Look, I know that the flight crew is there in case of, God forbid, an emergency. But I feel like in more and more flights I take, the crew uses that as an excuse for being surly/grumpy/mad at the airline/mad at people in general. The f/a wannabes here seem like they have great attitudes, and I think they'd be excellent at the job, since 99.9% of your time is spent interacting with people who aren't always in the best of moods. It takes a special kind of person to handle this.
Unfortunately, I don't think this is common to too many carriers, especially when there is some other problem in the airline. AA, I find, is a great exception to this; I've flown them all over the US in the last six months and have never had anything but a great time, even if there was some problem. (One steward even comped me on a drink on my way to LAX when I asked for a refill, something I never see). But when airlines are less well run (meaning the passengers are already hassled) or theree are union troubles, the pax seem to take the brunt in surly service or crews that hide out in the back. And I for one would like to urge all those f/as out there who don't like people to maybe find another line of work.
As for air rage, well, I think the airlines don't take enough responsibility for this. The way they treat people can cause some folks to, well, snap, and I'm not condoning it, but if an f/a is snippy to some guy once too often on the wrong day, well, it's not a surprise they get clocked in the head. (Same as with meter maids, etc). I mean, you're not allowed to smoke, so smokers are already jittery, it's tough enough to get a cocktail - make things more fun and air rage goes down. I always treat f/as well, because they have the least responsibility for any of the problems, and being calm and direct with customer service people and asking for supervisors when necessary always gets the job done, and I think other people should act the same. And I think that in return, f/as should do their damndest to provide happy smiling service.