Can you really blame the two Research in Motion executives for having a few drinks on their flight to China? No, of course not. Maybe even more than just a few drinks, especially when you consider how poorly the company has performed over the past year.
Can you condone their hostility to the flight attendants? No, but what if they were taunted by the airline stewardess? Well, then you might give them a bit of a break. Perhaps the stewardess just started laughing at the men when they said they worked at Research in Motion and kept pulling out their iPhones and showed them just how much better they were than the Blackberries. What if they said RIMM was a dead company and Apple was eating their dust?
What if all the people on the entire plane join in and started laughing and taunting the RIMM executives. Telling them they better start looking for work because their company was on their last days. What if by that point, liquor running through their veins, they just couldn’t take it anymore.
“RIM does not condone behavior that conflicts with applicable laws and employees are expected to act, at all times, with integrity and respect,” the company said in a statement.
The two executives, George Campbell, 45, and Paul A. Wilson, 38, pleaded guilty last week to mischief after an Air Canada flight was forced to turn around near the North Pole and then land in Vancouver, British Columbia. The men were given suspended sentences, placed on probation and each was ordered to pay the airline 35,878 Canadian dollars ($35,382) in restitution by a court in British Columbia.
After drinking heavily on a Toronto-to-Beijing flight, the two men became hostile and were ultimately restrained with plastic handcuffs by crew members and passengers. Neither of them is allowed to fly on Air Canada during their year of probation. (NY Times)
What really led to the hostility and the need to restrain the men with plastic handcuffs – which they eventually chewed through. All seems extreme and quite insane. Although I’m sure they weren’t really taunted by the airline stewardess, we’ll never really know exactly what happened on that flight to China. It’s a mystery.
However, if they men were only trying to stand up for their company while enduring endless taunting and ridicule, perhaps the executives should have been given bonuses rather than shown the door. You never know.