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My friendly letter to Southwest Airlines

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  • #16
    What did it teach you that you didn't already know, Jeff?


    Mostly that people don't ever like being treated differently based on any physical aspect of their appearance. I thought I was aware of this before, but I think that there are specific circumstances (like the one Zeronyne went through) that can be avoided with a little thought beforehand. I'm sure the flight attendant wasn't being malicious... she just wasn't thinking. A little more training would do her some good.

    I think folks from the Midwest often have the most trouble with this, because so much of the population is of one race/religion/background in one area. Here in Los Angeles, we have the highest racial diversity in the nation, so from day one, you're used to seeing all kinds of different people mixed together in the same place.

    None of it has made me walk on eggshells around anyone, though. I guess most of the stuff about treating people how I'd like to be treated has mostly been second nature to me, so I really never worry about it, and have never had a problem in this regard.
    Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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    • #17
      Yeah, the attendant was probably just not too bright, and not very well trained. It was probably worth zeronyne's bringing this to the company's attention for that reason alone, because hopefully they'll speak to her and she'll learn something and be able to do her job better from then on. And perhaps they'll emphasize the point in their employee training program that everyone needs to verify that they speak English.
      What The...?
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      • #18
        My friendly letter to Southwest Airlines

        I dont think the friendliness in the tone you are shooting for came out. That, maybe, has to do with writing the first draft "in the thick of it".

        but hey, as they say -- "the magic is in the rewrite"

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        • #19
          Maybe the attendant is just being careless, but she still is representing the company. And airlines don't want careless employees - just ask a pilot.

          Music for your busy day.

          All the info you need.

          Be my friend?

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          • #20
            Maybe the flight attendant spoke with the others earlier or overheard them speaking English?
            I'm of German descent, so I don't know what it's like to face such harsh racism.

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            • #21
              ...bull****************!...and I don't mean the racial profiling either!
              Abort obama, not babies!

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              • #22
                Hmm..After a recent flight to Phoenix, I have just come to the conclusion that flying sucks in general, and my expectations are nothing. A seat, and hope I arrive intact. Everything else is gravy. From the security line to the snotty little male flight attendance, to the thimble full of water, the seat map that was one row off for all 4 planes ( i.e. missed exit row by one) and the 1 hour wait to pull into our gate ( drop the slide, I'll walk)...

                Flying is just one little PITA after the other...But it is STILL better than driving.

                Phoenix was beautiful
                Good deals with - Yarbicus, CBH5150, BozzofAngels, Alvin Wilson, Harris Quinn

                Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

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                • #23
                  I'm of German descent, so I don't know what it's like to face such harsh racism.


                  Come live overhere for a while,...we know how to insult Germans before we can walk
                  Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.

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                  • #24
                    But you and Gus seem to think this is no big deal, so I'm guessing that everyone else will come to the same conclusion here.


                    Why would you assume that?

                    I certainly understand why being singled out bothered you, zeronyne, and I agree that she shouldn't have done that. Craig has a valid point as to why she shouldn't have done that, but so do you. I disagree with Craig however that her omission of the others was more serious. Certainly it was potentially more serious; but considering that your flight didn't have an emergency, there was no harm done to anyone else but you.

                    I don't know why, but I've had a lot more friends who are minorities than most "white" people do; and I've heard many similar stories over the years from them. It must be tough to be repeatedly singled out by one person after another -- through no fault of your own -- and essentially told "you're different" or worse, that you're not wanted here.

                    That happened to me once, when I was pulled over by the police on my way to a rehearsal in an African American neighborhood because "you're the first white person I've seen here in months." The officer then proceeded to call in the serial numbers from each piece of gear in my car to see if any of it was hot and then watched while I unloaded it at the house where our band practiced.

                    It wasn't fun to be on the hot seat because I was white, but few white people ever experience that. Some of my gear was used, and it occurred to me at that moment that there was a slim possibility that it was hot. Thankfully, it wasn't; but being ethnically profiled by the police was an unsettling experience nonetheless. For me that was a once in my lifetime occurrence. I can only imagine how it would wear me down if it happened a few times a year or even a few times a month!

                    I get it; and you have my sympathy, zeronyne.

                    Best,

                    Geoff
                    Enthusiasm powers the world.

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                    • #25
                      I am sorry, but I am getting a bit bored with all the "PC" stuff these days.

                      There is a fundemental flaw in your reasoning, and I believe you have no reason to to take offense.

                      The question "do you speak english" , is not on of status. Being able to speak english, rather then anyother laugage is not "better" or "worse". She could have asked you, "do you like green?", with the same level of offense.

                      She didn't know if you did - so she asked. WTF was she supost to do. As for the rasial profileing... well yea we all do it. I see a bunch of white guys, I assume they are english, ... I see a bunch of indians - you guessed I assume indian.

                      She felt safe in her assumption that the "white guys" spoke english, but not yourself, so she asked. I bet if you where in japan, the rolls would have been reversed. That is okay.


                      I don't know, I am a single white guy. seems like I am always looking over my back to back sure I don't offend a miniority, be it ethnic, or gender or otherwise.
                      -token canadian

                      Lest we forget: double-blind tests make audiophiles look twice as stupid. CRAIG V 2007

                      Just for fun, what do you think would happen if you decided to take a nap in the fast lane of a freeway? agedhorse -2008

                      Funny, I'll bet I have a good one sitting on my shelf. agedhorse -2008

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                      • #26
                        I just try not to offend Canadians. You know how they are.
                        Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                        • #27
                          This is a big part of what's wrong with America right here.

                          Why be so sensitive? Surely it's not this one thing that happened, is it? Could you be irritated by this due to something(s) that happened to you in life prior to this?

                          When I read your post, I considered for a moment whether you should have been offended. Then I thought, "If was on a flight from Brazil to Miami, and the attendant asked me if I speak Portuguese, would I have been offended?"

                          It was a simple question, no harm intended.

                          Terry D.
                          Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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                          • #28
                            I have to agree with zeronyne and Craig.

                            It was insulting and dangerous (in this instance) for the flight attendant to assume anyone in the aisle spoke English but certainly that she assumed some did and another did not based on their physical appearance.

                            I'm fed up with PC bs but I don't see this falling into that category. And I'm certainly Caucasian.

                            In a strange twist on Gus' story of traveling with his Uruguayan friend, my wife has often overheard conversations by latinos who assume the white woman doesn't know any more spanish than "s
                            That's my opinion and it oughta be yours. - Makk Trukk, WSIX, Nashville, Tn.

                            If I experience any more personal, emotional or spiritual growth I'm gonna puke. - DJP, 10/05

                            Yeah, exactly! There's some things that maybe you DON'T want to fix at the source!! - Ken/Eleven Shadows on the Castrati, 3/06


                            Ghost Train playing Shake, Rattle & Roll
                            Goofball web page featuring Sunshowers/Sparkle Shoes.
                            It's WMA format.

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                            • #29
                              This is a big part of what's wrong with America right here.

                              Why be so sensitive? Surely it's not this one thing that happened, is it? Could you be irritated by this due to something(s) that happened to you in life prior to this?

                              When I read your post, I considered for a moment whether you should have been offended. Then I thought, "If was on a flight from Brazil to Miami, and the attendant asked me if I speak Portuguese, would I have been offended?"

                              It was a simple question, no harm intended.

                              Terry D.


                              I respect most of what you post, Terry, but that comparison is simply ridiculous. The level of deliberate and ignorant prejudice blacks, hispanics, asians and others are forced to deal with on a regular basis in the U.S. is cause to fight these slights or deliberate insults with some kind of response. There is no way for you to understand what it is to be assaulted in subtle and overt ways by a large number of strangers everywhere you go.

                              Imagine the response if zeronyne had broached this subject onboard. That would likely have created a real problem for 'nyne and/or the flight attendant. His response to determine the company's official position and what they intend to do about this situation is professional and appropriate, IMO.
                              That's my opinion and it oughta be yours. - Makk Trukk, WSIX, Nashville, Tn.

                              If I experience any more personal, emotional or spiritual growth I'm gonna puke. - DJP, 10/05

                              Yeah, exactly! There's some things that maybe you DON'T want to fix at the source!! - Ken/Eleven Shadows on the Castrati, 3/06


                              Ghost Train playing Shake, Rattle & Roll
                              Goofball web page featuring Sunshowers/Sparkle Shoes.
                              It's WMA format.

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                              • #30
                                I personally don't see how this is a "PC" discussion. Zeronyne got singled out. It's not like he's frothing at the mouth over this, he's simply writing a letter and asking what their official position is. Also, consider that some of us might get a little tired of living in our own country but made to feel like we're different. It'd be appropriate if other people tried to be a bit more inclusive instead of singling an individual out or come at someone laden with assumptions. I mean, there's obviously far more insulting thing that a flight attendant could do, so I think Zeronyne's simple letter is an appropriately calm response.

                                The attendant could have asked everyone in the row if they spoke English...for the reason that Craig suggests as well as an effective, polite method of getting information from everyone without singling someone out. And failing that, she could simply begin by speaking English to someone to determine if they speak English or not.

                                BTW, I've met plenty of Canadians who get cheesed off when they are asked if they are Americans when traveling overseas.
                                Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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