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Stuck Mic Follies

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The stuck mic is an occupational hazard unique to aviation. Even the baristas at Starbucks are miked up these days, but at least their foibles aren't broadcast to an entire universe of fellow professionals and recorded for the entire world to hear, as was that Southwest skipper's adolescent rant that hit the mainstream media this week. If there's a definition of a cringe-worthy moment, that certainly qualifies. (It was bad enough that several pilots made a point of denying ownership of the comments.)

I'm sure everyone has their own embarrassing stuck mic story to tell. Mine involves broadcasting two minutes worth of pre-takeoff instruction to a student on the Unicom frequency for the entire pattern to hear. Fortunately, it was early in the morning and only a couple of airplanes heard it. But my fellow pilots showed no restraint in suggesting how I might improve my instructional patter. It was embarrassing, but not mortifying.

But the Southwest incident was really something else. While it might be reasonable to assume that what's said in the cockpit off mic should stay in the cockpit, there are two reasons it might not. One is the ever-vigilant cockpit voice recorder, the other is that aircraft transmissions have always been in the open and are recorded by the facilities that receive them. And with much of this traffic live streamed and recorded by liveatc.net, anyone can hear it, like it or not, including the daily media. The CVR tape isn't much of a risk, since it won't surface unless there's an incident or an accident. But still, who would want to have a rant like that as your last words? Or, worse, have an investigator play it back for you while probing what your state of mind was when you landed gear up or committed some other survivable sin.

But all of that is really minor stuff. What occurred to me when listening to the tape was that this pilot's salty soliloquy was intended for an audience of one: the pilot in the other seat. My first thought was for that poor guy, who couldn't escape because it's his job to be there. Any airline pilot will tell you that another occupational hazard is occasionally being paired with someone with the social skills of a eight-year-old. That can turn a routine trip into a teeth-gnashing ordeal, but part of the professional pilot skill set is to cope with such things and still carry on professionally even if the other guy isn't.

One can only hope that none of this escapes into public earshot, although it certainly did here.

Comments (56)

Ahh yes! The Airline Pilot ... every aspect of your life ... every centimeter of your body ... treated like a "public utility".

But that's why they're paid the big bucks ...

Posted by: Phil Derosier | June 25, 2011 3:07 AM    Report this comment

....big bucks??! You're kidding, right? Maybe after 15 years of seniority.

Posted by: Andrea Lusso | June 27, 2011 7:47 AM    Report this comment

Perhaps Southwest needs to re-evaluate its internal anonymous reporting system. It's hard to imagine that this guy rose to the level of aircraft captain without previously offending others, who should have had the freedom to report his offensiveness. Granted that a hapless co-pilot who has never flown with him before would be put between a rock and a hard place, if his reputation had preceded him, SW's hierarchy should have already known about him and should have already done something to quell his attitude. Anyone stupid enough to rant on like that without realizing the real possibility of being reported/recorded really doesn't belong in charge of anything, let alone an airliner and its crew.

Posted by: Cary Alburn | June 27, 2011 8:04 AM    Report this comment

Perhaps Southwest needs to re-evaluate its internal anonymous reporting system. It's hard to imagine that this guy rose to the level of aircraft captain without previously offending others, who should have had the freedom to report his offensiveness. Granted that a hapless co-pilot who has never flown with him before would be put between a rock and a hard place, if his reputation had preceded him, SW's hierarchy should have already known about him and should have already done something to quell his attitude. Anyone stupid enough to rant on like that without realizing the real possibility of being reported/recorded really doesn't belong in charge of anything, let alone an airliner and its crew.

Posted by: Cary Alburn | June 27, 2011 8:05 AM    Report this comment

While the stuck mike makes the problem public, the real problem is lack of focus on the job at hand. Any pilot's thoughts should be devoted to safely operating his aircraft by the time the radios are turned on.

I wonder if there is a way to evaluate airline pilots to weed out those who have attitudes or skill sets that interfere with their professional performance. With the union mind-set it seems the only thing that matters is how long each pilot has been employed by the current airline. This mind-set doesn't help anybody except the airlines who enjoy a smaller turnover of pilots than they would otherwise expect. Of course, it does help those pilots who are less than ideal keep their jobs.

Posted by: PAUL MULWITZ | June 27, 2011 8:05 AM    Report this comment

It always amazes me that when someone has a stuck mic that there is always someone out there that keys theirs and says "Someone has a stuck mic". First of all, the offending party can't hear you and secondly, it puts out a loud squeal in everyone's headset on the freq.

Posted by: Jerry Plante | June 27, 2011 8:08 AM    Report this comment

Give the pilot a break. The pilot did not grab some beers and then pull the emergency chute (like the very flight attendants he was ranting about) have done. Other than being funny, it's hardly newsworthy.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 27, 2011 8:10 AM    Report this comment

Oh, and I do applaud his euphemisms. Thanks to the news, they are now part of the every-day lexicon.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 27, 2011 8:23 AM    Report this comment

The comments represent this pilots private intimate thoughts shared intended for one person. People are responsible for their actions not thoughts. Unless a person utters words that represent a credible direct threat to persons or property, I think we should move on. Thats essentially what happened here. He goofed and got "retrained". Moving on...

Posted by: Brad Vaught | June 27, 2011 8:25 AM    Report this comment

The cockpit is not place of equal opportunity. Never was. Isn't today. Spend one moment to Google "Southwest stuck mic"; you will find pilot aviation forums yucking it up already in defense of the pilot saying, "Well, at least he was honest!"

What's funny to some homophobic and misogynist pilots is not funny, at all, to those who might deserve their jobs. Only 6% of airlines pilots are female - that compared to 12% female over the road truckers and AOPA reported 26% of prospective pilots are female. http://stevewilsonblog.com/2011/06/23/fly-southwest-the-friendly-skies.aspx

Posted by: Stephen Wilson | June 27, 2011 8:55 AM    Report this comment

Perhaps (in all seriousness) those who are easily offended by this sophomoric soliloquy should take de-sensitivity training. For context, women and homosexuals are people; they just as many crude jokes as anyone else.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 27, 2011 10:13 AM    Report this comment

Anyone consider that *maybe the mike wasn't stuck? That, *maybe the co-pilot opened the mic in lieu of using the normal company reporting system??? Just a thought.

Posted by: John Lutz | June 27, 2011 1:47 PM    Report this comment

I am so happy my aspirartions to be an airline pilot didn't work out. What a blassing in disguise. I seem to have all my blessings be in disguise. There must be an angel looking out for me..

Posted by: Patty Haley | June 27, 2011 2:23 PM    Report this comment

It used to be a pleasant environment to work in with sincere and professional people. Its sad it has come to this state.

Posted by: Patty Haley | June 27, 2011 2:26 PM    Report this comment

Patty, you have an incorrect view of what "used to be" in a cockpit. The old cockpit was always full of "egos" and intimidation. That's WHY Cockpit resource management (CRM)training was such a big change in the 90's. CRM was NEEDED to foster a more professional and teamwork environment. If anything, NOW is the time to pursue a career in the more team-oriented and professional flight crews of today.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 27, 2011 3:07 PM    Report this comment

Obviously, Patty isn't interested. I'd invite those inclined to defend the cockpit as workplace friendly to read and comment in the post on this subject at Sociological Images. This is exemplary of the reason so few women are pilots.

Posted by: Stephen Wilson | June 27, 2011 4:51 PM    Report this comment

Open mikes are definitely not a hazard unique to aviation. Many a broadcaster or guest has been "Southwested" by a mike inadvertently left hot.

And of course a few years back here in California there was the case where a gaggle of lawmakers were discussing their plans to intentionally trash the state's economy in order to embarrass the opposition party. A hot mike in their conference room fed it to an internal audio distribution system. Fortunately the media insured the story was kept on inside pages and quickly abandoned (you can guess which party they were with).

Posted by: John Wilson | June 27, 2011 6:02 PM    Report this comment

Yeah, sh*t happens. Tough luck it became public. At least he can take comfort he's not a homosexual lipping off about heterosexuals, he could've been beaten to death.

Posted by: Jesse Derks | June 27, 2011 8:18 PM    Report this comment

"he could've been beaten to death."

Heterophobic eh?

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 27, 2011 10:01 PM    Report this comment

I don't know Mark. Are you saying he's homophobic for lipping off the way he did? My point was, if he was recognized (after all the press this was given), landing overnight in the wrong place might've gotten him curb stomped if he was homosexual.

Posted by: Jesse Derks | June 27, 2011 11:11 PM    Report this comment

Jesse, There is zero indication of a safety problem in the air nor any violent behavior on the ground. Not sure why you're just making things up to suit a prejudice. Reality is that his viewpoint is irrelevant.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 28, 2011 8:41 AM    Report this comment

11-August-1984, President Ronald Reagan says during a sound check only the radio techs are supposed to be able to hear prior to his weekly radio address, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

It happens to the best of us.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 28, 2011 9:13 AM    Report this comment

My concern is that if the captain and first officer start conversing about ANYTHING, not necessarily sexuality-related, a dangerous situation could arise while they're not on the ball. For example, there was a commuter airline tragedy a while back where the two pilots up front were yakking away and unfortunately, the twin-turboprop aircraft got into a stall situaiton.

In another incident involving one of our nation's biggest airlines, the captain and first officer were goofing off with a laptop computer and they performed the equivalent of a motorist failing to pay attention and missing his or her intended exit ramp.

I love to read examples of the sense of humor displayed by pilots and air traffic controllers (i.e. ".... Are you a Cardinal?" ... "No, but I used to be an altar boy"), but the sterile cockpit rule is there for a reason.

Posted by: Alex Kovnat | June 28, 2011 2:37 PM    Report this comment

Alex, just a clarification. Standard sterile cockpit rules apply below 10,000'. This conversation occurred while at cruise altitude in a non dynamic environment. If the conversation was determined to have happened during sterile cockpit the Captain would probably be in hot water with FAA as well.

Posted by: Jeffrey Smith | June 29, 2011 8:28 AM    Report this comment

After flying many hours in the cockpit of airliners through the old FAA FAM program I found most crews were willing to discuss anything while at altitude but became very professional when at, descending or climbing through the lower altitudes.

While in the cruise phase of flight it would be very hard not to carry on a general conversation since the aircraft is so automated as to requires little attention from the crew.

Once, while at Little Rock Tower, we were treated to a full thirty minutes of flight instruction on the tower frequency. It was difficult to convince some pilots to use the ground control frequency for takeoffs or landings.

My old profession has and will be the subject of some public and very disparaging remarks because of a stuck mike.

Ray ATC Retired.

Posted by: Ray Laughinghouse | June 29, 2011 11:13 AM    Report this comment

"While in the cruise phase of flight it would be very hard not to carry on a general conversation since the aircraft is so automated as to requires little attention from the crew."

Ray~

You make a very good point. But I wonder, if they were just sitting there -- bored out their minds -- while the airplane flew itself, how did the mic button get stuck? Too bad for this crew the FMS and autopilot don't also control the radios. They needed an FMS that would say, "I'm sorry Dave, but I can't let you do that."

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 29, 2011 11:47 AM    Report this comment

Gary

My comments were general in nature, I was somewhat distressed at the rantings about fellow employees by the SWA pilot.

I was in the cockpit of a Delta flight and having a good time at altitude when we noticed a larger thunderstorm at 12 o'clock, I was very pleased that the crew immediately put all their attention into flying the aircraft and avoiding the T-storm.

Ray

Posted by: Ray Laughinghouse | June 29, 2011 12:01 PM    Report this comment

"while the airplane flew itself, how did the mic button get stuck?"

Over on pPrune, somewhat suggested that the F/O may have been listening to that spiel for 15 minutes and just...accidentally...opened the mic.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | June 29, 2011 1:20 PM    Report this comment

I think his rant goes beyond a homophobic or misogynistic rant. It shows a basic disrespect for other human beings.

To me, the most shocking part of the story is that Southwest Airlines thinks that he belongs in the cockpit. They reinstated him.

I guess Southwest feels that there are not enough qualified pilots who are also decent human beings looking for a flying job right now.

As for women in the airline cockpit, talk to any of them who are, you will learn that it does take a thick skin. Although, nearly 4% of all pilots holding an ATP certificate are women, they represent only 1.3% of pilots flying for the airlines according to the U.S. Department of Labor data.

The aviation industry needs to make a big effort to increase diversity. People like that pilot can't survive in a diverse workplace.

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 29, 2011 3:07 PM    Report this comment

And, the problem is not limited to the airline cockpit. Google "Woman Inquires About Flying Lessons" and watch the video clip. It's an excerpt from a 1997 AOPA video that highlights the problem in general aviation.

Posted by: Stephen Wilson | June 29, 2011 3:57 PM    Report this comment

@stephen Once I was inquiring about a multi-engine/first officer program, one of the first things that came out of the mouth of the person I was talking to was to ask whether I was inquiring on behalf of my son! I was ATPL rated.

Stuff like that sure makes you feel like you have arrived... It takes a lot of looking the other way to stay with it, a quality that is not a pre-requisite for male pilots.

Unfortunately, it is still not uncommon for a woman to not be viewed as a potential customer when she is standing at the reception desk of a flight school or an aviation booth at a trade show. Many are still looking for the husband or the boyfriend that would justify a woman's presence in such a place.

To put it in perspective though, there are many stories of salespersons who missed out on a fat commission because they thought that a person who walked in with ragged jeans could not possibly be a millionaire.

Although I am truly disappointed with Southwest's decision which does not help, I am an optimist. I believe that things will change because the aviation industry is full of smart people. The challenge is for the industry to adapt and evolve quickly enough to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs.

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 29, 2011 5:13 PM    Report this comment

He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. I would venture to say that there is not a person living that hasn't either told, listened to, or repeated an off-color joke or story that isn't offensive to somebody. We're all guilty, to some extent, of prejudices and animosity towards certain other peoples whether we publicly admit it or not. While I certainly don't condone the pilot's rantings, he learned his lesson, took the required re-training and should be forgiven. Take an inward look and if you still can't get over it, maybe it's time to get some "sensitivity" training for yourself.

Posted by: James Dippel | June 30, 2011 8:00 AM    Report this comment

Right on James....exactly my thoughts. I can find many more things that need a serious looking over. It is a mistake......get over it.

Posted by: Rick Crose | June 30, 2011 8:27 AM    Report this comment

I agree whole-heartedly with the above (2) comments. As George Jones has sung, These old eyes have seen it all.... Retired 30 year 121 driver.

Posted by: Guy Paris | June 30, 2011 9:09 AM    Report this comment

"To me, the most shocking part of the story is that Southwest Airlines thinks that he belongs in the cockpit. They reinstated him."

Mireille,

Perhaps they reinstated him, because...he's a good pilot.

Back in the day, what counted above all else was having good hands and consummate stick and rudder skills. Think of the days when Chuck Yeager was in his prime; when Ernest K. Gann was writing his top-notch novels about aviation; and when gung-ho pilots wearing leather flying jackets and 50-mission crush hats were flying C-46s across "The Hump" in the CBI.

If you were Claire Chennault commanding the Flying Tigers, or General William Tunner commanding the Berlin Airlift, you'd happily overlook a bit of chauvinism and being non-pc if someone was a "really good stick."

I don't condone what this yahoo said on a stuck mic, and his fellow pilots should have long ago pounded some sense into him instead of turning a blind eye.

And for the record, the military has a higher percentage of women pilots than the airlines. If you want a truly responsible flying job where you'll be appreciated, perhaps you should join the Air Force or Navy.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 9:12 AM    Report this comment

"If you were Claire Chennault commanding the Flying Tigers, or General William Tunner commanding the Berlin Airlift, you'd happily overlook a bit of chauvinism and being non-pc if someone was a "really good stick."

Yeah, but this ain't 1940 and Southwest Airlines isn't run by Claire Chennault, which is probably a good thing. The more apt comparison might be to any typical workplace or social setting where such boorism wouldn't be tolerated. If the Captain is expected to lead, he sets a poor example with this kind of behavior, compromising his effectiveness.

Unfortunately, the charge of being "non-PC" has become an excuse for being rude, crude and having less than the basic common respect for your fellow workers and a lot of it is aimed at women. I wouldn't fire this guy over this either, unless it were repeated or became a pattern. But the notion of excusing it because he might be a "good stick" rankles. Airlines aren't meritocracies, they are, by dint of history, ruled by seniority. It's not quite like a cantankerous surgeon who gets a pass because of his magic hands.

Bottom line is really safety. It probably was not compromised in this case, but it hardly is the best say to set up a good work environment where safety, professionalism and mutual respect are paramount. In the end, this is what makes it worthy of discussion here.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | June 30, 2011 9:41 AM    Report this comment

People are so quick to judge others now. Whatever happened to free speech ? Nowadays if you don't agree with or approve of what someone says they get disciplined. For what, did he break any FAA rules or endanger any lives ? If he had said the opposite of what he did nobody would of even noticed or made a fuss, because they approved of what he said. However insensitive his comments were they still are simply his opinion and he is entitled to them. If you don't agree with them then tell him or just ignore them, he'll get the message. This whole political correctiveness in society has brainwashed people into becoming instant judge, jury, and executioner.

Posted by: Dan James | June 30, 2011 10:22 AM    Report this comment

A "good stick", he might be. I have not flown with him. A "good airline captain", I have serious doubts.

A "good airline captain" is a good people manager. Nobody can't manage effectively if they don't basically respect the people they manage, well... unless their management style is based on threatening people into cooperation.

I can bet that everyone at Southwest knows who he is. I doubt that he can manage them effectively from now on.

There are plenty of "good sticks" that also have good people/management skills looking for a job right now.

The remedial training was a slap on the hand and everyone can see that. I suspect that the incident more than the training taught him to keep his thoughts for himself in the future but I doubt that it transformed his mindset. As a result, Southwest really comes across as a workplace that accepts this type of mindset.

As for Chuck, as a test pilot, he had to be an "outstanding stick". But Chuck was one of the greatest supporter of Jacqueline Cochran, one of the "best sticks" of all times when most men and women felt a woman's place was in kitchen. Somehow, I don't think that he would have been ranting about women the way this guy did.

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 30, 2011 11:04 AM    Report this comment

"If the Captain is expected to lead, he sets a poor example with this kind of behavior, compromising his effectiveness."

Paul,

As I said, I don't condone his behavior. He certainly did set a poor example, but in the organizations I've been in, the correction would come from within. Even if if he was captain by seniority and not because of superior stick and rudder skills, his fellow pilots long ago must have seen what was going on and had a responsibility to straighten him out. It's part of the esprit de corps of a healthy organization. This one incident is probably the tip of the iceberg as far as his behavior goes, and it's surprising his fellow Southwest pilots let it go this far.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 11:07 AM    Report this comment

When Dior's star designer, John Galliano, made inappropriate remarks in a bar (outside of the workplace) while drunk, he got fired. This pilot made his remarks at the workplace, sober...

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 30, 2011 11:42 AM    Report this comment

Mireille,

On the other hand, Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, was apparently almost insufferable to be around. But the Red Sox kept paying him to play baseball for two decades, and he's now in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

I'm not equating this yahoo of a pilot -- and make no mistake, he is a yahoo -- at Southwest with Ted Williams, but sometimes talent matters more than personality. (Although this probably isn't one of them. I suspect being a "good stick" is not high on the list of requirements for an airline pilot.)

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 12:41 PM    Report this comment

As I said, I don't condone his behavior. He certainly did set a poor example, but in the organizations I've been in, the correction would come from within.

And I think it did come from within, appropriately. We don't know if the stuck mic event precipitated it or not, but in some ways it doesn't matter. He's probably on the watch list now. Whether he learned anything, who can say? He gets a second chance. I think that's the right thing to do.

But I don't buy the "free speech" argument. Yes, you have that. But it's not a license to call people offensive names in the workplace, which this guy did. The cockpit is a workplace and the more collegial and professional it is, the better. Some people need to be reminded of that more than others, I guess.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | June 30, 2011 12:54 PM    Report this comment

Apparently the Southwest Airlines pilots have their own union -- SWAPA. What role did SWAPA play in the stuck mic pilot getting reinstated after completing his diversity training?

Were I a member of SWAPA, I'd want my union's disciplinary action of this guy to be more severe than Southwest's corrective action. One of the roles of unions should be to enforce professionalism within their ranks.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 1:56 PM    Report this comment

@mireille, Women are the most cruel to women; their private conversations about other women are 100x worse than the "private" conversation of this male pilot. I cringe at the though if this had been an all female flight crew with a stuck mike...

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 30, 2011 2:14 PM    Report this comment

Mark, egos are and always will be a part of flying planes. How do you think the industry gained the trust to get the public to be passengers to begin with? A professional pilot knows that and recognizes that its a balancing act between acting the role of being a pilot ( who to the public, rarely makes a mistake ) and knowing that they are far from perfect, and that they need help, now and then and know how to ask for it.

Posted by: Patty Haley | June 30, 2011 2:38 PM    Report this comment

Mark, egos are and always will be a part of flying planes. How do you think the industry gained the trust to get the public to be passengers to begin with? A professional pilot knows that and recognizes that its a balancing act between acting the role of being a pilot ( who to the public, rarely makes a mistake ) and knowing that they are far from perfect, and that they need help, now and then and know how to ask for it.

Posted by: Patty Haley | June 30, 2011 2:38 PM    Report this comment

How do you think the industry gained the trust to get the public to be passengers to begin with?

Trust was accomplished by not crashing between point A and point B. it's hypersensitive to think that a private conversation behind a sealed and locked door should influence "trust" in aviation.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 30, 2011 3:21 PM    Report this comment

No worry, as I have heard that a pilot can never have too much tail, I just thought it was reference aerodynamics...

Posted by: Chuck West | June 30, 2011 4:42 PM    Report this comment

@Mark Last I checked, the cockpit is not a private boudoir. Commonly referred to as an office with the best view for good reasons, it remains an office (workplace) where, as Paul pointed out, there is no expectation of privacy since conversations are recorded. The "nobody was supposed to know because it was private" argument just does not work for me.

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 30, 2011 5:00 PM    Report this comment

@Gary Talent wasn't enough for John Galliano and he certainly is as - if not more - uniquely talented as was Ted Williams.

I believe the big difference is that Dior's customers have a lower tolerance for this type of behavior than sport fans, who seemed to maintain their awe for players convicted of rape or running dog fights, do.

In this case, at least half of Southwest's customers were belittled in the remarks so I don't understand why Southwest did not choose to take a strong public stand that the company does not tolerate this type of personalities among its trusted employees. That's their business but customers do have many other choices available to travel from A to B.

Posted by: Flying Bug | June 30, 2011 5:17 PM    Report this comment

"I don't understand why Southwest did not choose to take a strong public stand that the company does not tolerate this type of personalities among its trusted employees."

Mireille,

I bet if you peek behind the curtain you'll find the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) played a role in his additional training and reinstatement.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 8:04 PM    Report this comment

"I don't understand why Southwest did not choose to take a strong public stand that the company does not tolerate this type of personalities among its trusted employees."

Mireille,

I bet if you peek behind the curtain you'll find the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) played a role in his additional training and reinstatement.

Posted by: Gary Dikkers | June 30, 2011 8:05 PM    Report this comment

Some of the raunchier jokes, remarks were from the female flight attendants. I would have been embarrassed to repeat in mixed company...

Posted by: Guy Paris | June 30, 2011 8:41 PM    Report this comment

I give up Mark..

Posted by: Patty Haley | July 1, 2011 1:53 AM    Report this comment

hmmm...so several years ago a Southwest mechanic, who, according to family and friends, liked to take pictures by first saying, "Say Monkey" (instead of "Say Cheese"), was at a Southwest-sponsored party, had a few drinks, and while walking out from the party, and upon seeing someone about to take a picture, turned to the subjects of the picture and said "Say Monkey."

The employee was fired.

Steve Blow, of the "Dallas Morning News," wrote extensively about Southwests overreaction.

I guess Southwest has become a little more (okay, a lot more) tollerant of employees who are not 100% politically correct.

Posted by: Gary Kerr | July 3, 2011 3:01 PM    Report this comment

Gary, another reason why we need de-sensitivity training. Just because one person finds a word offensive is no reason to make everyone else adjust to their phobia.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 5, 2011 2:17 PM    Report this comment

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