I think you would be shocked at how few men hit on us. Then again, I have been told I am naive about these things. So, if the latter is true, I suppose I’d have to say that very few men hit on us…obviously? (And I can’t speak for the male F/As being hit on…so I won’t try.)
As one of the youngest at my airline I do get fairly regular comments about being young. And I might get comments like, “Who wouldn’t want to buy you a drink?” But it’s always done in the midst of some banter and with a wink and that’s not really hitting on someone, is it? That just walks a line of friendly flirtation, something I am a big fan of myself. (My motto is “Flirt with everyone, all the time – little old ladies and children included. It puts everyone in a good mood.”) “Hitting” on someone, in my book, is when there is no mistake to be made about their intentions. With that in mind:
The only people who have hit on me hard are old men. Time out: I take that back. One young guy, 12 years ago, hit on me and – I admit – I loved it. But to pull that off a guy has to be solidly A-List Movie Star handsome and charming to boot. And guys like that rarely need to hit on women to score, amIright? (But this guy was Dominican so….that rather explains it.) Anyhow, over a decade later I remember him as the only man ever to make me turn red in the face and giggly. Soooo, that’s how I handled that. I probably would have written my number on my damn forehead, but we only spotted each other on landing. That’s how I know 10 minutes is not enough time to fetch my suitcase and dig out a Sharpie. At least not among completing landing duties. Ha!
Once when I was brand-spanking new and getting a check ride, my Supervisor was sitting right next to this older man (70? I can’t really remember what seemed what would have been “old” to me when I was 22!) who went on incessantly about taking me over his knee. It felt like bad form to embarrass him by calling him out, and I couldn’t avoid him for fear of getting written up for ignoring my passengers in the area. So I gave polite laughs and played along in a way that pretended I did not understand his true meaning (no matter how obvious he tried to make it), the whole time cursing this perv in my head that he was going to get me fired. I was sick about it; in the end, however, I got a glowing report about how deftly I handled him, “holding him off” without making anyone feel uncomfortable. What luck! So I’ve stuck with that strategy ever since: always assume (pretend, if you must) that they’re not actually hitting on you. Which is what I imagine other fight attendants do.
The bigger problem is, what to do when I see a poor sweet passenger being hit on mercilessly by a flight attendant?! There are one or two gay men in my base known for cornering hapless straight men who are obviously too nice to fend them off directly. (I suppose they could be employing my strategy, except they look uncomfortable.) I try my best to rescue these poor lads with diversionary conversation that gets them out of the corner of the back galley when I know what’s going on, but that’s about the best I can do. The worst is when it’s a guy I was chatting with. (Ahhh, those were the pre-husband days…and yet still did not happen often.) Which might bring you to the question: haven’t you ever gone out with passengers?
The short answer is “yes, but rarely, and never ones that ‘hit’ on me”. The long answer delves into why I always found it awkward to date passengers. But that topic will have to wait for another time. You know, if you ask for it…