Not a week has passed, and we've seen yet another airline experience a public relations nightmare. This time it was American Airlines.
The victim this time was a mother traveling with two infant twins. The abuser in this case, a hot-headed airline flight attendant.
Without thinking, the flight attendant grabbed a stroller the woman was trying to stow and hit her with it while she was holding her baby. The woman is still crying and clutching her baby during this video. A passenger, angry at what he witnessed demanded the flight attendant's name. When the hot-headed flight attendant returned, the passenger unthinkingly blurted out what is going to be lost on a lot of viewers... he said "You do that to me and I'll knock you flat...".
Of course, what he meant was, "why did you do that to this woman".
But what airlines in these cases and companies in general don't understand and what will be lost on viewers is that the FIRST thing that people think of is - "this could have been ME!" This passenger rightly defended the woman with the babies from the hot-head, but the first thing out of his mouth was very telling. It shows that witnessing something like this impacts people even when they're not involved directly. We will see how badly American Airlines stock drops on Monday. The flight attendant has been suspended but not terminated.
This type of abusive hot-headed outburst traumatizes people. I literally can't watch this video without becoming nauseous. I am immediately reminded of my own verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of my former employer and CEO of The Sliding Door Company, Doron Polus.
Why do people blow up like that? It's like they get wound up and can no longer control themselves. Their intention is to frighten and bully the people around them - using their position of power. This sort of outburst can be very devastating.
There is NO way for a person to know how this kind of threatening outburst affects someone else.
In Mr. Polus' case, his outrageous behavior had the support of his manager in the Human Resources department, and apparently, an independent investigator.
When somebody is in a position of power, it becomes very easy to abuse that power. Abusively browbeating employees, yelling at the top of his lungs as Mr. Polus openly admits he has done, takes a strong emotional (and I'm finding, physical) toll. And, of course the witnesses who heard Mr. Polus exploding at me? Were they thinking "this could have been ME"?
After being verbally abusive, Mr. Polus broke the law by retaliating against me - by putting me in a physically abusive environment... and he and his son-in-law emotionally abused me by spying on me and possibly my family at home. They made my private conversations PUBLIC! Needless to say, my family and I have suffered tremendously because of Mr. Polus' hot-headed outburst and subsequent physical and emotional abuse of me.
Hot-headed abusers like this kind of power. You can see it in the flight attendant's eyes as he's challenging the passenger to throw a punch at him. He was hoping to provoke an altercation to have the passenger arrested.
This is not unlike what Mr. Polus kept trying to do to me through physically abusing me and by having his son-in-law spy on me and my family. Instead, it turns out he broke the law by doing so and he and his son-in-law may be facing a felony. Why? Because the hot-head HAS to win no matter what.
Well, I don't like hot-headed abusers... so, I'm not going down without a fight.
Sure, we're going to be in court soon enough, and there is no doubt I will prevail there, but in the mean time...
The Sliding Door Complaint Blog has had over 32,000 views as I'm writing this. Let's do some quick math. Let's say 97% of those views clicked on this blog by mistake... or are employees checking out the blog... and only 3% of those viewers were actually going to buy something from The Sliding Door Company. So, 960 people, if I've done my job right, after reading this blog, decided NOT to purchase from them. In reading through the comments, it seems like their cheapest sale is around $4000.
960 Lost Sales @ $4000/Sale = (carry the one... ) $3,940,000.00
and still going...
Hey, even if it's only a quarter of that... the decision to be an abusive employer was VERY costly to Mr. Polus. And it will only cost him more as time goes on.
As I said... I don't like abusers so I'll take some minor comfort in knowing I cost The Sliding Door Company some money. Mr. Polus may have to cut corners on his 35c brackets to make up for it... and I'm sure he will.