Remember, most flight attendants aren't making up the rules as they go along. Each rule has a reason behind it. Moreover, flight attendants didn't make the rules, they just enforce them. So if a flight attendant asks you to put that carry-on all the way under the seat, it's probably not a secret conspiracy to make your flying experience miserable.
“Passengers who won't comply with safety rules – or who comply, but only after arguing with the flight attendant” are an annoyance, writes Ms. Sullivan, who has closely researched the lives of flight attendants and writes about her studies on www.AircrewHealth.com and www.AircrewBuzz.com. “Passengers often seem to view flight attendants as nit-picking and bossy when they hear, 'Sir, I need you to put on your seatbelt NOW,' or, 'Ma'am, if that bag does not fit under the seat in front of you, you'll have to put it in the overhead bin.' "
Remedy: Please do what the flight attendant says. Generally, they're just trying to make sure you – and everyone else – are safe.
Besides, if a safety violation is made, regardless of how minor and even if no damage is caused, flight attendants can be held responsible through fines and termination.