Between the ranting tweets of actor Alec Baldwin and the Occupy Wall Street-targeted New Jersey governor Chris Christie, it wasn't a great week for airline flight attendants and hotel waiters and waitresses in the public airwaves.
Unless, of course, you believe that Baldwin and Christie themselves came out of it looking the worse for wear in comparison.
As you may recall, Baldwin [30 Rock, The Hunt for Red October and Married to the Mob etc.] was kicked off an American Airlines flight December 6 after refusing to turn off his smartphone while playing Zynga's Words with Friends while the aircraft was idling on the tarmac away from the gate.
Baldwin claims a flight attendant ordered him to turn off his mobile device and singled him out for special mistreatment.
But, American Airlines later took to its Facebook page and, without identifying Baldwin, gave a different account of the incident. American Airlines stated:
The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory. He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked.
During and after the incident, Baldwin, who described himself as an extremely loyal American Airlines frequent flyer, tweeted that this kind of treatment from airline staff shows why American Airlines' parent entered bankruptcy, and he reportedly tweeted:
"Last flight w American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants."
His latter tweet managed to be a multifaceted insult to flight attendants, retirees, Catholics and gym teachers, all in one fell swoop.
Baldwin, who apparently deactivated his Twitter account, took to Huff Post Travel December 7 and apologized to his fellow passengers because the aircraft was forced to return to the gate as authorities removed him from the flight.
But, the actor wouldn't let go of his flight attendant as gym teacher rant, writing: “The lesson I've learned is to keep my phone off when the 1950's gym teacher is on duty.”
Wiser heads must have at least convinced him to drop the "Catholic school gym teachers" reference.
Histrionics and social media storms aside, the Baldwin incident does raise legitimate tech issues about airlines and the use of mobile devices.
Is using a mobile device on the ground or in the air a threat to aviation security or have flight-security rules become vastly outdated, as many have argued?
Meanwhile, aviation security wasn't the issue during the evening of December 7 when New Jersey governor Christie showed up in the first presidential caucus state, Iowa, to endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.
Christie was heckled by protesters chanting, "put people first."
Among Christie's misplaced retorts, he told the crowd, referring to the protesters:
So now they're angry but they’re not mature enough to know they should be angry with themselves. I hope you all enjoyed it. They'll be working at the Marriott down the street. Please remember to tip your waiters and waitresses, all right?
So, in today's discourse in social media and other public airwaves, flight attendants are compared with Catholic school gym teachers of the 1950s and protesters get dissed by a public official as mere waiters and waitresses from the "Marriott down the street."
Regardless of your take on Christie's political views, from his remarks you'd think that working in a restaurant at a Marriott hotel is something to be ashamed of.
Marriott or someone else should set him straight.
Here's the Christie video from NBC: