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July 02, 2010


Trish McFarlane

China, congrats on your maiden voyage and way to set the bar high! I would say it is hard to believe that story, but in today's world, I fear that scenes like that are playing out far too often and not just in the airline industry. It hit home when you talked about the employee and customer being enemies. Wow. That is something to ponder.

At a minimum, you should share this post with the CEO of that airline. As for the HR implications of bad customer service, we as HR professionals should be doing all we can to set the tone of good customer experience internally. It also needs to come from the top down. By adding our behavior as a model of what is expected, we can do our part to help our employees deliver that same level of service to our customers.

Welcome to the HR blogosphere China!

Chris Havrilla

Excellent first post, China! I see a lot of strong lessons here for those of us in Recruiting as good if you're a candidate who wants to be treated like a person and not a resume that fell behind a desk....

I believe candidates, and in some cases even employees, expectations have become as low as the traveling public and I hope seeing a post like this can serve as a wake up call to the messages we send as companies, as well as HR & Recruiting professionals.

Looking forward to your new blog!

Jim D'Amico (HRPufnstuf)

China, great first post! I travel often, and find airline travel to be such a weird melange of good/poor service, civil travelers/unruly travelers. I've traveled on all the major carriers, and the one thing that surprises me is the total inconsistency of customer service. Some days it's spot on, great service, others it's dreadful and demeaning. I believe the same can be said of the travelers.
This is different from most other service experiences. If I go to a Best Buy or a Buffalo Wild Wings anywhere I know I'm going to be treated the same each time, it's consistent. Whether it's good or bad, it's consistent and that keeps me consistent. When customer service is inconsistent (or customer behavior for that matter), that throws 90% of the population into some sort of tizzy.
So my point is great customer service is awesome, but to get there many companies need to first strive for consistency.

John Jorgensen

China, way to start off with a bang. Great post but it is exactly what I expected from you, great insight, well written and done with a purpose. Can't wait to see you contribute to the blogging world more often.


Great post China,I witnessed a very similar situation while flying the end of last year. I now only shop and support businesses that care about winning my hard earned dollars. One would think given our depressed economy people/companies would rally to keep their existing customer population and consequently their jobs.

Thank you for bringing one of my biggest pet peeves front and center again. There is absolutely no need for poor customer service!

Congratulations and Happy 4th of July!

Joan Ginsberg

WOW! Nice post, China! We have all talked about customer service again and again - and still horror stories like this persist. We need to keep repeating this lesson until more industries get it.

Adding your new blog to my reader - thanks for adding your voice.


great start. Now what do you think of the Happiness book?

Krista Francis

Nice post, China. Maybe you should have left your book with the flight attendants for their edification?

I was just on a flight a few days ago and my seatmate, who spoke very little English, asked the flight attendant for more juice. The flight attendant refused to give it to her until she said 'please.' I thought it was so insulting to treat an adult passenger like that, especially someone who struggled with her use of our language and certainly didn't omit the 'please' out of rudeness. It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. But at least no police were called!

D Boyer

In both China's and Krista's cases, let us know what airlines were involved. If they are not held accountable, what will make them change.
And did either of you follow up in any way, Defending the other passenger, alerting the press to what was really going on, complaining to the upper management?
I don't know if I would have had the courage to do so. But maybe I need to find the courage to help from now on.
(I am not saying I would have step in right then - you do have to protect yourself around emotional loonies)

D. Kevin Berchelmann

China, you're spot on. Airline flight attendants are a bastion of idiotic anachronisms and misguided priorities. They start off by saying their "primary job is our safety..."


The "safety" line, that many of them wear like a freakin' shield to ward off demanding customers -- oh, I'm sorry, "passengers" -- is way past stupid. 95%++ of their job is about customer comfort; what occupation would allow you to do only 5% of your job well and remain employed??

Now, we've given people with a history of poor performance a bigger sword to wield: The Patriot Act. Included were two key provisions on airline security, both responsible for the unseemly application of the "Law of Unintended Consequences."

The first defined ANY PASSENGER disruptive behavior as a terrorist act; The second broadened existing criminal law so that any attempt or conspiracy to "interfere with a flight crew" became a felony. And guess who determines if that interference exists? You guessed it -- The blue-suited, wing-wearing bastion of customer non-service parked in the galley.

I generally sit in first class due to frequent flyer upgrades. The only real advantages are free drinks and bigger seats -- the service, by and large, is the same.

They need help, of the customer-attentive kind.

But that's just me...


sto credits

Capitalism Note: China Gorman is a former chief operating officer of Human Resource Management, and Human Capital Games absolute rock star. She has inspired many of us in the trenches of human resources, her accessibility, frankly, to the natural and leadership make me proud to support human resources. She is so good at engaging the people around her, and she made me reconsider the role of Human Resource Management in my career, this is a Sunni and Shites on line, hand in hand, sing the song size feat "We are the world "and George Bush, Dick Cheney and Hansen.After reading this, I admire the woman very much,I should learn from her,thank you very much.


very interesting to read about!

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A very good post and an excellent blog. I am now a follower. Thanks, Steve @

Dissertations | Essays


That is great that we can get the personal loans and this opens up completely new possibilities.

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