How Would You Handle a Confrontation between an Employee & a Customer? Mala Amarsingh, a JetBlue Airways Corp. attendant, was standing in the Las Vegas airport in June , waiting to hitch a ride to New York to start her shift. An intoxicated female passenger approached her, started cursing, threatened to beat her up, and then spit in her face. T he flight attendant says she lost her cool, cursed back at the passenger, and later was terminated by the airline for "inappropriate behavior." JetBlue won't comment about personnel matters, but says "customers traveling today are more frustrated by delays and perceived service lapses." Ms. Amarsingh thinks "uniformed flight attendants are walking targets for passenger frustrations," which "absolutely" have gotten worse in her more than 6 years in the job. Assume that you are the vice president of JetBlue and that you just became aware of the situation involving Ms. Amarsingh. What would you do?
1. Do nothing. Ms. Amarsingh's behavior violated corporate policy about the treatment of customers and she deserved to be fired. Changing the decision would set a bad precedent for other employees.
2. Acknowledge that the employee's behavior violates corporate policy, but hire her back given the extenuating circumstances. Provide Ms. Amarsingh with back pay for any lost time.
3. The customer committed assault and battery by purposely spitting in Ms. Amarsingh 's face. Hire the employee back and use company resources to sue the customer. This would send a clear message that you care about your employees and that Jet Blue will not allow its employees to be assaulted.
4. Invent other options.
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