Shankar Mishra, 34, until recently a VP at Wells Fargo, was on a flight from New York to Delhi, India. Mr. Mishra had been drinking on the flight and for some reason began urinating on a fellow passenger. According to witnesses, Mr. Mishra did not stop his bathroom behavior until another passenger tapped him and told him to return to his seat.
When the flight landed, Mr. Mishra was charged with an “obscene act in a public place, assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, and misconduct in public by a drunken person.” Quite the statute India has.
The crew is under investigation by Air India for its actions and inactions:
- The pilot vetoed a request by the crew to have the female passenger moved to first class.
- The crew forced Mr. Mishra to apologize.
- The crew’s delay and in efficiencies in addressing the situation.
According to the female passenger, Mr. Mishra began crying and begging not to be taken into custody when the flight landed. Mr. Mishra’s father, Shyam, explained that the allegations in an interview on India Today TV are “totally false.” He added that his son had not slept for 72 hours, had a drink, and is unable to recall anything that happened after that. Shyam Mishra added, “I don’t think he would have done this. The woman is 72 years old, she is like a mother to him.” Ah, so age is the inborn restraint on abuse of fellow passengers.
Authorities from India called Wells Fargo about Mr. Mishra. Wells Fargo then terminated Mr. Mishra immediately, noting in a Tweet, “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behavior and we find these allegations deeply disturbing,” it said, per ANI. “This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo. We are cooperating with law enforcement and ask that any additional inquiries be directed to them.”
Wells decided not to wait for the wheels of justice to turn in India. Perhaps the bigger issue for Wells is: “How on earth did this man get to be a vice president?” Followed by, “Is tweeting the best way to address HR questions?”
For airlines, a follow-up issue is the return to serving spirits on flights. Perhaps a drink maximum?
For us, drunk or not, is anything left to civility?