It’s 6.35 in the morning and I must admit I’m not in the best frame of mind… thanks to EasyJet.
So, quite clearly, the most natural subject to write about is the Oxymoron. You know the sort of thing – when you put two words together to describe the same subject, but are actually opposites… Quiet Storm, Military Intelligence, McDonald’s Restaurant and the latest one: EasyJet Organisation.
My flight was due to leave at 7.05 but the board has just flashed up with ‘Delayed to 8.45’.
Okay, delays are inevitable. It’s impossible to get things right every single time. And, to be honest, I’m quite happy to be delayed if, say, there’s a technical fault with the ‘plane. I’d much rather it gets fixed, than worry too much about time.
Today, though, it’s all a bit different.
Today, this (almost) two hour delay is due to a shortage of cabin crew.
It’s Friday, the sun has been shining all week… you figure why there’s a shortage of crew. You might like to reference a blog from a little while ago written by my esteemed colleague, Renee Mackay, entitled Duvet Days.
But, to be honest, it’s not even the fact there’s no cabin crew that had really ticked me off today. It’s the way we’ve been told.
Some time ago someone gave the airlines feedback about delays and keeping passengers informed about what’s going on. As a consequence, delay announcements now tell passengers why there has been a delay: ‘…due to technical issues…’ or ‘…due to the late inbound arrival…’
In fact, let me give you the full announcement as it was made a few minutes ago: ‘EasyJet regrets to announce a delay of one hour and forty minutes to flight EZY228 to Stansted, this morning. This is due to a shortage of available cabin crew. EasyJet would like to apologise for the delay to your service and the obvious inconvenience caused.’
What the person actually was saying was: ‘I don’t give a stuff that you’ve been delayed… why should I apologise to you?’
This is because only a very small percentage of the total message delivered comes from the inherent meaning in the words that are said. A far greater proportion of understanding comes from the way things are projected.
In this case EasyJet (or their ground handling agents, Menzies Aviation) could do worse than provide their staff with some training in how to make announcements and not make things a million times worse than they already are when you’re TRYING TO GET TO A MEETING IN LONDON BY 11 O’CLOCK!