Wednesday, April 12, 2017
United Airlines and our inability at Recognizing Failure For What it is
My Iphone crashed this morning after downloading the latest software update. I can't get into the Sprint Store until 10:00 a.m. (who opens a business that late?!?!?!?), so as I look through Facebook this morning, the above meme is everywhere, I mean everywhere. Yes this picture made me laugh, and I can appreciate the gallows's humor in it. Still, to me, if you think this issue is about United Airlines, you are mistaken.
Okay, I'm old enough to remember when people died from the Tylenol poisonings. I also remember the mess the Catholic church was in after the mass molestations of young boys was mainstream news. Point being: For everyone to lay the blame of the forced removal of the Asian doctor at the feet of the entire organization of United Airlines, or for people to say they'll never fly that airline again (and I could care less what airline you choose, I don't think I've ever flown United) is ridiculous.
Let me try to say this another way, we all still take pain-relievers, even though people died taking Tylenol, and most believers still attend church even though there were sick perverted warped people preying on young boys. Though I imagine for those young boys and their families, religion will be forever tainted.
United isn't the first and they won't be the last to have their image tarnished though an embarrassing event like this. But I think this whole thing reflects more on us as a society than it does any single company or organization.
I think the United removal of a passenger is being way-over-exaggerated, and though it's entertaining to poke fun at the faceless corporation United, we all need to take a step back. Stupid people make bad choices, and the employees that forcibly removed that passenger have no excuse for their actions. They were idiotic and their actions are inexcusable, and those are the people we should focus on. I don't even know their names, and I doubt most people do.
I hardly think it's fair United's stock plunged 1 billion dollars over the actions of a few poorly trained employees. I think someone should have suffered the consequences for this idiotic incident, but that would be the people the who did the removal and their immediate supervisors who trained them. But the whole organization? Come on! Think about it.
I could care less if United fails over this, and I'll be laughing at the Negan memes for days to come. But, I do care that we as a culture jump on the bandwagon that major corporations are always evil and must be to blame when things go wrong. I say make the individuals responsible for this accountable, make them pay the consequences, and be fair to those who aren't directly involved.
Yet, in a culture that's lawsuit-happy and always looking for someone in the boardroom to lynch, this is a hard sell. If this is where we end up, perpetually blaming the entire organization for the actions of a few, hammering those who are further up the food-chain and who had nothing to do with this, then we are misguided and we fail as a society.