My personal worst working environment was a temporary situation, and occurred in a job that was usually quite pleasant.
When I was a Flight Attendant, the airline I worked for had an unfortunate history of late gate arrivals. This would in turn mean that the rest of the schedule would be delayed, often by hours at a time (if a new crew needed to be obtained, if we hit rush hour at the other airport, for any number of reasons.)
One day, a plane arrived 2 hours late prior to its continuing leg of 4 hours, which meant the existing crew would “time out” and could not complete the trip. My crew was called in to take over, pushing their takeoff to 3 hours past the original departure.
The passengers were not in the best of moods as they boarded this plane (in 1999, pre iPhone, iPod, ebook reader, etc) for a 4 hour flight. Our planes were not equipped to show movies and had no form of entertainment. If you had a book or newspaper, that was it.
Once we taxied for takeoff, we heard we were 20th in line, and it would be roughly 1 hour before we were in the air. (This was built into the flight time, but elicited audible groans.)
In the air, there was a simmering level of agitation as we passed out drinks, snacks and asked for any magazines and papers that people were done with so we could put them up front to redistribute.
We kept it under control until we landed in Detroit – and as we were 7 hours beyond our arrival time, we had no gate.
And it was 105 degrees outside.
And the pilots cut power to the aircraft.
And there was no APU (equipment to restart the power) available to bring out to us.
Within minutes, the simmering started to become a rolling boil, and threatened to explode.
People wanted water, ice (we had no more) to get up and use the restroom (we couldn’t let them because of where we were) and were starting to try to make a rush for the emergency exits.
I did the only thing I could think of – I started singing.
Before I had realized what I was doing, I picked up the intercom and started singing a Beatles song. People were so startled, they stopped what they were doing.
I kept singing.
Some people started clapping, humming, singing along.
I kept singing, all the way to the gate. I missed giving down required announcements, but I was more afraid of what the passengers would do to the 4 of us and the 2 pilots than what the FAA or the airline would do for me for missing the “keep seated” announcements.
People were calm when they left the plane, Happy even, and we didn’t get any complaints filed from that flight.
I was all too aware the whole time, though, of what could have happened if it didn’t work.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-personal-examples-of-the-worst-working-environments-What-was-it-like
Originally Posted On: 2015-12-17