Southwest Gate Agent Publicly Mocks 5-Year-Old's Unique Name
Marilyn Caylor 12/5/2018
Although classic names like John and Mary will always be popular, some parents choose to give their baby a unique moniker in order to set them apart from the crowd. Back in the hippie 60's scene, it was all about peace and flower power, so naming kids Moon or Star wasn't considered too out of left field. But, some people now feel that the whole unique baby names thing has gone too far.
Our name, whatever it may be, usually has some sort of personal meaning attached to it. It could even be considered quite a blessing for us to even have a personal name by which we are called by! However, when a Southwest Airlines gate agent came across an unusual name they hadn't seen before, they couldn't help but laugh and point at the poor 5-year-old girl it belonged to.
Mom Traci Redford couldn't believe the humiliation that both she and her daughter were put through when she handed over her daughter's boarding pass. They were getting ready to fly out of the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, when a cacophony of unmistakable laughter pierced the air. Traci said:
"The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees. So I turned around and said, 'Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I'd appreciate if you'd just stop."
Mom accused the Southwest Airlines employee of being a bully, not only because they actually laughed at a little girl, but because they took their mean spirit a step further by sharing a photo of the ticket on social media.
Abcde Redford's first name looks very familiar, because it's actually the first five letters of the English alphabet in sequential order. She pronounces her name "ab-city," but the ticket agent thought it was funny because it most likely reminded them of the "ABC's" they learned back in kindergarten.
"While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter. It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines. And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn't done anything."
Abcde always pre-boards flights due to her epilepsy, but sadly this is one trip she'll never forget. She was on her way home to El Paso, Texas, when she suddenly found herself thrust into the spotlight, with a flurry of not-so-nice comments coming her way.
Southwest Airlines refused to disclose what, if anything, happened to the gate agent who provided such poor customer service, but they did give the following statement:
"We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers, which includes living by the Golden Rule and treating every individual with respect, in person or online. The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees. We have followed up with the Employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasize our expectations for all Employees."
Everyone can agree that Abcde's name is certainly different, but folks are split on whether or not mom even had the right to give her daughter a name that was destined to bring unwanted attention. Some people are outraged that the gate agent chose to mock the girl within earshot, while others are coming down hard on Traci for giving Abcde what they feel is a ridiculous name to begin with. However, mom begs to differ, and feels it's not her daughter's name that's the real problem:
"She said 'Mom, why is she laughing at my name?' And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it's unfortunate."
The fact is, there's an innocent little girl stuck in the middle of all of this, which is why Traci is taking the opportunity to teach her daughter a valuable life lesson. No matter who you are, what you look like, or even what people call you, there will always be someone out there who, for better or worse, will sit in judgement of you. In the end, it's never really about you as a person, but what they're carrying around in their own hearts.
Watch this video to find out more about this name-shaming story.