Unless you live in a cave, I’m sure you’ve heard about Steven Slater, a Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his cool when a passenger ignored the rules regarding overhead luggage.
According to the New York Post, Slater, who resides in Queens, told a woman when they were on the tarmac in Pittsburgh that one of her bags was too big and must be checked. She cursed him out and slammed the overhead shut, supposedly hitting him in the head. Flash forward a couple hours and the same woman ignores the rules again, trying to take down her other bag before the captain gave the ok. She cursed Slater out again.
This is when the self-proclaimed “bag Nazi” lost it. He grabbed the microphone, shouting a few expletives of his own toward the woman, as well as, “‘To those who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for a great ride.” He then grabbed his bags, swiped a couple of beers, activated the inflatable emergency chute, slid down and headed for the parking lot.
Slater was obviously arrested and removed from his position with Jet Blue pending investigation. He was released on bail tonight and came face-to-face with a flurry of media attention; he essentially became an overnight “hero” to disgruntled workers around the world and an Internet sensation. His Facebook fanpage already has over 150,000 fans, with hundreds of comments on each post. Donkey Tees has already created a shirt that says “Quit your Job with Style, Steven Slater”. Headline News host Nancy Grace has spoken out in support of him, saying “Power to the flight attendants!” There’s even a lovely musical ballad of Slater’s plight (yes, I meant plight, not flight) on YouTube. The chorus goes a little something like this: “F*ck you. F*ck all of you. I’m f*cking through with this. I’ve had it.” It’s actually quite catchy, I’m hoping it’ll be on iTunes soon.
There’s been some backlash, however. TMZ came across an internal Jet Blue email that describes his actions as “a forceful event…and could have severely injured or even killed.” Some comments on news sources call him a “jerk” and claim he wasted money by activating the shoot, and say he “could’ve handled it better.”
To the people who are bitching about his decision I say: Do I consider Slater a hero? No, I think he’s a guy who had taken enough abuse in the industry and made an impulsive decision. What I do appreciate, however, is that Slater decided that his way of going out consisted of cursing, grabbing a couple of beers and sliding down a chute – instead of using a gun (or some other force) and taking out people. Let’s not forget the shooting that recently occurred in Connecticut when an upset employee shot eight people out of revenge because of alleged racist comments. So, whether you think Slater is a hero or a douchebag, let’s all just be grateful he went out in such a peaceful and classy way. ‘Cause really, what’s more classy (and by classy, I mean awesome) than grabbing a few brews before you peace out?