Saturday, 27 July 2013

This is not a lascivious post !



Does man (and woman) have a foot fetish ? I think so. What is it about feet that makes people get completely bowled over by the marketers and pamper and cosset it. No I'm not talking about the ridiculous pedicure. I'm talking about footwear and the amounts we splash on it.Each one of us is an Imelda Marcos - before you snigger, go and count the footwear in the shoe rack.

Hyperbole dominates the footwear marketing industry. To think that by wearing "LeBron Zoom Soldier", I'll be able to dunk a basketball is pure fantasy, but it appears I am willing to buy the dream for $299 or thereabouts.  The sight of a Rajalakshmi tottering on high heels on the mistaken assumption that it makes her a 6 footer is equally humorous - I don't have the heart to tell her that her width is somewhat more than her height ! But surely the game has been taken to an altogether new level by Under Armour.

Under Armour is a sports outfit company. They mostly make sports clothing, shamelessly exploiting our fascination with looking good on the sports field about which I ranted here. Their footwear division is still small - so to pump up sales of footwear, they have hit upon the idea of a "bra for your feet" !!!

Apparently its made in a bra factory in China. It features a "cup" for your heel that is without any stitching. The whole shoe is "seamless".  It has a great fit and feels "smug". It feels like " a second skin". Multicolour no less. Can you please part with $150; thank you !

It has also been advertised that the equipment is built for linear motion, rather than horizontal jumping. I am not sure whether this advice has also been inspired by the concept it is trying to borrow from !

Under Armour's Senior Creative Director of Footwear (how does that sound on your business card) explained the concept with much delight and puns galore, but I think even he missed the delicious irony of this statement ; "Prototyping mostly took place in China at the bra factory for a more hands-on approach" !!

I must say I was much intrigued when I read all this. I am not sure I want to wear a bra on my feet, but perhaps there are some weird males who might relish the idea. Although I am not sure that its an aspirational thing - you might want to feel like Michael Jordon, wearing Air Jordan, but wearing one of these ...... Perhaps the aspiration is that its "eye catching" although as any sensible male will tell you, its not the covering, but what's inside that counts- the feet I mean :)

The more knowledgeable on these matters (women, I presume) might sneer saying that the shoe absolutely will not fit - given that its inspiration is also  notorious for that problem. And the damn thing always has a tendency to show, when it would have been far better to be discreet. And Yes,  I know that "Burn the Bra" was a 60s thing; but if it does catch the fancy again, what would happen to Under Armour shoes.

I am delighted to say, that for those of you who are captivated by the idea, you can order it for delivery in India too. The new revolutionary product is not yet on their online store, but it will soon be. And when you order, remember to specify Size 9.  If instead, you mention a large double digit with two alphabets after it, the store will not believe you :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ambient news: All the news most people want

Ambient news is proving a significant challenge to news organizations trying to serve readers on multiple digital platforms and maintain their print and broadcast news operations.

Contemporary technologies all around us are now delivering breaking news, sports scores, and market updates on electronic screens and displays in elevators, taxis and buses, bars and restaurants, on the sides of buildings, through smartphones, and via social media.

In years past, we all had to deliberately turn to newspapers or radio and television newscasts, or at least glance at headlines at news stands, to get a quick overview of major events. That era is past.

Today news is free and ubiquitous and, unfortunately, provides all the news that most people want. This is bad news for those trying to provide news commercially.

In the past, newspapers and newscasts filled their space and time with non-news features and information designed to attract audiences that wanted only a little news. Most newspapers, for example, rarely carried more than 20 percent hard news during the past 50 years and provided a heavy diet of sports, entertainment, lifestyle and other diversionary content. Today, light news readers who formerly bought papers for non-news articles find plenty of that information for free on television and the Internet and they are abandoning newspapers and news broadcasts.

Those who remain the audiences of newspapers and new broadcasts tend to be heavy news consumers, people who want significant amount of news and serious information. They value the kind of news reporting that provides social benefits. Unfortunately, they are getting less and less of that news as publishers, news producers, and editors continue pursuing the audiences that have left them and are satisfied by ambient news. In doing so, news executives are leaving their prime audiences of heavy news consumers increasingly dissatisfied and without much incentive to pay the increasing prices needed to maintain established news organizations.

If print and broadcast news organizations are to survive and serve the purposes for which they were established, they are going to have to start paying attention to the audiences they have, rather than the audiences they wish they had.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Business July 17th, 2013: The Beauty Bar and the Beast Edition

Can you do the CanCan at Cannes?  You can ask this week’s guest that question and many more* as we welcome the fabulous Anna Seregina!

Anna Seregina is a San Francisco-based stand-up comic and performer. She was born in Moscow, Russia, which could explain her deep-rooted cynicism. It could also explain nothing. After being involved in theater and improv for nearly a decade and being funny for nearly a lifetime, she decided to take the plunge into stand-up comedy. Her style can nearly be defined as vocal and un-lady-like, drawing heavily on what little life experience she has. She has been described as having the "worst aura." She has performed in the 2013 & 2012 SF Sketchfest, the inaugural SF Comedy & Burrito Festival, the 2012 SF Comedy Day Festival, and the Bruise Cruise Festival. She is a regular performer at the Porchlight Storytelling series, and has been picked as one of six emerging stand-up acts in the Bay Area comedy scene by Bold Italic. Most facts about her are true. Most truths about her are facts. She is a sensational dancer.

PLUS PLUS PLUS we have the fabulous Alex Falcone!

Alex Falcone is a fresh, young, moderately attractive comedian living in Portland, OR.  Here's just a sample of the cool stuff he does:
He appeared on the IFC show Portlandia.
He writes for the Portland Mercury.
He's the host and head writer of the live talk show Late Night Action.
He is the host and producer of the surprisingly popular podcast Read it and Weep, which dissects the worst books, movies, and TV shows.
He's performed at such awesome festivals as Bumbershoot in Seattle, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Sketchfest in San Francisco, and the New York City Podfest.
Despite all these amazing accomplishments, he remains totally down to earth and approachable.

All that plus all your regulars!  Sean “Pretty Boy” Keane, Caitlin “Fancy” Gill, Bucky “Buck Naked” Sinister and “Naughty” Nato Green.

Get there early cause we sell this bitch out.

BYOBeautyrrito.

*NO QUESTIONS. 

The Business July 3rd, 2013: The Drenndependence Day Edition

Before we all take flight on bald eagles into the night’s sky, ablaze with spectacular fireworks (made in China), to celebrate the breech birth of this pretty bitch Amurrica let’s get together and celebrate our greatest national tradition, Business.

With Drennon Davis!

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show
that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing.

And THE FUTURE: Kelly Anneken!

Kelly Anneken is the co-founder & artistic director of East Bay feminist sketch comedy troupe Femikaze, sketch writer for SF talk show "A Funny Night for Comedy," managing editor of online humor journal Hobo Pancakes, and co-host of "Up Yours, Downstairs! A Downton Abbey Podcast." In her copious free time, Kelly also performs standup comedy, as she will demonstrate.

And the oh-so-fine Ronn Vigh!

Ronn Vigh’s brash attitude and acerbic wit have earned him a comparison to a young Joan Rivers by SF Weekly. Which is a fitting comparison, since he went on to write jokes for E! Television’s “Fashion Police” co-hosted by Joan Rivers.

Join us, one and all. (except we sell out, so not technically “all”)

Just $5 dollars.  AMERICAN dollars.  Keep your Euros at home.

BYORedWhiteandBluerrito.

The Business June 26, 2013: The Business: The League of their Own Edition

This week, it just so happens that we get to laugh at a buncha Peaches.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even be managed by Tom Hanks!!  THERE’S NO CRYING IN BUSINESS.

This week’s line up is full of heavy hitters like Colleen Watson!

Colleen may be perceived as cynical, but that’s just because life is crap. She’s the kind of girl you’d get drunk with at a bar because she was sitting next to you, you’re both drinking, and she won’t leave. She is a rising comic in the San Francisco comedy scene and was a part of the 5 Funny Females tour. She’s a regular at Rooster T Feathers and the San Francisco Punch Line. She has worked with acts such as Dave Attell, Doug Benson, Chris Kattan, Laurie Kilmartin and Arj Barker. You can see on stages nightly through out the Bay Area.

The infectious (in a good way) Shanti Charan!

Shanti Charan’s bubbly personality and contagious smile lure in audiences and her comedic abilities keeps them laughing. She is a fast-rising fresh face in the Bay Area comedy scene. Her ability to formulate quick connections makes it easy for her to communicate with diverse audiences. She won 1st place in the 2011 Rooster T Feather’s Comedy Competition and participated in the 2011 San Francisco International Comedy Competition where she advanced to the semi-finals. Charan was recently awarded SF Weekly’s 2012 Best Stand-Up on the Way Up. SF Weekly says Charan’s writing “is clever and confident beyond her years.”

The sportacular Joey Devine, who insists that there IS crying in basketball!

Joey Devine was the creator and host of the acclaimed live talk show "Joey Devine After Dark," and currently runs "Move Along, Nothing To See Here: A Comedy Show" at the Night Light in Oakland. He's performed at SF Sketchfest, the SF Punch Line, and was a founding member of cult SF sketch group Frown Land. Joey currently resides on the island of Alameda with an older couple.

Of course, our regulars will be there as well, Bucky Sinister, Sean Keane and Nato Green.

WE SELL OUT GET THERE EARLY.

Just $5!  JUST $5!

BYOBurrito, peanuts and crackerjack.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Knock Knock ; Who's there ? Nobody !


By any reckoning, this should be an extremely successful business. You have a fantastic distribution set up - reaching every nook and corner of your geography that nobody else can - in what is essentially a distribution business. You have an envious relationship with the consumers. In many places your representative was a trusted friend and confidante. People looked forward to his arrival. You had a state sanctioned monopoly. You have a significant price advantage. You enjoy innumerable fiscal benefits that no competitor enjoys. You have a great brand , so great that collection of your merchandise was a major hobby with an English word specifically only for this. Songs have been written about you that have reached the top of the charts - here (this is the first version - the Beatles and the Carpenters came later) , in case you are musically inclined. 

With such advantages. you should be roaring away to glory, shouldn't you ? And yet you are a colossal failure and a sitting duck in almost every country. I am referring to the business of postal services. Everywhere in the world, the Post Office is a massive white elephant and a complete dinosaur, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphors. When was the last time you licked a stamp and sent something by post  ?

Popular perception is that the business has been made obsolete because of technology. The advent of E Mail and then subsequently, the mobile phone has made postal services. fit only for a museum. Nobody writes a letter any more. So goes the wisdom. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The postal services have failed because they have a been a government monopoly, have never considered themselves as a business and have been the best example of the worst management in history. That's why they have failed. If you need any further proof of it, simply consider the number of courier companies, who essentially offer the same services and who are thriving.

There is actually a colossal increase in the volume of physical mail. The amount of commercial mail is massive - just consider the amount of stuff, you may consider as junk mail, but which still arrives at your doorstep. Just as the advent of computers actually increased the amount of paper consumed, the advent of email has done nothing to reduce the volume of snail mail. Yes, you may have never written an inland letter for a decade or more, but consider how many times you have couriered something. 

Postal services in every country, and especially so in India, have been subjected to such bad management that it must be considered almost a crime. There is a bloated workforce. There is very poor management talent working in the organisation.  There has been no modernisation and investment whatsoever - just peep into the local post office, in case you can find it, and you will be looking at the 18th century. Governments have contributed by keeping prices of some products ridiculously low - for example to send a post card anywhere in India costs 50 paise (provided you can find a 50p coin which is almost not legal tender nowadays).  If ever there was an example required of the grossest inefficiency of the public sector and a shameful case of a proud organisation brought to its knees, this has to be it.

Why is this so. There have been other government monopolies which have been threatened by technology, but which have still done reasonably well. Why is the Post Office an universal failure ? I can postulate, but I shall leave it to Distinguished Academics (at least two members of this species are readers of this blog) to perhaps present their research findings.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Reorganisations - the last refuge of the incompetent

There is one ritual that happens in all companies periodically without fail - an organisation restructuring. Old structures and divisions are thrown out of the window and new structures are announced. HR types take great pleasure in redrawing organisation charts, rewriting job descriptions and the like. Communication types have an orgasm designing communication packs and writing words like "restructuring to stimulate growth", "bringing the organisation closer to consumers" and such other waffle. CEOs like to stand up to the press and announce the change , to make up for lack of anything else to say about their companies. MIcrosoft did just that today, the trigger for this post. Steve Ballmer's version of the blah blah is "We are ready to take Microsoft in bold new directions". Balderdash. I have never seen a more futile activity than an organisation rejig. And yet companies do it all the time.

The pattern is all too predictable. If the current organisation is based on product lines, it will be made regional to "get closer to the consumers". If it is regional, it will be made based on product lines to globalise and take advantage of scale. People will be moved around in boxes on organisation charts. The new guys have to go on a round the world trip to familiarise themselves with their new responsibilities. Lots of presentations and power point charts. Every four years or so the charade is repeated.  None of this matters one iota to consumers and shareholders. The only gainers are probably the management consultants who make lots of money.

What a thorough waste of time and effort. Structures are important in organisations, but they matter less than you think. The primal instinct of marking territories and defending against invaders, is what structures are. Structures are boundaries where defences are erected , by petty minded egoistic manages who need to feel important. Much effort is actually expended in organisations in crossing structural boundaries. Seasoned operators build alliances and have informal channels through which they get things done.Formal structures matter little to the determined go getter.

The root of the problem is man's territorial instinct. Man likes to draw boundaries and defend everybody inside the boundary from everybody outside. Alpha males who inhabit the business world suffer from an acute affliction of this instinct. Chief Executives and Boards struggle to overcome this and get the entire organisation to operate seamlessly. Fat chance of that happening. In this quest, organisational restructuring is the placebo. The placebo is particularly touted by the HR function, as a magic cure, which gullible CEOs swallow all to easily.

If Microsoft's leaders think they can solve their fundamental problems and compete better with the likes of Google, by an organisational revamp, well, perhaps its time to write their obituary.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Backstretch Health Care & the Affordable Care Act

The recent federal government announcement that employer responsibility for providing health insurance to their employees under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) will be delayed for at least another year is not good news for backstretch workers.

In most of the US, grooms and hotwalkers – the lowest-paid workers on the racetrack – have no health care coverage at all. If they’re injured on the job, they get workers’ compensation payments – and may or may not have a job to come back to when they’ve recovered. And in some states, jockeys and exercise riders who are injured on the track are covered under separate workers comp. pools, like New York’s Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, paid for with a combination of trainer per-stall charges and a percentage of owners’ purse winnings.

But, apart from those job-related injuries, backstretch workers are pretty much on their own when it comes to health care. And, if they have spouses and children, their families are out in the cold as well. With weekly salaries of perhaps $300 to $500, hotwalkers and grooms can’t afford health insurance on their own, and they generally earn just too much to qualify for Medicaid. And few trainers provide health coverage for all their workers.

In at least two states, California and New York, there’s a comprehensive effort to provide at least the basics of a health care system for backstretch workers.

On the West Coast, the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (“CTHF”), founded by trainer Noble Threewitt, operates full-time clinics at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, and also provides once-a week or thereabouts mobile clinics during race meetings at Del Mar, Hollywood, Pleasanton and San Luis Rey Downs. In addition, the CTHF provides assistance with referrals to specialists for injuries or illness that are beyond the scope of the clinics and pays some, though by no means all, of backstretch workers’ hospital costs.

The CTHF is funded by the proceeds of unclaimed pari-mutuel tickets (a declining funding source in the age of internet wagering), and by contributions from the tracks and from the Thoroughbred Owners of California. It recently received a $200,000 anonymous donation, brokered by trainer John Sadler.

Back on the East Coast, the Backstretch Employee Service Team (“BEST”) operates clinics at Belmont and, in-season, at Saratoga. Like CTHF, BEST has a plan for paying backstretch workers’ costs for specialist referrals, medical tests and, within limits, hospital visits. BEST is funded principally by contributions from the New York Racing Association (“NYRA”) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (“NYTHA”), representing owners and trainers who race at NYRA tracks. BEST also receives significant support from a variety of government grants and from John Hendrickson and Marylou Whitney. You can read more about BEST here, here and here.

Both California and New York also offer at least some dental care to backstretch workers, in California directly through CTHF and at NYRA tracks through NYTHA and the donation-financed dental clinic at Saratoga.

[Disclosure: I’m a member of the Boards of Directors of both NYTHA and BEST and am involved in BEST’s efforts to adjust its programs to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.]

Because so few racetracks around the country offer any access to health care for backstretch workers, and because working on the track is still something of a gypsy life, with trainers moving their horses from track to track and state to state, workers sometimes save up their medical needs until they’re somewhere that does offer treatment. So, when trainers ship in to Saratoga from, say, Kentucky, or when barns return to Belmont from a winter in Florida, it’s common to see workers lining up at the BEST clinic with a year’s, or a lifetime’s, worth of medical problems. There’s probably less of that in California, just because it’s farther from other major-league racing venues, but in New York it’s a big issue. And it's still unclear how Medicaid or insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act will work for people who move from state to state.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with more than 50 full-time workers will eventually have to offer health insurance. That’s the requirement that was just postponed for a year. But, in any event, there aren’t all that many trainers in the US who have more than 50 employees. Most stables are a lot smaller than that, so their workers wouldn’t have the option of employer-provided health care anyway.

Apart from employer coverage, the Affordable Care Act makes a number of changes that are still scheduled to take effect January 1, 2014, and that will have a big impact on the backstretch.

First, at least in participating states, which include New York and California, there will be a significant expansion of Medicaid, so a number of backstretch workers who now make a little too much to qualify will become eligible for this state-run and federally funded program. Eligibility will now extend to workers making up to 133% of the federal poverty level of income. For 2013, those eligibility limits are $15,282 for a single individual and $31,322 for a family of four.

Second, for those who earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid, the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act will apply, and those folks will be required to obtain health insurance coverage through the “exchanges” that are being set up in participating (read Democratic) states; workers in states where Republicans have blocked implementation of the law will be able to go on a national exchange to find coverage.

The cost of that coverage will be limited to somewhere around 3-4% of gross income for most backstretch workers, depending on their earnings, with tax-credit subsidies available to offset a portion of the premium costs. Even so, it’s safe to predict that many backstretch folks will decide that $60-80 a month (their premium cost after subsidies) is just one expense too many and will decide to forego signing up for coverage and instead take their chances with the imposition of penalties when or if they file their tax returns.

Third, the Affordable Care Act provides no coverage for undocumented non-US citizens or residents and in fact makes it illegal for them to obtain health coverage through the exchanges. That undocumented group makes up a significant share of the backstretch workforce, though no one knows exactly how big a share.

And finally, the Affordable Care Act requires that any health insurance plan, whether offered through the exchanges or by an employer, meet certain minimum standards, including the scope of its coverage and its dollar limits. Unless waivers are granted, that may mean that so-called “mini-med” plans like those now offered by fast-food and retail employers, with low dollar limits and many coverage restrictions, will not be permitted. But, in any event, a “mini-med” plan offered through the CTHF or BEST would not relieve individual backstretch workers of the obligation to sign up for their own health insurance through the exchanges.

So what does all this mean for backstretch workers, and for CTHF and BEST? For certain, the coming into force of the Affordable Care Act won’t eliminate the need for these workers to have some help in getting decent health care. Even for those who qualify for Medicaid or who decide to obtain insurance through the exchanges, there will be co-payments, deductibles and incidental costs that, on the typically low salaries paid at the track, they won’t be able to afford. And for those without a legal immigration status, there won’t be anything at all.

So, at a minimum, backstretch workers will still need access to on-track clinics like those operated by BEST and CTHF, and even, to the extent the clinic sponsors can afford it, to an expanded range of services, including more medical tests and more specialist services.

And backstretch workers will need education to help them take advantage of the expanded care available under the Affordable Care Act, to enroll in Medicaid, for those eligible, and to navigate the online insurance exchanges that are being set up.

Beyond that, there will be economic gaps that need filling in under the Affordable Care Act, to pay premiums, co-payments and deductibles and, especially, to find mechanisms to ensure that undocumented workers, who are ineligible for Medicaid and for exchange-provided insurance, have some kind of safety net that goes beyond showing up at the nearest hospital emergency room.

Because New York and California already have strong organizations -- BEST and CTHF -- providing backstretch health care, there's a good chance that these gaps will indeed be filled in a timely fashion. But things are less sanguine in those states without on-track health programs and where political leaders are actively opposing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. One can only hope that all the stakeholders in the industry will join together to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Affordable Care Act and to continue to meet the needs of the largely invisible folks who work on the backstretch every day to keep the game going.



Friday, 5 July 2013

No men please



Apparently men are heavier than women.  Did you know that ?  In many parts of the globe, that is probably true, but in India ?? Can you believe that Rajalakshmi, she of the considerable proportions, is inferior to Ramamritham, when it comes to the weight stakes ?? I somehow, seriously doubt that. But not, it appears GoAir, an India based airline.  This is the news from GoAir, that set off this post.

Cabin attendants, flight attendants, stew, whatever name you wish to call them, are predominantly women, everywhere in the world. It all started in the initial days of flying. A pretty young air hostess was part of the decor of the plane. Nervous travelers, usually pot bellied men, could relax by looking at a smiling pretty face. As the years went by, the pot bellied business traveler remained the same, at least pot belly wise, but the nervousness disappeared. The flight attendants meanwhile aged, and age discrimination laws in the US and Europe ensure that these days its a matronly woman giving you a geriatric smile. It is not the most pleasant of sights, unless you have a major mothering need. That's why every regular traveler instantly closes his eyes and goes to sleep on entering a plane - those that don't are just waiting for the booze to come before doing exactly the same. Asian airlines however still consider a pretty flight attendant as an important component of air travel - the Singapore girl continues to be, well, a Singapore girl.  The strong preference of this blogger for Asian airlines, should not go unmentioned.

GoAir, being a sensible Asian airline, wants to do exactly the same.  But then, it is extremely incorrect politically to say so. They have therefore announced that they would only recruit female flight attendants, because ( wait with bated breath)...... because women are less heavier than men and therefore they can reduce the total weight of the aircraft and achieve fuel savings !! Wow ! Double Wow !! That is the most ingenious explanation you can ever imagine. Not only has it flattered all Rajalakshmis, who will rise in defence of this move, but it has also cleared the way for the airline to recruit petite sweet young things.  Isn't that brilliant ?

Well, airlines have been known to do all sorts of things to reduce weight. ANA took the cake, by asking all passengers to pee before boarding, as a means of reducing total load on the aircraft. Ryan Air tried to achieve the same thing by thinking of charging passengers to go to the loo onboard - thereby forcing them to go to the loo before boarding. American airlines achieved this by abolishing all food on board and replacing them with peanuts. But GoAir is scaling new heights by trying to reduce the weight of its crew.

Perhaps they will now do some in depth research on the weight habits of Indian travelers. You see, the men are mostly those, who can only see their toes by looking at the mirror, because there is a significant protuberance that obstructs the natural line of sight. The women have a different problem - they can only walk down the airplane aisle sideways as, the width somewhat precludes a straight-faced progression. In such an environment, imagine the plight of a petite flight attendant. When the aircraft lands and she opens the doors, the onrushing melee will probably knock her off the plane altogether !

GoAir has probably scored a march over its competition. India's "national airline", Air India, believes that it should accurately portray a representative Rajalakshmi in its cabin crew - they are therefore, shall we charitably say, non petite. Kingfisher, which practiced the policy of all flight attendants being hired personally by the Chairman, could have probably beaten GoAir hollow - the Chairman's ability to spot the right talent in this matter being somewhat legendary. Unfortunately the airline went bust, pun unintended. So the field is ripe for GoAir.

This blogger is significantly underweight. He therefore intends to fly GoAir next time and ask for a weight discount. And while flying, he can appreciate, the petite cabin crew. Of if you prefer , as the verbatim technical specs the airline has put out says - cabin crew with a minimum height of five foot three inches and weight proportionate to the height !!