I heard about an arrogant, mouthy, pilot from Southwest Airlines on the Today show who ranted and raved on an open mic for at least two minutes about the unattractiveness and ‘undoability’ of his colleagues, especially the ones at Houston base. If we all promise to do away with ourselves once we fail to pass his standards of ‘doability’, will he promise to do the same? I haven’t seen a picture of him, but he’s been working for Southwest Airlines for about a dozen years. By my calculations, this puts him anywhere between 35 and 55. Well beyond the fresh-faced, juicy phase of life.
Men never see themselves as past that phase, however. Certainly not pilots. I have seen Clint Eastwood in a recent movie, walking around in a bedroom scene wrapped only in a towel. This is indicative of how so many men think; they are never past the ‘doability’ stage, regardless of what the rest of us think. I did not enjoy seeing Clint in dishabille at his age. He is in his eighties, for cripes’ sake. Our arrogant pilot feels entitled to a continuous stream of fresh meat for his enjoyment. He is the Sultan of Brunei, at least in his own mind. The question is, why does he feel this way? Has he been watching movies on TBS from the sixties, like ‘Boeing, Boeing’? This was a movie where Tony Curtis juggled several flight attendants at a time, but was put in a bind when the introduction of the 747 brought them back across the pond before he had time to see the current one off on her next flight.
Or, did his mom put it into this pilot’s head that he was entitled to whatever he wanted because he was her ‘little boy’ thus ensuring he would always be a little boy? Air traffic control tried to shut this Southwest Airline pilot up, but he just barreled over them, using expletives just about every other word. Here is an instance of that swearing at work thing. Had this been a female pilot, who wouldn’t have been ranting about the same things necessarily, there would have been much more of an uproar, and perhaps even a summary dismissal. When did it become acceptable for people to revert back to a nineteen forties movie about getting a newspaper out, or working on the open range herding cattle where all the workers were rough and ready men, and therefore the words someone used weren’t offensive to other people? Certainly not to the cattle.
If this pilot wasn’t the type of person who felt it was ok to discuss very personal feelings and habits at work, using expletives and obscenities at will, he would not have found himself in this situation at all. Class has gone out the window, professionalism is following close on its heels, and I’m surprised the pilots weren’t sucked out of the cockpit when he opened the window and threw these things out.