Hey! Steven Slater! Your 15 Minutes Are Up. Go Away!

By now most of you probably have read about Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who this past Monday, upon deciding he was fed up with his job, opened the door to the airplane he was on, pulled the emergency chute, slid down and drove away.  Oh – and he was arrested hours later at his home.  Oh – and he stopped on his way out of the plane to grab a beer.

Now, two days later, if you Google “Steven Slater,” you find an article on People.com and on TMZ.com.  The article at People.com is “in his own words” and says Slater has developed a “cult following.”  I guess this guy has made the big time, because TMZ has multiple articles and has a “separated at birth” comparison to the actor who played Gunther on Friends.  There is even a “Ballad of Steven Slater.” In one Twitter post I saw “Steven Slater” used as a verb, as in “I have to go all Steven Slater now.”  You’ve made it when your name becomes a verb, haven’t you?

Go Away! Please, Just Go Away!

Bobby – love the podcast since the very first one, love the blog, big supporter of flight attendants, but this post is just wrong.  Mr. Slater is really your hero?  We need to talk, and this is not a short conversation.

I have not celebrated this guy at all, and I wish he would just go away.  Each time I hear his name, a small amount of vomit appears in my mouth.

Here’s the thing.  Steven Slater is getting publicity for quitting his job, leaving his colleagues to pick up the pieces and, oh, – BREAKING THE LAW.  He is charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing.  And we are praising this guy and looking up to this guy?

There are probably very few people on the planet that can claim they’ve like their job every single day and have never considered just quitting on the spot and telling their boss off.  My guess is that many people do follow through, and many people did on Monday, just like Slater.  But, most people don’t, and most people that do don’t BREAK THE LAW, leave people stranded, and gleefully flee the scene.  As I see it, there’s no difference between this and a police officer or fireman or member of the military deserting their posts.  Would we celebrate any of them?  I think not.

I will offer a little sympathy to Slater, for I travel a lot and have seen absurdly rude passengers.  But, I’m not about to excuse him for what he did.  He chose his job.  He could have quit at any time and not endangered passengers and not BROKEN THE LAW.

So – now is the time for Steven Slater to slink back into his New Jersey home and just go away.  I don’t care, and I hope the American public quickly realizes that they shouldn’t care either.  (A New York Daily News poll suggests they recognize him for what he is.)

If Steven Slater is lucky, really lucky, he may become the answer to a trivia question some day.  In my eyes, that may be all he’s worth.

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