The JetBlue Guy is No Hero
According to the legend of JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, unhappy with snarling, angry passengers, he lived out everyone’s take-this-job-and-shove it fantasy- got on the inboard PA system, uttered a few choice profanities then slid off into the sunset on the plane’s emergency slide, with a few beers in hand.
About 147,000 Facebook friends and dozens of media interviews later, passengers aboard the flight are painting a different picture- that of a seriously unhinged, angry man who scared passengers the entire flight by continually slamming the doors to the overhead compartments, refusing to get a passenger who spilled coffee a napkin to wipe it up with- and then starting the fight with the young passenger that led to the PA announcement and his escape into notoriety on the emergency chute.
Read all about what appears to be the real story here in the Wall Street Journal.
I don’t want to paint all flight attendants with a broad brush, because the vast majority of them are very nice, kind people who understand their job is largely public relations and rarely, but sometimes, act as safety professionals who may be in a position to literally save your life.
But I have also run into surly flight attendants who act like they got off the wrong side of the bed every morning of their lives.
You also run into these surly, unhappy types working Burger King and CVS cash registers and you may have a few working at your own place of employment. These are folks who think they have crappy jobs, would love to be doing anything else, are constant complainers but through inertia, laziness or just lack of opportunity in a recession, are stuck.
These are the folks who really need to get a life and develop the cajones to do something about their existence. On one level, I will give Steven Slater points for at least doing something about the job he obviously despised. And for doing so in a manner that might even lead to some other livelihood, like writing a book or becoming a professional interview subject.
But, I, for one, am glad he is no longer in the airline hospitality business. And about 10% of his colleagues should activate similar emergency chutes and find themselves a way out of their miserable lives as well. It is only fair to them, since their jobs occupy one third of their lives- and to us- who will no longer have to put up with them.
So kudos to Slater for his unique career-change strategy….but a hero? I think not.