Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Traffic spikes and your real job

Stirling pointed me to a NY Times story about a Delta flight attendant named Ellen Simonetti who was fired for having a blog in which she showed a little leg and cleavage. Delta claimed they didn't sanction that kind of picture with THEIR uniform. Of the potential salaciousness of Ms. Simonetti's photographs, Tim Kirkwood, a veteran flight attendant and author on profession, doubt it. "I think this has been blown up out of proportion," he said. "So we saw a little bra strap, big deal. Compared to what the passengers wear, she's overdressed."

This being America, Ms. Simonetti sued for sexual-discrimination "with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is threatening to sue Delta for $10 million, claiming other employees, primarily men, have their photographs posted on the Web in uniform and are not fired for it."

This article probably represents the second wave of traffic spikes she has gotten on her website. I have a bit of experience in this field, but of course I never got a news article about me, let alone the New York Times. But I too experienced fleeting fame with the Gay Marriage Debate in the Massachusetts State House. And like her, my employer was not happy with what I posted on my blog. I just hope all this traffic doesn't go to her head like it went to mine. My boss was very understanding and reasonable about it and didn't fire me.

Her position is much for defensible than mine however. First of all, the photos aren't anything close to risque, I believe I have seen more in the course of a normal flight than that. Secondly, I betray confidences, all Ms. Simonetti is doing is writing about her personal life and posting some flattering pictures of her. I don't think it even depicts Delta in a bad light.

It even makes being a flight attendant seem glamorous: see the world, meet interesting people, etc. I have a hard time seeing what the fuss is all about.

But the law professor from UVA claims she is pretty screwed as an at-will non-union employee. "I'm pretty darn certain that taking that kind of photograph in the cabin of a plane, there's several policies that that would probably violate," he said.

The article goes on to talk about the airlines and Ms. Simonetti's job used to be sexist, which Ellen helpfully posts on her site:

And while really should be getting to homework for Wednesday, I wanted to share with you my blockquote of the day, from New York Magazine April, 26, 2004 (via Kos):

A pressing issue of dinner-party etiquette is vexing Washington, according to a story now making the D.C. rounds: How should you react when your guest, in this case national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, makes a poignant faux pas? At a recent dinner party hosted by New York Times D.C. bureau chief Philip Taubman and his wife, Times reporter Felicity Barringer, and attended by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Maureen Dowd, Steven Weisman, and Elisabeth Bumiller, Rice was reportedly overheard saying, “As I was telling my husb—” and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, “As I was telling President Bush.” Jaws dropped, but a guest says the slip by the unmarried politician, who spends weekends with the president and his wife, seemed more psychologically telling than incriminating. Nobody thinks Bush and Rice are actually an item. A National Security Council spokesman laughed and said, “No comment.” [all emphasis mine]

Our future Secretary of State has no family other than the Bush family and no life really either. She is willing to do just about anything (see 9/11 commission hearings) for her "man" and is a bit emotionally/psychologically unstable. Welcome to the Cult of Bush.

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