Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Recent incidents involving airlines suggest that tensions are high, civility low.

When video was captured of United Airlines getting local law enforcement to drag a bloodied paying passenger -- Dr. David Dao -- off a plane, the world became a touch angry.

Now there's a new video of an employee acting badly. And, yes, it's United Airlines all over again.

As KPRC reports, this surveillance video shows a man walk up to a United Airlines employee in the departure hall at Houston airport. Within seconds, the United employee has pushed the man to the ground.

The man lies there, apparently out cold. The employee doesn't try to help. No United employee does. The employee who did the pushing seems to calmly walk away.

William Hoke, attorney for 71-year-old Ronald Tigner, says all his client was trying to was ask for a new boarding pass because the one he had was unclear.

After Tigner was knocked down, Hoke says: "No one even went to check his pulse. They literally left him there like a piece of garbage."

That's certainly what the video suggests. Indeed, it seems to take another passenger to see if Tigner is alright.

"It was a good Samaritan, who was a nurse, that was catching a flight, ran over and said, 'Please, God. Someone call 911'," said Hoke.

The incident happened in 2015. The United employee, Alejandro Anastasia, no longer works for the airline. He was also charged with a felony -- causing injury to an elderly individual.

Now, however, Tigner's lawyer is asking for $1 million from United.

United offered me this statement: "We have seen the video from 2015 that shows completely unacceptable behavior by a United employee. This employee is no longer with our company. The conduct shown here does not reflect our values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity. We are taking a thorough look into what happened here and reaching out to our customer to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right."

Why, though, is this coming to light now? And what could have possibly caused Anastasia to react this way?

There doesn't even appear to have to been some prolonged altercation.

Hoke's version of events, as told to KPRC, is this: "Anastasia was looking at Mr. Tigner and started smiling and said, 'Can't you see we're busy?' and there's no one in the vicinity of these two employees. And he tells Anastasia to wipe that smile off his face. That's when Anastasia says, 'I'll kick your (expletives)' and shoves Tigner to the ground."

It all happens so very fast.

Every organization has its bad employees. Clearly, such incidents are now being magnified because airlines are enjoying such a terrible customer service image.

But this is yet another ugly look for United. As if it needed any more.

Published on: Jun 14, 2017
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