Thursday, April 13, 2017

United Airlines Incident(s) and David Dao - My Thoughts

For those that somehow don't know yet, on April 9th, United Airlines had an overbooked flight and they needed about 4 seats to be emptied for 4 staff members needed at another location for an unstaffed flight (who, to be frank, could have and should have just taken another flight) thereby inconveniencing passengers with no consideration for the cost of their flights and whether or not they had someplace important to get to. Passengers were offered $400 dollars (in vouchers), a hotel stay, and a seat on a plane that was leaving almost an entire day later. That was only if they volunteered, but nobody did, so they raised the vouchers to $800 dollars. Regardless, nobody volunteered.

Subsequently, a manager boarded the flight explaining that four people would be chosen at random (a spokeswoman has stated since then that the "random" selection gave priority to frequent fliers or fliers who paid more for their flight, I guess?
One of the people selected was David Dao, a doctor from Kentucky who had refused to leave on the grounds that he had waited quite a long time to get on this flight and he had to be at work the very next day to see patients. He wasn't aggressive, he wasn't rude, he was just refusing to get off the plane.


So, they called in the police. He refused to leave his seat, again, so a skirmish broke out. He screamed as he was thrown against the arm rest and dragged out of the seat, sustaining injuries to both his head and his mouth.


Shortly afterwards, staff actually lost track of him in the terminal so he managed to get back on the plane, seeming very shaken up, bleeding, scared, saying "I have to go home" several times before finally collapsing into a seat and needing to be taken off the plane on a stretcher. The plane actually had to be emptied so they could clean blood up.

It was later revealed by Dao's daughter, Crystal Pepper, that the injuries he sustained were actually worse than originally thought,
"“What happened to my dad should never have happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstances,” she said. “We were horrified and shocked and sickened to see what had happened to him.”
She added that her father is “healing right now,” while Demetrio revealed that he had sustained several injuries, including a “significant concussion,” a “serious broken nose” and an “injury to sinuses.” He also confirmed that Dao lost two front teeth and will undergo reconstructive surgery. He was discharged from the hospital late Wednesday.
“I would defy anyone to suggest that there was not unreasonable force and violence used to help Dr. Dao disembark that plane,” said Demetrio, who adds that Dao is in a secure, secret location as he heals both emotionally and physically.
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I feel like this situation could have been, and obviously should have been, handled differently. Like, for instance, if the flight was overbooked, you should have found a different flight for your staff members to take. I don't care if they would have been late, they wound up late regardless because they just had to be on that plane.
If you need to take staff on the flight with you to get them to a different location, I feel that that should be sorted out before the flight is boarded.
Or, if he was refusing to go, I don't care if he was chosen at random, find a different person. His refusal is not a call-to-action for aggressive, and damaging behavior. 

The CEO, who, I believe called for the action of the Police, went on to "justify" the actions of his employees, having the nerve to call Dao "disruptive" and "belligerent".
Like, what? He just refused to leave, he wasn't yelling or starting a fight. He just wanted to go home. The absolute loudest he was at any point during the entire situation was when he was screaming as they were man-handling him.
There are even people who have tried to justify what happened using Dao's possible criminal history against him as though that is actually relevant to what happened on that plane.

This is not the first incident someone has had on United Airlines. (I'm sure it won't be the last) One passenger, Geoff Fearns, who bought a full-priced first class plane ticket, was made to leave the flight for a passenger of higher priority. He was threatened with being arrested and put in handcuffs.
"Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.
“I asked why,” he told me. “They said the flight was overfull.”
Fearns, like the doctor at the center of that viral video from Sunday night, held his ground. He was already on the plane, already seated. He shouldn’t have to disembark.
“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me. They said they'd put me in cuffs if they had to.
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I think that, over-all, United Airlines needs to take a moment to think about how they handle their passengers, their staff, and their priorities/policies. No passenger should somehow be prioritized over another. Everyone on the plane is just trying to get somewhere. You cannot just pick and choose who you think should or should not stay. I understand doing so if they're someone who is harassing other passengers/staff members, actually being disruptive and belligerent, or is a potential threat to the safety and well-being of the other passengers, but outside of that, if they paid for the flight, already boarded and seated, they should not be made to move (especially in the way that David Dao was) for your not-even-working-on-that-flight staff members or someone you've apparently given more priority to (which doesn't make any sense anyway because first and foremost, the safety and well-being of ALL of your passengers should be your priority. One passengers priority over another should not be determined by whether they work for you, or if they're rich or famous.)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ivanka's Nordstrom Debacle


I'm tired of hearing about this everywhere but in hearing about this (too much), I've started thinking about it and these are my thoughts.
Now, I don't know much about her, nor do I know exactly what kind of person she is, but Ivanka Trump seems like a decent person with a decent head on her shoulders and enough intelligence for her business. Recently, Nordstrom dropped Ivanka's fashion line citing poor performance and obviously that's not good news and she's probably very disappointed. But not as much as Donald.

"On February 2, 2017, Bloomberg News reported that Nordstrom would cease to carry Ivanka Trump's branded fashion line, citing weak sales. The retailer cuts 10 percent of its most poorly performing brands each year. Nordstrom's action came after a boycott campaign against retailers carrying products having Trump family labels. In a move that raised continued questions about conflicts of interest in the Trump Administration, President Trump responded with a tweet directed at Nordstrom, condemning the brand for its treatment of his daughter. The company's stock dropped by 0.65% in the aftermath of the tweet before ending the day with a gain of more than 4%. Fortune declared this quick recovery to have broken Trump's market-moving "tweet curse"."
Obviously, this is not something new. They do this every year in order to keep their business up and running well so as to not be dragged down by brands that really just aren't cutting it for them anymore or at the moment. Apparently they even told her last month that her line would be dropped.
""We made this decision based on performance," a Nordstrom spokesperson told NBC News in an emailed statement. "Over the past year, and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn't make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now.
"We've had a great relationship with the Ivanka Trump team," the spokesperson continued. "We've had open conversations with them over the past year to share what we've seen and Ivanka was personally informed of our decision in early January."
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Nordstrom is not the only place to change business plans, either: Neiman Marcus has stopped selling her jewelry on its website. TJ Maxx instructed employees Wednesday to mix her clothes in with their regular sales racksDespite these current "hardships", I really think that as far as business goes, Ivanka will come out just fine. Unless her father fucks everything up.

Image result for ivanka trump nordstromIvanka is a business woman. This is her career, and her profession, and the way she handled it, or, that her father handled it, (or even his employees for that matter) is unprofessional and childish. You could handle something like this properly and be like "Oh, ok, perhaps we could try to work something out and see if things improve and if they still aren't working we can go our separate ways" or just be like "I see where you're coming from, I respect your business decision and I will find somewhere else for my fashion line" as opposed to her father, and apparently everyone that works for him, getting involved, going on a twitter tirade (instead of focusing on his job as, y'know, THE PRESIDENT) and acting like this has anything to do with his presidency or policies or even the kind of person Ivanka is and crying about it being unfair with an attempt at shaming Nordstrom, their business practices, and using his position to "take a stab" at nordstrom (though they quickly recovered) is not only poor business sense towards a business doing just that, BUSINESS, but it makes how Ivanka handles business issues or maybe just business in general look bad and just plain unprofessional, like her father's just always going to be involved even when it doesn't involve him.
""This is a direct attack on his policies and her name," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later said of Nordstrom's move."
This might not be how she wanted to handle things. She probably stepped back from her father's words and handled the situation the way an adult would (one can hope), but the way her father and his employees would just jump into her business the way that he/they did and act the way that he/they did really is a put off for other possible business partners (and maybe any future she could've or still might have with Nordstrom)  and manipulates her business relationships with already standing partners. I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to work with someone who's father would get involved and throw a hissy fit at me and my business if I decided things weren't working out and wanted to end things professionally between us.
I understand a parent wanting to stand up for their child, but it's about knowing when it's necessary.