! and KLM flight attendants are so professional! Congratulations and I do think that this job is for men, too :D

  28. Josué Berrú

    I really admire your job! and KLM flight attendants are so professional! Congratulations and I do think that this job is for men, too :D

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