Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Jordan Flake says she has never been so humiliated in her life.
She says she was discriminated against because the crew on an American Airlines flight didn't like the look of her skin.
In a Facebook post, she described how a member of the ground staff was brought onto her plane at El Paso Airport in Texas.
She was seated with her son Jackson.
The member of the ground staff asked the two men sitting next to her to stand. He then asked her about her "rash." Did she have a doctor's note?
She described what happened next:
I explained to him that it was called Ichthyosis and it was a genetic skin condition. He walked up to the front to talk to the crew. He apparently also googled it during that time. He came back and said he apologized but we wouldn't be able to fly and we had to get off the plane.
Flake said her problem was not with the airline employee who talked to her, but the cabin crew.
To them, the rules were the rules. She didn't have a doctor's note, so she had to go.
Then, she said:
They also weren't able to retrieve my checked luggage. The man helped me off the plane, got me a hotel and a new flight with a different airline. I had to make unexpected childcare arrangements for my daughter at home and I am having to get a ride to the store to get our lotions and some clothes for tomorrow. I have never been so humiliated in my life!
On Facebook, there were outpourings of sympathy and anger.
I asked American, though, when it believed its staff had behaved appropriately.
After all, some might say, this could have been an infectious disease. (As if someone with an infectious disease would be traveling with her child in a confined public space, others might add.)
An American Airlines spokesperson told me:
Our goal at American Airlines is to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Flake and her son for the experience they had yesterday, and our team has begun an investigation into the matter. Our Customer Relations team has already spoken to her directly and upgraded them on their flights. We will also be refunding the cost of her trip as well.
I fear that Flake has merely learned something with which regular flyers are all too familiar.
Over recent times, airlines have pushed cabin crews into policing, rather than customer service.
Some airlines are now trying to withdraw from that stance a little, especially after the dreadful imagery of Dr. David Dao being dragged, bloodied, off a United Airlines flight.
Some airline employees, though, still tend toward the overly wary, rather than the welcoming. Our paranoid times don't always help.
It might make some wonder what this cabin crew would have done if they were passengers on the plane, seated next to Flake. Or merely seated next to her in the airport café.
Would they have reacted similarly? Or would they have used more sanguine judgment?
Flake believes she shouldn't have to explain herself.
The sad reality, however, is that you should always have a doctor's note just in case.
Not because it's necessary, but because that's the state of the airline world.
Last year, I flew with a very swollen face -- an allergic reaction, I'll have you know. I made sure I had a doctor's note, because you never know how authoritarian an airline employee -- or even someone in the security line -- might choose to be, and I was flying internationally.
For Flake, though, the incident had an especial irony.
Yesterday, the day it occurred, was Rare Disease Day.
I'm sure it'll cheer Flake to know that this week, at least according to this American Airlines tweet, saw Employee Appreciation Day.