A day after the Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max crashed, I overheard some men talking about it at work. No one had any idea why the plane had crashed yet, but they did know it was the second 737 Max crash in a very short time period. Them discussing it didn't seem unusual to me at all, and it sounded like regular office banter between co-workers.
As I was preparing to walk away and continue my day though, something one of the men said made me immediately stop in my tracks. He was dismissing the incident while also introducing to the conversation that his daughter would be taking a long flight later that week on the same plane make and model.
To my surprise, the man was passing on his daughter's concerns while laughing about them. The daughter didn't want to take the flight, and her father was telling her to not worry about it. He actually said to his co-workers with a chuckle, "I told her the odds of it happening again are so small that she shouldn't be worried."
Now, take a step back here, and remember there were two crashes in a short time period with no one having any idea why. The father is a seemingly intelligent and loving man, but he is making a judgment call without good information or thought of the consequences.
He had the conversation with her, and then he joked about it with his co-workers. Regardless of whether he thought it was her "irrational female intuition" or simply emotional fear, the father's dismissal of his own daughter's concerns shocked me. How could he be so blind, thoughtless, and cruel to a stranger let alone his own daughter?
Thankfully she never flew on the 737 Max because the planes were grounded a couple days later. It had been discovered that the flight altitude data from the latest crash closely matched the data from the previous crash. The investigators then knew there was a major problem, and the world took action based on their findings.
I haven't been to that part of the building again recently, but I have to wonder if the father has any regrets. How damaged was their relationship because of how he handled the situation? Did the daughter lose faith in or respect for her father as a result? My hope is that next time he will not so easily dismiss his daughter's concerns.
We could all learn a lesson from this as well. Don't make important decisions without having good information to make them. Don't rush to judgment, and don't ridicule people's concerns. Most importantly, don't ignore intuition. It gently nudges you for good reason:
You have missed something important or have not considered the consequences of your actions wisely.