This American Life: 647: LaDonna
May 29, 2018 12:41 PM - Subscribe

A security guard at the airport notices something going wrong on the tarmac, and takes it upon herself to fix it. It's way harder than she expects.
posted by ellieBOA (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I finished listening to this on headphones right when I got home today and my husband sat there and watched me silently flip the fuck out and spontaneously yell things like FUCK THIS GUY for like 20 minutes. Then I gave him the plot synopsis and he was like, oh yeah, burn the whole entire thing down immediately.

Anyway, LaDonna Powell for president.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:28 PM on May 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

What I found really just... striking and gross was the interview with the new CEO: No attempt to apologise, no standard PR boilerplate 'we didn't get this right', just straight up 'this isn't a problem, and if it was it's being handled'.

It explains a lot because yeah, that's the corporate culture that would allow for this to happen again and again, but I don't think I've seen a corporate rep just staring down a journalist asking him about a scandal. Creepy.

And how fucking heartbreaking is it that LaDonna who did everything right, who fought so properly and her lesson is that sinking accuracy that you can be just powerless. She's not, but she also is :(
posted by litleozy at 9:33 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

What soren said about the reaction to this. I had my therapist appointment right after hearing that and guess what she got an earful of. RAGE RAGE AGAINST THE FUCKING MEN. You know, people tell me I should stand up for myself, but WHY? What good does it do if it only gets you harassed more and fired? I'm not gonna ruin my life trying to stop people who are going to get away with whatever the fuck they want to do to you no matter what. I kinda felt like watching The Devil Wears Prada, a movie I think of as "two hours of watching some girl get abused until she finally quits," except it ended in firing and lawsuits.

Being asked if you pole dance at home? WTF? Let the bitch bleed in her pants because fuck her? N-bombs at work?

If the higher ups are 100% fine with this, then nothing will happen. I just hope this public shaming episode does something. Though given the attitude of the CEO, I assume nothing will work on him. Not even gonna try to weasel that one, is he.

I was expecting this to end with her saying she's never been able to get a job years later, so I'm relieved she's gotten a job again at least. Between that and the horrible men getting transferred, that sounds like as much of a "happy ending" as is possible in our world. Hell, I'm still shocked both of those happened and she isn't like, completely unemployable forever after this.

I'd hide from him too, since it's not like she can shoot him at work and he can do whatever he wants no matter what.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:05 PM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Write your state/city government, urge them to cancel contracts with this security company.
posted by fomhar at 11:51 PM on May 29, 2018

What I found really just... striking and gross was the interview with the new CEO

He was the source of a particularly vehement FUCK THIS GUY

He used that weasel-y construction where he starts every sentence with "I would say..." You would say or you are saying, motherfucker? If you're going with defending the fact that your company has paid out settlements based on the behavior of the same bunch of dudes, over and over again, you should be okay with just straight up saying that. I wanted to crawl through my phone and strangle that asshole with his expensive tie.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:53 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

And I just tweeted at our mayor asking whether Allied has any contracts with the city.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:15 AM on May 30, 2018

If nothing else, I'm hoping someone in LaDonna's general area hears the TAL episode and offers to hire her for a six figure management job. She deserves so much better.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:26 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seriously, in a just world, this episode would be about how LaDonna's incredible skills were noticed by Allied, and she rose through their ranks to turn it into one of the best workplaces in the world. Instead, Allied fired a professional, dedicated, motivated employee (who was noticed by their client for her work ethic) to preserve their poisonous status quo.
posted by gladly at 8:15 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

I followed this podcast with The Daily's "Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?" They were both horrifying. In both cases you have a paper trail with clear evidence of wrong doing and malfeasance, you have central figures - LaDonna and Kevin Cooper, who are incredibly strong and articulate and you have major news organizations taking on the stories and calling people in power with hard questions. And yet still. No justice. The big brush off.

Just imagine all the other cases out there.
posted by Cuke at 4:02 PM on May 31, 2018

I listened to this last night. My biggest question though, is also a question somewhat rhetorically asked in the podcast itself: what's the financial incentive to not improve if they are wasting money on paying off lawsuits?

Does it not save money to just fire the harassers? Is it really worth all that hassle just for jerks to protect each other? I mean most likely yes, but it's strange to me that companies that want to cut as much as possible don't do one of the easier things for cost savings.
posted by xtine at 5:41 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wonder if admitting guilt would mean all the people who were harassed but didn't want to sue could file claims. This episode made me so sad!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:17 PM on May 31, 2018

Under response when a man is found guilty of felony sexual assault - this is on the ballot in Santa Clara County, CA

Progress is slow but happening!
If you know anyone living in that county, please encourage them to vote “YES” to recall the judge who gave a man just 3months in a county jail for felony sexual assault.
posted by laurajean100 at 7:54 AM on June 3, 2018

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