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OT - cultural diversity

  • Subject: OT - cultural diversity
  • From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 17:18:58 EDT

Just got this email from my son who works for Alaska Airlines in Seattle.
Thought you might be interested.  But it's kinda long, so if not, don't
bother.  Auralie
Hi All,
I had an interesting(for me) issue to deal with yesterday. An older 
gentlemen on a Chicago flight got sick just prior to departure. Normal procedure is 
to call the Medics, pull the passenger off of the flight, send the aircraft 
on it's way, and re-book the passenger on the next flight if they are able 
to fly. In this case, the individual in question did not speak English. He 
was from India. For situations like this, the airline employs a phone 
translation service. You call the service, tell them what language you need, and 
they put the translator for that language on the phone. While this process was 
happening, I decided to get one of my technicians to go to the plane and 
see if he could help. This guy, Rajneesh Singh, speaks Hindi and Punjabi, 
along with excellent and very proper English.  
Raj made all of the difference in the world. The ill passenger was just 
having a panic attack. This was exacerbated by a crowd of strangers standing 
around whom he did not understand shoving a telephone in his face for a phone 
call he did not make. Raj calmed him down and was able to figure out what 
the problem was. The Medics, finally understanding this, gave him a pill, and 
off he went. Everyone was happy and the flight's departure was only delayed 
3 minutes.  
My surprise is why didn't anyone think of this solution sooner. At the time 
this occurred, we had 3 people at work who are from India. Here is the 
interesting part of the story for me. A couple of us sat down and compiled a 
list of nationalities/languages represented by our co-workers. This represents 
who was on staff while we were making the list. I am sure that we missed a 
couple, but here is the list: 
Palau, Somali, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tibet, Philippines(Tagalog), 
Spanish(Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Porto Rico), Portuguese(Brazil), 
Uraguay(I don't know what her language is?), Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, 
Hebrew(Israel and Ethiopia), Samoan, French, Lebanese, Chinese, 
Afghanistan(again, I don't know the language), Great Britain, New Zealand.  
This is a pretty diverse group, wouldn't you say. Furthermore, included in 
this group are some of the most interesting and impressive people you will 
find anywhere. No wonder that I love my job as much as I do. 
PS. I forgot Texas.
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