Please Do Read the Name Tag.

The name plate is there for a reason. Use it. Address us.

As a flight attendant, I wear my own name plate. My full name is in it. I requested the supplier to have my nickname engraved on my new set of nameplates instead of my full first name so that it would be easier for passengers to read it out. Apparently, it was not allowed. Oh well. It is truly a real joy when passengers make an effort to squint their eyes just to properly read the long name in that short strip of metal. I do appreciate it with a smile and just tell them that they may call me ‘Me-Ann’ since my full name is long and quite holy. I do not even think that I live up to it.

I was in In-N-Out Burger in Torrance, CA the other night. Just ordered my usual (Double Double Animal Style Burger Meal with Neapolitan Milkshake) for take out and went out on my way. One of the crew members opened the door for me on my way out and I smiled and thanked him, reading out his name plate, Kieran. I was even scared to offend him in case I pronounced his name wrong.

He stared at me for a solid two seconds as if I did something weird. I looked back at him in confusion, watching him mumble then look at his own nameplate. He looked back at me with the goofiest grin that I have ever seen, musing about how thankful he was and how I made his day by just reading out his nameplate. I just told him that I know how it feels. He kept on gushing about how much he appreciated it and even told me that he will get for me whatever I wanted and open my car door for me. (I have no car, sigh.)

It got me thinking. I do appreciate when people read out my very long name on my nameplate. It does mean a lot but those things happen around once or twice (thrice if I am lucky) in every flight. I could not imagine how people could not read Kieran’s nameplate when it is in big bold letters written on a large white nameplate for him to react in such a way? How could anyone miss reading his name and yet make an effort in reading mine?

In Philippine Airlines, it is a requirement for a cabin crew member to hold a bachelor’s degree. For that, one may consider us professionals. Perhaps, that is why customers are more respectful of us enough to make an effort to read our nameplates.

This, I say, no matter what position we may be in either as a busboy in the local food chain, a waiter in a fancy restaurant, a bartender in the classiest bar, or a flight attendant in a service airline, we are tasked to serve you. It is our job that you are duly provided of the service that you paid for. We are no different from one another.

Please do read our name tags. Regardless of where you find us, address the person serving you. Like any other person, our greatest possession is our name. By acknowledging it, you provide us a sense of gratification at the fact that we are more than just an employee. It gives us an assurance that we are doing what is right for you. We feel more appreciated, more respected, more human. We are not only our company’s labour force. We are its assets, its representatives.

Try it. It shows a great deal about one’s manners. Also, we do tend to be more kind and gracious to those who can name us. It is like being more accommodating to a friend that to someone whom you just met two minutes before you actually leave the premises. And to Kieran, this one is for you. See you again on my next In-N-Out calorie fest.

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