The Steven Slater in all of Us

The Jet Blue flight attendant who lost it at the end of a flight, grabbed his bags and a beer, inflated the emergency chute and took off into the night is becoming a folk hero. 

Steven Slater popped.  He couldn’t take it anymore.   An obnoxious passenger refused his request when he asked nicely to please wait until the plane has stopped before opening the overhead compartment.  She told him to F— off and when he closed the lid she wrenched it open, hitting him in the head. 

He got on the plane’s intercom and spewed out a little venom of his own before grabbing his bag, a beer and opening the chute.  Down he went, leaving his stunned colleagues and the passengers behind.  Police later arrested him at his home for public endangerment.   Airport officials say opening the chute in such a manner could have harmed someone on the ground who could have been unexpectedly hit by its force. Slater says he looked before he inflated.  Meantime, websites and Facebook pages have been set up in devotion to this 30-something who simply boiled over.

Admit it: haven’t you ever wanted to just totally lose it on someone for being unreasonable?  As grown ups and especially as people representing a business, we have to swallow a lot of crap. Everybody does it.  It’s how it’s done.  Somebody is acting like a jerk, blaming you for something that’s not your fault, making outrageous demands or claims and you have to keep your cool and deal with them as if they are reasonable human beings.   That’s not necessarily what you want to do, but it’s how we’ve been conditioned, and thank goodness for that or everyone in retail would be freaking out and stomping off in huffs!  The way some customers behave in the retail environment is just appalling.  I want to hug every kind and cheerful store clerk I see because it can’t be easy to keep a positive demeanour!

So Steven Slater spoke for a continent full of frustrated workers when he told everyone to stuff it and took off.  His colleagues said he had already been having a bad day when this twit of a passenger decided it was her right to break the rules and then to get in his face about it .  He was just doing his job and staying calm and friendly while she behaved like a bitch.  It may not have been the smartest thing he’s ever done but it fulfilled a fantasy many of us have had at one time or another, when a bad day goes worse and you’re on your last nerve.