A Southwest Airlines employee recently made a big mistake that put her company in a pretty bad spot. No, she didn’t drag a passenger off a plane, nor did she steal anything out of their carry-on bag.
She mocked someone’s name — a 5-year-old girl’s name. In fact, she found the little girl’s name so funny that she took a picture of the mother’s boarding pass so that she could share the name on social media.
You just can’t do that. I don’t care how unusual the name is. I don’t care if the girl’s name is Abcde, you still can’t mock the kid.
Wait, what? The kid’s name really is Abcde? Just when you think you’ve heard it all, along comes little Abcde (pronounced Ab-city, by the way). In fact, there are about 400 people named Abcde in the United States — all of them girls, according to the Social Security Administration. Who knew?
Still, you can’t make fun of the kid. However, I do believe you have every right — perhaps even the duty — to smack the mother with a rolled-up newspaper.
As parents, we have the privilege of screwing up our kids a little bit here and there. It’s how we ensure that psychiatrists and counselors have jobs in the future. But giving your kid a name like Abcde is handing that kid a setback right off the bat that she did not deserve.
I feel bad for the little girl. It’s hard when folks don’t take your name seriously. Just yesterday, the lady taking my order at a lunch counter asked “Say what?” and rolled her eyes after I gave her my new restaurant name “Squirrel.” It kinda hurt my feelings, but I felt a lot better when the lady bringing out the food later had to yell “Order for Squirrel!” for the entire restaurant to hear. I proudly raised my hand. My wife was so proud that she hid the pride by shielding her face with her hand.
“Excuse me, is your name really Squirrel?” asked a lady sitting at a nearby table.
“No, they got confused,” I said. “I ordered squirrel. Hmm, tastes like chicken.”
I saw a short video posted by the mother of Abcde in which she seems rather shocked and offended that someone would ridicule her daughter’s name. Sorry, lady, but you can’t name your kid Abcde and then be surprised when folks find it unusual. Of course, the Southwest employee should have done the proper thing and laughed about it after they made their way onto the plane.
We live in a hyper-offended society. It’s hard for me to understand because I’m pretty thick-skinned and am not offended by anything except the words “Roll Tide!” which I find highly offensive and inappropriate when used around University of Georgia football fans.
But you don’t always have the right to be offended, especially if it’s your own doing. I was on a flight once when a girl who had tattooed her face to look somewhat like The Joker came walking down the aisle looking for a seat. I secretly used my phone to snap a picture of her and posted it to social media later with a caption something like, “If my plane goes down, this person is to blame.”
Someone commented on my post that it wasn’t my place to judge that girl for how she expresses herself. My response was, “Um, have you met me?” I defend my right to point out ridiculous things and not pretend they are normal. Sorry, but I already hate flying, and I darn sure don’t want to be on a plane with The Joker’s daughter.
I don’t know what prompted that girl on the plane to ruin her face like that, but it probably was her way of dealing with some deep-seated childhood trauma.
Like having been giving the name Abcde from a mother who should know better.
Chris Johnson’s books and more available at KudzuKid.com.