Ugh… White People

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Real Life

Recently, I traveled to the Philippines for work, and it was my very first trip to Asia. I flew from Jacksonville, FL to Dulles, VA, and I then flew from Dulles to Narita, Japan and then to Manila, Philippines. Upon boarding the flight from Dulles to Japan, I noticed that the crew were all Asian.  I guess they match the crew with the destination. I was immediately struck by how friendly they were… like genuinely happy and friendly.

This hospitality continued once I arrived at my hotel in Manila. There was an abundance of staff, and you could tell that they were happy to be there, happy to be of service, and genuinely happy to serve you.  It struck me thru the week that I was there that, whereas Americans are generally “doing their job” when it comes to customer service, Asians seem more like they are happy to serve the customer and that they get paid to do so is simply a bonus.

The dichotomy was evidenced further on the flight from Japan back to Virginia.  Again with the crew matching the destination, all of a sudden I had to deal with white people again after being in the Philippines for a week.  I immediately sensed that the flight attendants were not smiling because they were happy to see us but because the employee handbook required them to do so.  I had the “privilege” of sitting close to the kitchen area where the flight attendants gathered during take-off and to prepare food, drinks, etc.  I could actually hear them having an attitude about customers.

As I sat there in my seat waiting for the plane to take off, I reflected upon my time in the Philippines and thought to myself, “hrm… white people.”

How does that make you feel?

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