Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Fed-Up Flight Attendant Makes Sliding Exit
August 10, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

JetBlue flight attendant gets fed up with passenger, curses him out over PA system, quits job and leaves airplane via emergency chute.
After a dispute with a passenger who stood to fetch luggage too soon on a full flight just in from Pittsburgh, Mr. Slater, 38 and a career flight attendant, got on the public-address intercom and let loose a string of invective.

Then, the authorities said, he pulled the lever that activates the emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career.

On his way out the door, he paused to grab a beer from the beverage cart. Then he ran to the employee parking lot and drove off, the authorities said.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (299 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know why but I like his style.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:02 AM on August 10, 2010 [32 favorites]


It's too bad he lost his temper. He probably could've had the woman who refused to follow his instructions arrested.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


A version I read last night reported that when Port Authority officials showed up at his house to arrest him, it appeared he was in the middle of having "sexual relations."

+1 for style.
posted by slogger at 7:05 AM on August 10, 2010 [79 favorites]


Who among us has not fantasized about quitting their job in precisely this fashion (albeit, this presumes we all have inflatable chutes at our places of employ, which should be the case but alas is not)?
posted by joe lisboa at 7:05 AM on August 10, 2010 [49 favorites]


I've had work days like that.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on August 10, 2010


I like the cut of his jib, myself.

And, honestly, I would be all for giving flight attendants permission to taze at will. Because, really, there are a lot of jerks on airplanes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:05 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Style, definitely. Dude's probably got a couple of years (it is federal jurisdiction..), but he's definitely got style.
posted by cavalier at 7:06 AM on August 10, 2010


Since I was a kid, I have dreamed of sliding down that slide.

This is not me hoping to be in an airplane emergency.
posted by millipede at 7:06 AM on August 10, 2010


We all have bad days.
posted by ColdChef at 7:07 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: a good lawyer will make it so that this guy acted out because of the head trauma he sustained from the asshole who bounced a suitcase off of his head.
posted by ColdChef at 7:09 AM on August 10, 2010 [22 favorites]


Two days in a row? Now that IS something.
posted by hermitosis at 7:09 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess he was mad as hell and he wasn't going to take it anymore. Good for him. Given the violent things disgruntled employees have done in recent years, this seems kind of appropriate.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:11 AM on August 10, 2010


From the NYT article:
On his way out the door, he paused to grab a beer from the beverage cart.
I think that deserves DOUBLE style points.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:11 AM on August 10, 2010 [21 favorites]


This guy has nothing but sympathy for me - he apparently was primary caregiver for one parent until that parent died, and now is going through the same thing with the other parent. Being a flight attendant is stressful enough without that additional horror to come home to. In my mind, he gets a complete pass for this episode.

Sure, levy a fine/restitution for the repairs incurred when he deployed the chute. But to me, this is the definition of exigent circumstances.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:12 AM on August 10, 2010 [24 favorites]


What the story doesn't mention is that as he left the employee parking parking lot he drove over a wooden bridge, lit a single match and tossed it onto the bridge, which instantly burst into flames.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:13 AM on August 10, 2010 [72 favorites]


/From me
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:13 AM on August 10, 2010


As a high time frequent flyer*, you know what I would have done?

Tossed him a couple more beers from the cart. It wasn't the wisest move on the planet, but wow, double style points indeed!




* Who currently has 222,221 miles in the AA account. FAIL.
posted by eriko at 7:14 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


One person familiar with the investigation said JetBlue took more than 20 minutes to notify the Port Authority police, allowing Mr. Slater time to get home. A spokesman for the airline declined to comment when asked about the delay, and a Port Authority spokesman said, “In matters of criminality, the Port Authority Police Department should be notified immediately.”

Awesome. Solidarity, brothers.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:15 AM on August 10, 2010 [26 favorites]


Aww, eriko. AA miles!

.
posted by cavalier at 7:16 AM on August 10, 2010


To be fair, the slides are set for most of the flight (from right after the departure jetway pulls away until right before the arrival jetway pulls up) to inflate automatically when a door is opened. This is what "arm doors for departure" or "doors to automatic" means, if you ever hear it over the intercom.

Still, even if he hadn't intended to inflate the slide, I would agree that this is one of the better "take this job and shove it" moments I've ever heard about.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:16 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


But...but...but...the customer is always right!
posted by sourwookie at 7:17 AM on August 10, 2010



And, honestly, I would be all for giving flight attendants permission to taze at will. Because, really, there are a lot of jerks on airplanes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:05 AM on August 10 [+] [!]


Good God, no. You and I must be seeing different flight attendants. Look, I'll agree they've got sometimes-awful jobs and people are often surly but that's the fault of the TSA and the airlines themselves. Flight crews and passengers should unite against shoddy treatment and arbitrary rules for everyone.
posted by etaoin at 7:17 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sure, levy a fine/restitution for the repairs incurred when he deployed the chute.

I read somewhere that a plane deploying the emergency chute effectively needs to be taken out of service for a week for refitting, reinspection and certification before being deployed again. Style points for the guy but he's probably facing six-figure lawsuits from JetBlue in addition to jail time. I'm just hoping he raises a decent enough defense fund, maybe support from whatever the airline equivalent of the Straphanger's Union is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:18 AM on August 10, 2010


I saw this on NYT yesterday and posted it up elsewhere.

This guy is a fucking ROCK STAR. I never totally dug the Barefoot Bandit, but I am totally, 100% in favor of this guy.

BECAUSE FUCK. THIS. SHIT. I'm Audi 3000! WHEEEEEeeEeeeeee down the slide! Beer in hand, let's go get laid people!!!!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:19 AM on August 10, 2010 [21 favorites]


Not the first person willing to risk jail time in order to get off of a JetBlue flight, I'm sure.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:20 AM on August 10, 2010 [16 favorites]


But at least this job meltdown ended without the help of guns, a big improvement these days.

Why is the 20-minute delay considered an issue? I would think it would have taken a while just to figure out if he'd broken a law.

I wonder if he'll ever be able to board a commercial flight again?
posted by etaoin at 7:20 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dr. Zira: "On his way out the door, he paused to grab a beer from the beverage cart.
I think that deserves DOUBLE style points.
"

I don't know. Have you seen their beer selection?
posted by brundlefly at 7:21 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The beer detail has been variously reported as "a beer" and "two beers."
posted by texorama at 7:22 AM on August 10, 2010


Apparently, it takes six NYT reporters to look up MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles instead of doing actual reporting. Awesome.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:22 AM on August 10, 2010 [11 favorites]


I find it so interesting how people's bios nowadays are often almost entirely pieced together by reporters from their internet/social networking presence. I am not sure if that's better or worse than asking the neighbors about him.
posted by amro at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2010


Or, basically what l33tpolicywonk said.
posted by amro at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2010


maybe support from whatever the airline equivalent of the Straphanger's Union is.

My god, if that doesn't exist, it should.
posted by condour75 at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2010


support from whatever the airline equivalent of the Straphanger's Union is

According to the article, JetBlue employees have no union. Which makes sense, it's a newer airline. He's going to be boned. This will probably end up costing him his house.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2010


Wonder what his user # is?
posted by buzzman at 7:24 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Welcome to the silly season for reporting.
posted by Nelson at 7:25 AM on August 10, 2010


And that's why I fly JetBlue. Never see anybody with that kind of flair for the dramatic on Southwest.
posted by penduluum at 7:25 AM on August 10, 2010


Every job in America should come with an ejection seat.
posted by Azazel Fel at 7:27 AM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Heeeeeyyyyyyy. "Ted" got me thinking, if this guy is seriously going to get wtfpwned in damages by his (ex)employer, et al? I'm pretty sure we could set up a simple "Donate $5 to the style fund" site for him and cover that tab. Everyone who's ever had a shitty day at the office would likely pony up. Hell could probably just make it $1 to keep it easy cheesey. After processing etc that's what, 57 cents for him?
posted by cavalier at 7:27 AM on August 10, 2010 [19 favorites]


When I was getting my PhD in the 80s there was the story of the California doctoral student who killed his mentor after spending endless years in the program. Us students knew it was awful, but at the same time, he was sort of our hero.
I imagine this flight attendant will achieve similar status.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! I was supposed to come back on Jetblue into JFK Sunday except they cancelled my flight, how I wish I could have had this guy.
posted by slapshot57 at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2010


i just 'liked' his facebook page.
posted by msconduct at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


After reading the headline link, I assumed he had parachuted out mid-flight. Now that would've been an exit.

eriko, let me know if you need any help using up those miles...
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2010


20 years in a service job without throttling anybody? I couldn't have done it. He deserved that slide ride.
posted by jocelmeow at 7:29 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kick ass, 80s-movie- protagonist- guy who has hit his limit and just ain't going to take it anymore. *Cue Twisted Sister*
posted by nola at 7:29 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who in the customer service industry has not had a moment like that? If my job had beer and a giant inflatable slide I would have probably already gone down this path. Instead I would have to throw myself out a glass window, which is less appealing.

People are giant assholes. It's just the nature of the beast. We can only take so much.
posted by kbanas at 7:30 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is all aces in my book, except the invective.

He should have dashed out a few Bodhi quotes before bailing.

Life sure has a sick sense of humor, doesn't it? Little hand says it's time to rock and roll!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:30 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like very much how in two paragraphs in a row an unnamed law enforcement official (apparently unfamiliar with the conditional) explains why his actions were extremely dangerous and an unnamed nervous corporate spokesman explains that at no time as anyone in any danger at all:

“When they hit that emergency chute, it drops down quickly within seconds,” a law enforcement official said. “If someone was on the ground and it came down without warning, someone could be injured or killed.”

In a statement, JetBlue said it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to investigate the episode. “At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crew members at risk,” the company said.

posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:30 AM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


(perfectly good airplane -- too obvious)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]




According to the article, JetBlue employees have no union. Which makes sense, it's a newer airline. He's going to be boned.


you really think a grand jury is going to indict on this?
posted by spicynuts at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once remarked that if I ever decided to burn the bridges on my way out the door, my preferred way was going to be to urinate in my boss's trash can. While standing on his desk. And dancing.

Now I need to figure out a way to get some sort of deployed inflatable emergency safety gear involved. Which will be a bit tough what with being in a somewhat sedate office environment.
posted by quin at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but I wonder if maybe the attention will get him some help in the whole legal defense fund arena.
posted by edbles at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2010


Or what cavalier said apparently, yeesh.
posted by edbles at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2010


Can we automatically link this FPP to anybody on Ask with a 'my job sucks' question?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


But a former flight attendant, Janet Bavasso, who lives next door to Mr. Slater in Queens, found nothing mysterious at all.

“Enough is enough — good for him,” Ms. Bavasso said. “If he would have called me, I would have picked him up.”


This guy is basically a capital-H Hero to everybody except JetBlue stockholders.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Based on his profile pic from nyt and his career choice, I have a suspicion that he may be the reincarnation of Stephen Stucker.
posted by condour75 at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted this before and I think it still stands:

I feel really badly for him. There's only so much time you can put up with other people being total assholes while you smile politely before something snaps, and I wish there were better mechanisms in place to help people out before they get to this point.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hm, the Facebook profile already looks to be setting up a fund. Either way, I don't mind getting involved if it will get this guy covered.
posted by cavalier at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2010


props to this woman, too:
But a former flight attendant, Janet Bavasso, who lives next door to Mr. Slater in Queens, found nothing mysterious at all.

“Enough is enough — good for him,” Ms. Bavasso said. “If he would have called me, I would have picked him up.”
posted by msconduct at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aww, eriko. AA miles!

Wait, what's wrong with AA miles? Are they doing something stupid with them again?

When I was getting my PhD in the 80s there was the story of the California doctoral student who killed his mentor after spending endless years in the program. Us students knew it was awful, but at the same time, he was sort of our hero.

Emphasis mine. Jesus, really? That makes me think dropping out of my PhD program really was the right decision.
posted by kmz at 7:35 AM on August 10, 2010


whoops! shoulda previewed.
posted by msconduct at 7:35 AM on August 10, 2010


I feel really badly for him.

nah. he'll probably end up with a reality show.
posted by msconduct at 7:37 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I'm kind of amazed this type of thing doesn't happen more often.
posted by lullaby at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2010


He wouldn't have needed the chute if they'd given him a golden parachute.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


> you really think a grand jury is going to indict on this?

Will this even go to a grand jury? He's not going to come out of this smelling like a rose no matter what.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


A wikipedia link to a term used for CEO's exiting companies with a huge cash windfall. Huh. Really had to stretch that one over here, eh.
posted by cavalier at 7:40 AM on August 10, 2010


What the story doesn't mention is that as he left the employee parking parking lot he drove over a wooden bridge, lit a single match and tossed it onto the bridge, which instantly burst into flames.

No, I think he was walking away from the plane in slow motion when it exploded in a huge fireball.

He didn't flinch...he smirked.
posted by zardoz at 7:41 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now I need to figure out a way to get some sort of deployed inflatable emergency safety gear involved. Which will be a bit tough what with being in a somewhat sedate office environment.

"Oh, yeah? Well you can cram it pal! I'm out of here!"

PFTT

"Good day to you, sir!"

[Dignified exit]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2010


stephenslaterisarockstar.com ?
stephenslaterglideswithstyle.com ?
twobeersoneslide.com ?

Work with me people. I've got hosting and a domain account ready to burn.
posted by cavalier at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ha! I was supposed to come back on Jetblue into JFK Sunday except they cancelled my flight, how I wish I could have had this guy.

Thousands of people will now have their flights cancelled thanks to this guy.

I appreciate the whole folk-hero mentality, but the practical impact of this episode is a large unnecessary expense for his employer (an innocent party except for having employed him) and tremendous inconvenience to a lot of people. Oh, and the complete destruction of his career. And we're cheering why exactly?
posted by Epenthesis at 7:46 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we're cheering why exactly?

Sorry, sir, the robotic stockholder meeting is one door down.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2010 [75 favorites]


I really hope the prosecutor takes it easy on him in the plea deal. Just fine him enough to make it hurt (so no one else does this), but not enough to ruin his life.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was getting my PhD in the 80s there was the story of the California doctoral student who killed his mentor after spending endless years in the program.

This has happened several different times, actually.

As for Mr. Slater, I salute you for finally doing what so many others only dream of.
posted by TBAcceptor at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2010


The airlines seem increasinglyh to have passengers who are total nutters. What happened to the misfit who refused to sit down, caused some harm to the head, and disobeyed orders not to stand ..and cursed the attendant?
posted by Postroad at 7:50 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kinda ridiculous move, IMO. There are far better ways to quit one's job without inconveniencing hundreds of people who had nothing to do with the irate jackass on the plane. I can only assume there was a not too insignificant delay of the other passengers disembarking, as well as the plane being out of service for the passengers it would've normally picked up next, not to mention some confusion and/or frustration of family members/friends waiting for people at the airport.

It's definitely much, much easier to appreciate the "flair," and see the lighter side when you're not being directly influenced by this man's actions.

That said, it's still a great story, and in the long run, would be worth the frustration and initial anger I would've felt had I been on the plane, or waiting for someone on it. If this ever got before a jury of his peers, I think it would be hard to convince jury members of the need to indict, unless there are extenuating circumstances not listed in the article, or they somehow manage to fill the jury with passengers on that flight, the jackass in particular.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


And it is a valuable stimulus for the emergency door and slide manufacturers.

Seriously, Jet Blue has another plane. Stephen Slater is going to get another job, and probably will have a somewhat colorable defense that his erratic actions were caused by being hit on the head. Passengers on the flight may have been delayed, but they have an amazing story to tell.

Everyone wins!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:53 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


He stayed thirsty, my friends.
posted by tommasz at 7:53 AM on August 10, 2010 [27 favorites]


It's definitely much, much easier to appreciate the "flair," and see the lighter side when you're not being directly influenced by this man's actions.

True. I apologize for the robotic stockholder swipe, above. I rarely have the chance to travel anymore given my teaching schedule, so it did not occur to me to weigh the inconvenience for regular (i.e., daily) air travelers.

Still, the put-upon employee in just about everyone must be at least (silently) cheering for this guy all the same.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:54 AM on August 10, 2010


And we're cheering why exactly?

Because some days we all deserve a beer-n-slide exit from a shitty job.
posted by ecourbanist at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


According to his MySpace profile he's a recovering addict, so nabbing those two beers might not have been such a hot idea:

"Beating alcoholism and substance abuse 'one day at a time' has opened up new worlds of opportunity for me, and I am so thankful to those who have guided me along the path to successful living, and given me new wings to fly."
posted by mmcg at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]



Will this even go to a grand jury? He's not going to come out of this smelling like a rose no matter what.


Are you paying attention to this thread? People are lining up to have his babies already.
posted by spicynuts at 7:57 AM on August 10, 2010


This couldn't give me more of a righteous boner than if he sang "Everything's Coming Up Roses" as he dropped down the chute, out of sight.
posted by dr_dank at 7:58 AM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]



On my last flight, the seat next to me was occupied by a Flight Marshall. The first clue was the hint of a holster under his jacket when he stowed his luggage above. The second was when, immediately after the plane touched down, some guy in the back got up and began collecting his things from the overhead bin.

The FA asked him repeatedly (over the PA) to sit down and he ignored her. The Marshall next to me looked at me and said "Well, I was loooking forward to going home tonight, but now I'm gonna have to deal with this shithead". Then he got up and moved back there to explain some facts to the gentleman.

After we departed the plane, I saw Mr. Too Important to Follow Simple Rules get frogmarched off off the plane an into a cruiser. I never saw any news reports, though. I have to wonder how often it happens.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2010 [24 favorites]


> Are you paying attention to this thread? People are lining up to have his babies already.

I was referring to criminal proceedings only, not perceived popularity. What he did was amusing but is hardly deserving of folk hero status.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:01 AM on August 10, 2010


Seems like a lot of people have been deciding they just weren't going to take it any more lately.
posted by koeselitz at 8:02 AM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


you really think a grand jury is going to indict on this?

I doubt he'll face jail time, probation maybe after a plea deal or something. I was talking more about the civil suit he'll likely face for knocking an airplane out of service for a week or so. How much does it cost to reinstall a new emergency chute and get it airworthy again? 6 figures at least, not even counting for whatever profits they lost diverting another plane to cover the schedule he messed up. No way JetBlue just eats that, they'll be coming after him.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:04 AM on August 10, 2010


Take this job and shove it.
posted by horsemuth at 8:05 AM on August 10, 2010


If any schoolmarms are looking for someone to be upset with (and this being metafilter, there naturally are) in this incident (an incident in which no one was harmed, btw, and the "inconvenience" it caused to other passengers appears to be greatly exaggerated: I certainly did not read of any flight cancellations, as someone asserted upthread), perhaps the guy who, according to reports, refused to sit down when asked by the FA, is the person to whom your ire should be directed?
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:06 AM on August 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


What he did was amusing but is hardly deserving of folk hero status.

Whether he deserves it or not, the process is already in full swing. I'm curious to hear exactly why you think he will not come out of this smelling like roses. Are you speaking of his reputation or his finances?
posted by spicynuts at 8:06 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


@Cavalier

I vote for "twobeersoneslide.com"
posted by marienbad at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


> Whether he deserves it or not, the process is already in full swing. I'm curious to hear exactly why you think he will not come out of this smelling like roses. Are you speaking of his reputation or his finances?

I already said "legal proceedings".
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2010


"stephenslaterisarockstar.com ?
stephenslaterglideswithstyle.com ?
twobeersoneslide.com ?"


stephenslaterisabadmotherfucker.com
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:08 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"In short order, his brick two-story house on Beach 128th Street in the Rockaways, just off the ocean, was swarmed by detectives and uniformed officers from New York City and the Port Authority. “It was like there was a hostage in there,” said Curt Krakowski, who was working on the deck of a house across the street. "

good grief. overkill much Port Authority?
posted by marienbad at 8:10 AM on August 10, 2010


> good grief. overkill much Port Authority?

Hey now...that bloated, overfunded state security apparatus doesn't justify itself, you know.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:13 AM on August 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wish my job had a beverage cart and an emergency slide.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:14 AM on August 10, 2010 [14 favorites]


Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, I'm out!
posted by nitsuj at 8:15 AM on August 10, 2010 [32 favorites]


Wow, what a hero. Walter Mitty meets Terminator. Wonder when his book/reality show's coming out.
posted by applemeat at 8:17 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish my job had a beverage cart and an emergency slide.

He might not have had a golden parachute, but he had an exit strategy.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:19 AM on August 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


He was arrested at his home in Belle Harbor, Queens, a few miles from the airport, and charged with felony counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment . . . In short order, his brick two-story house on Beach 128th Street in the Rockaways, just off the ocean, was swarmed by detectives and uniformed officers from New York City and the Port Authority. “It was like there was a hostage in there,” said Curt Krakowski, who was working on the deck of a house across the street.

You know, this pisses me off.... every time there's an airline-related issue, the local police drop everything they're doing and become the airline's corporate security firm. Everything I'm reading suggests the typical overreaction. The slide is classified in there with dangerous weapons? They want to destroy this guy's life over this with a felony charge? The people on Digg are right... our cops in America are out of control.
posted by crapmatic at 8:19 AM on August 10, 2010 [17 favorites]


Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, I'm out!

Bah, beat me to it!
posted by samsara at 8:21 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry. Deploying the emergency chute for something that is nowhere near an emergency is just wrong. This guy may have felt justified, you may feel he was justified. However, losing your temper and cursing at everyone on the plane then creating a spectacle shouldn't give this guy a free pass. Guess I'm now officially old.
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:24 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a hero.

Jesus. Heroes save babies, jump on live grenades to spare their comrades or help farm workers stand up and organize or something. This is merely an amusing sideshow.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


countdown to reality show in 3, 2, 1....
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 8:25 AM on August 10, 2010


There are far better ways to quit one's job without inconveniencing hundreds of people who had nothing to do with the irate jackass on the plane.

Convenience. Yeah. If Jet Blue's reaction is truly out of concern for customer convenience, this kind of problem should take a back seat to, say, passengers trapped on the tarmac for 8-10 hours. Maybe they'd even work a bit harder to comply rather than ask for exemptions. And maybe they wouldn't do ridiculous things like have flight attendants threatening passengers with jail time for using a camera in-flight. Or hell, they could even just enforce sensible dimension rules for carryons so that you don't have people constantly struggling to get stuff that really wasn't designed to be lifted or stowed into overhead bins slowing down every last flight they operate.

But, no, when one guy who finally gets fed up after getting hit in the head by a recalcitrant passenger in the course of doing his job quits dramatically, that's apparently the problem that the company decides they really need to make a big show over, call in the authorities and the lawyers.

I don't think this is really about passenger convenience.
posted by weston at 8:26 AM on August 10, 2010 [32 favorites]


About 15 years ago a good friend (Greg) was a flight attendant working in the first class cabin. The entire plane was seated and waiting for one last passenger to arrrive. Finally, a man entered with a carry-on bag. He went to his seat in the first few rows and started opening the overhead bins around him. My friend approached and told him that there was no longer any storage in the plane and that he would have to take the bag and check it for him. The passenger all of a sudden said loud and clear: "I'm a first class customer and I expect...no, I demand that you find room for my bag." Greg calmly explained that that wasn't possible -- to which the passenger actually yelled out: "I want your full name and company I.D. number. You're messing with the wrong guy. I'm going to have your job." My friend's response: "My name is Greg *****. My employee number ia AA24356 ... and you can have my FUCKING job!" At that point the entire plane, having witnessed the exchange, burst out in applause. The passenger, chagrined and embarrassed, sheepishly handed his bag over to Greg. He never said another word during the entire flight.

And -- Greg was never "written up" for the incident.
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on August 10, 2010 [41 favorites]


The way I see it, this is a good turn of events for everyone involved:

• The passengers on the plane can say, "I was on a plane once, and one of the flight attendants got so fed up that he grabbed a beer and inflated a slide and just ... poof! ... disappeared!" They can all say this, for the rest of their lives. I imagine some of them will become very tiresome.

• The same goes for anyone who worked with Slater, particularly the other flight attendants.

• It doesn't really hurt JetBlue's image -- they've always told us their employees have flair. Just listen to the way they get all wacky on the PA normally. And no one was injured. The one thing that they should be worrying about is the mental health of their employees, who totally deserve help before something like this happens. So maybe as a result of this, they'll end up making some policy changes that benefit both the employees and the company. (HR is never going to say that mental health benefits are a bad idea!)

• Even the ground crew folks have a good story to tell. Which, umm. Hello, NYT? Were you unable to find a single baggage handler who would talk to you?

• As for Slater himself, I wonder who he'll do a long, tell-all interview with? Oprah? Larry King? Or maybe Jon Stewart?
posted by brina at 8:29 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Here's another "I Quit" story making the rounds this morning.

Smells a bit virally to me - but good for a laugh.

http://thechive.com/2010/08/10/girl-quits-her-job-on-dry-erase-board-emails-entire-office-33-photos/
posted by jeffmik at 8:32 AM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Watching the various responses (two so far?) to this episode makes for a fascinating Rorschach Test, I tell you what.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:33 AM on August 10, 2010


Heroes save babies, jump on live grenades to spare their comrades or help farm workers stand up

So you're saying it's OK to sacrifice a baby to save a comrade? Seems a bit of a stretch, even if the suicide bombing baby killer somehow, before blowing up, lifts a farmer who just fell down. Jeesh.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:33 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Quick solution: throw a baby on the grenade.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:34 AM on August 10, 2010


Hey, that baby was destined to be an cruel overseer for a unscrupulous agribusiness venture.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 AM on August 10, 2010


Wow, what a hero.

Jesus. Heroes save babies


Jesus, Burhanistan. Sarcasm.
posted by applemeat at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a funny story but this is a really slight news-of-the-weird post.
posted by sanko at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2010


Unfortunately, the next JB employee to storm out is going to have to even more dramatically do it midflight with a parachute.
posted by Eideteker at 8:46 PM on August 9 [+] [!]
posted by Eideteker at 8:38 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, the next JB employee to storm out is going to have to even more dramatically do it midflight with a parachute.
posted by Eideteker at 8:46 PM on August 9 [+] [!]
posted by Eideteker at 8:38 AM on August 10 [+] [!]


Somebody wake Eideteker before he spends an eternity in Limbo.

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:40 AM on August 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


After we departed the plane, I saw Mr. Too Important to Follow Simple Rules get frogmarched off off the plane an into a cruiser. I never saw any news reports, though. I have to wonder how often it happens.

I used to fly a lot for work. Saw people be spoken to by Marshalls a lot, (at least a dozen times) and this may be confirmation bias on my part but it always seemed to happen on flights I was on which were coming into LaGuardia, JFK or Newark. Someone stands up, a flight attendant starts ordering them to take their seats and when they ignore him or her, either the attendant or the Marshall step in. Most of the time, the passenger backed down extremely quickly when they saw the Marshall come towards them. Only twice was someone (roughly) escorted off the plane. The Marshalls never pulled their guns. Didn't have to.

I've also been on two flights where passengers became sick in the bathroom towards the end of a flight and that prompted an aborted landing. I always felt bad for the passengers tho. Can't even imagine how I'd feel if a couple of hundred people were angrily glaring at me because of an insistent call of Nature.
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on August 10, 2010


Great American hero or greatest American hero?

All you finger-waggers, have you never had a job where you spent more time plotting dramatic ways to quit than you did actually working? And this guy pulled it off!
posted by sugarfish at 8:46 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


He topped me that's for sure. My blaze of glory was to write a "I quit" letter with class and how everyone there was talented but management was too blind to see bla bla bla and oh yea the headhunter calling me for MY JOB was priceless. Put it on their desks and left. Went to the other building to hand in my badge/credit card and saw a sea of applicants. I nonchallantly said "oh is so and so here because here is my badge/card. I quit this joint." and 3 applicants looked at me, put their clip board down and left.

I drove off giggling all the way home. The team that was left had a party for me during lunch and conferenced me in. Pretty funny.

But grabbing a beer and going down a slide beats mine any day.
posted by stormpooper at 8:46 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


uncleozzy: "This guy is basically a capital-H Hero to everybody except JetBlue stockholders."

Or maybe them as well. I would seriously consider booking my first flight with JetBlue on the off chance that someone else did this.
posted by brundlefly at 8:46 AM on August 10, 2010


I just flew my two kids across the country, by myself. Two flights 6 hours fun times. Anyway as we are boarding CHI to PDX leg of our journey my kids are being normal kids, a little loud perhaps but not crazy. As I was working to settle them down. This 50 something cranky red-head in front of me says, "Are your kids going to be this loud the whole flight." (right after she pestered the flight attendant for a pillow). I said, "I'm sorry would you like some ear plugs." Her response to me of my offer was, "Is this your cute way of ignoring your unruly children," and she started to reach for the call button, again. I used my well developed dad voice and said to her, "Lady, sit down in your chair this instant, stop bothering me or I will make you get off this plane and you will walk to Portland so help me." She gave us no further problems though she did try to use the toddler glare on me as she walked to the bathroom mid-flight. I used a dominance stare back and she looked away, defeated. My kids stared at the iPad and watched movies and were mostly quiet and did not kick her seat (much). The dad voice is one of the great benefits to having children. Learn it, practice it, discover that it works on children and many adults.
posted by humanfont at 8:47 AM on August 10, 2010 [59 favorites]


The dad voice is one of the great benefits to having children. Learn it, practice it, discover that it works on children and many adults.

I'm just gonna go ahead and flag this as fantastic. *cough*
posted by zarq at 8:51 AM on August 10, 2010


@brina I don't think the passenger gets a remotely good story out of this, because it ends up reflecting very poorly on them. Think about it:

'Once, while travelling upon a plane, I was acting like such an asshole that the poorly paid and noble flight attendant who was tasked with looking after me decided instead to commit a dangerous, arrestable offence to escape being in my presence. The manner of his exit was also so incredibly awesome that he hands down won our short altercation, despite my yelling "That's right, walk away" after him. Saying this made me seem only ignorant in the eyes of my fellow passengers, because he wasn't walking at all - he was sliding. Like a boss.'
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 8:53 AM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Guess I'm now officially old.

No. I'm officially old. You're just a bit boring. Nothing wrong with either.
posted by Splunge at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a weird moment with a flight attendant on a trip to Vegas the other week. Weird in that the flight attendant went REALLY off-script upon landing in a very sarcastic way. I'm not sure if this was rehearsed, or okayed by Delta or whatever, but once we landed she actually said over the PA "On behalf of Delta, etc. we'd like to welcome you to Las Vegas. Please wait until the plane has come to a complete stop before you all get up at the same time and start trying to scramble for the door."

What's funny is, no tried to get up early after that. Maybe pre emptive snark works.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:59 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


This guy is the Ferris Bueller of 2010.

Yes, he should have sought to Work Through Due Process for dealing with the early bag harpy, but I have done my share of customer service time and don't really begrudge him this one bit.

I had a manager who, in reply to a customer who screamed "The customer is always right!" and sprayed spittle, drawled, "Not always." Frank, I miss you.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:03 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we're cheering why exactly?

Well, I'm kind of bored at work today, so...
posted by dirigibleman at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


hell yes
posted by Ironmouth at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2010


This guy sounds a bit like Captain Flashheart.
posted by klanawa at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


What he did was amusing but is hardly deserving of folk hero status.

Oh, screw that, sure he is. In fact, I am going to write a folk ballad to him.

THE BALLAD OF STEVEN SLATER

Ain't we all had a day
When we just had enough
Ain't it true each one of us
Has been battered, worn, and rough
Ain't you never felt irate
And won'tcha get irater
Well, my friends, we have a hero now
I speak of Steven Slater

It ain't that easy to ride the skies
Laboring for JetBlue
A man's got to keep widened eyes
For terrorists or shampoo
And worser still are the passengers
They turn a kind man to a hater
Won't nobody stand up to this?
One man: Steven Slater

There was a particular day
And a particular customer
Who grew abusive to Steven
when he instructed her
She was endangering herself
And he didn't care to debate her
And all at once she struck his head
She struck at Steven Slater

Some will say he made a scene
Or it was a crime
But Steven he had had enough
And if he has to, he'll do time
Perhaps it's great to keep your cool
But sometimes it is greater
To bid one final fuck you too
As did Steven Slater

He cursed her on the intercom
So that everyone could hear
And he then bid his adieu
And he grabbed himself a beer
And threw open the JetBlue door
With an escape slide and its inflater
And he slid down, drinking, shouting fuck you
Our hero, Steven Slater

The police they went after him
They caught him in his bed
He was supposed to finish work but he was
In flagrante delicto instead
A hero and a lover now, not a
Circumnavigater
Say what you will, but tip your hat
To a man who had enough
A man named Steven Slater.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:06 AM on August 10, 2010 [287 favorites]


Taiwan Animated News!
posted by cazoo at 9:09 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was wondering why this story was the lead on Today this morning and then before I left for work, I read the 20 comments here and then 100 more were posted before I got downtown, and I realized my and my boyfriend's own reactions, even as non-frequent fliers, was a shared one with many, and that the morning show producers were on to something. Why?

Because despite losing his job/arrest, "man crazed by overhead compartment assholery and rudeness takes a dramatic stand" is obviously in the running for feel good story of the year.

slogger: A version I read last night reported that when Port Authority officials showed up at his house to arrest him, it appeared he was in the middle of having "sexual relations."

+1 for style.


This, too, is unsurprising. I have no reason to know whether or not Mr. Slater is involved in a committed, monogamous relationship with another consenting adult.

That said, if his story of his day was told right, it'd be a hell of a pick up line.

In fact, +1 seems a bit low.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2010


A first hand account. The flight attendant was apparently bleeding from his head wound.
posted by availablelight at 9:12 AM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


> A first hand account. The flight attendant was apparently bleeding from his head wound.

The best part about that was all the producers leaving comments for him to come on their shows.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:17 AM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm with the "this guy is an idiot" crowd. immature, anger issues, inconsiderate, and not very bright. I've got better choices as heroes.

but, I'm old too.
posted by HuronBob at 9:17 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope he took his high-heels off before he went down that slide.
posted by chococat at 9:19 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


XQUZYPHYR, Westjet allows their staff to go offscript as well. Its usually along the same lines - at airports where you're going onto the tarmac they will warn you not to walk into the white hot engines while catching up on emails etc.

Even when its not funny and its the end of a long trip, its pretty hard not to crack a smile.
posted by jeffmik at 9:24 AM on August 10, 2010


You can't make a proper exit unless you're wearing cha-cha heels.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2010


A first hand account. The flight attendant was apparently bleeding from his head wound.

If that link is on the level, and I have no way of knowing, it's also worth noting that: the passengers on the plane in question were able to deplane without incident or delay; the plane itself was already at the terminal when the FA pulled the slide; Slater did not drive away.

Also: has the passenger (who hit Slater in the head with luggage) been identified, and if so is he/she being charged with endangering the flight and harming a FA?

I think JB and the FAA should not press charges against Slater, although he will likely lose his job, but should consider charges against the passenger. After all, who should the airlines be more concerned with: potentially unruly FA's or potentially unruly passengers? The former is an anomaly, but the latter is a recurring problem.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


chococat: I hope he took his high-heels off before he went down that slide.

I know I'm stereotyping based on the many gay male flight attendants I know, but I did actually totally imagine him making the "I'm removing my earrings prior to catfight"* motion before he started going off.

Also, I don't know about anyone else, but if I get hit in the head, I go crazy. I don't have a temper at all, frighteningly so sometime, but something like that happening would trigger me.
That, and this thread and much other reaction to it prove what I said this morning that I'm sure that this case will not end up going to any sort of trial, but I believe he could truly find "a jury of his peers", dude would walk.

* Is there a name for that motion?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:30 AM on August 10, 2010


Let me play Devil's Advocate.

What a dumb ass. In this economy you don't quit jobs because of one asshole customer. Everybody is his friend right now, but in another month nobody is going to remember him and he's still going to be unemployed and scrambling for rent money.
posted by Bonzai at 9:31 AM on August 10, 2010


> I think JB and the FAA should not press charges against Slater, although he will likely lose his job, but should consider charges against the passenger.

They presumably have grounds to charge both? It's not a zero sum morality game when legal charges are involved.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:31 AM on August 10, 2010


...potentially unruly FA's or potentially unruly passengers? The former is an anomaly, but the latter is a recurring problem.

In my experience the unruly ratio is very close between these two groups -- although most flights have more passengers.
posted by zeikka at 9:33 AM on August 10, 2010


> What a dumb ass. In this economy you don't quit jobs because of one asshole customer.

I'd like to hear his side of this (presuming his attorney hasn't wisely counseled him to shut up until everything settles). I'm thinking he had already socked away a fair amount of cash and had other prospects in another industry and this was just a convenient opportunity for him to say to hell with it. I'm just projecting though--I wouldn't throw away a gig unless I had a cushion and some other lines to pursue.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


They presumably have grounds to charge both?

Yes I would think so, but if he loses his job, which he almost certainly will, is that not enough? (Less a legal argument here than an ethical one).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:35 AM on August 10, 2010


I can't believe he wasted a perfectly good opportunity to moon everyone on the plane before jumping onto the slide.
posted by digsrus at 9:36 AM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


He should have mixed himself one of those bloody marys made with a can of V8...
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on August 10, 2010


I'm thinking he had already socked away a fair amount of cash and had other prospects in another industry and this was just a convenient opportunity for him to say to hell with it.

Or a rich boyfriend.
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my experience the unruly ratio is very close between these two groups -- although most flights have more passengers.

Every FA I've known or met has had stories about having to deal with or "babysit" unruly passengers, and the news is full of stories about planes forced to land due to a drunken, brawling passenger. In all my years of flying I've never seen a FA step over the line into abrasive rudeness, but I've seen plenty of passengers step over that line. I'm not saying they're all saints, but I have sympathy for FA's in general.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:40 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


he's still going to be unemployed and scrambling for rent money.

Guess State's ARE hard up if they are charging rent for jail cells.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:42 AM on August 10, 2010


I appreciate the whole folk-hero mentality, but the practical impact of this episode is a large unnecessary expense for his employer (an innocent party except for having employed him) and tremendous inconvenience to a lot of people. Oh, and the complete destruction of his career. And we're cheering why exactly?
posted by Epenthesis at 11:46 PM on August 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


I wish I had more time to read the thread, but I'll just say that I myself would be happy to wait for a guy like this. Man, I'm going through something similar (divorce + crappy relatives + move + huge projects + not getting paid by other client) at the moment. I'm glad I'm a freelancer who works without ever seeing my clients, because that allows me to delay without burning my bridges, but I gotta say, sometimes you just gotta wait.
posted by saysthis at 9:43 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we're cheering why exactly?

Because he did what many people have dreamed of, particularly people that deal with customers, but he did it in a non-violent and stylish fashion, if not entirely graceful. There's always one special asshole who grates on your nerves when you're having the worst possible day/week/month and you would really like to physical damage to the other.

This guy didn't hurt anyone, even the asshole who probably deserved it and when he split, he said his piece over the intercom, grabbed two beers, showing he really just wanted to chill out and relax and then did what we've all dreamed off, going down the airplane slide in a non-emergency situation.

No, he didn't rush into a fire and save a bunch of children, but for one brief moment, he did what so many wish and dream of doing and the catharsis of that act feels great for all of us who are cheering him. He had his fifteen minutes of fame and it wasn't because he was drugged out spoiled rich kid without any common sense, or whacked out sports figure who's head is full of money and girls. He was just a guy who wanted a bit of respect and when he didn't get it, for the umpteeth time, so fuck it and gave the world the finger.

Where's his donation fund again?
posted by nomadicink at 9:46 AM on August 10, 2010 [45 favorites]


I, too, have had the typical "go out in a blaze of glory" fantasy. Never acted on them, though, but I've never been conked on the head by a dipshit passenger, either.

That said, it would have been far, far easier for this flight attendant to get this passenger permanently banned from flying anywhere in the U.S.

"Here, let me whip out the banhammer form here ... Hmm ... 'Reason for placement on no-fly list?' How about, 'Attacked flight attendant?' Yeah, that sounds about right."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love blogger guy's high school freind's pitch.

Phil - My name is Sean, and I write a blog called Sean's Ramblings and have known you since high school. I am not writing to ask you for an interview request, but thought I would point this out before providing a comment. :)

Also why are they leaving comments on the main page? Dude clearly has his e-mail up on the Profile area.
posted by edbles at 9:52 AM on August 10, 2010


> Also why are they leaving comments on the main page? Dude clearly has his e-mail up on the Profile area.

Well, we are talking about news producers here. They can't be expected to do silly little things like look for relevant information.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I absolutely believe he'll get a book deal and a job offer out of this. He'll come out better than if he hadn't done it.
posted by josher71 at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2010


Oh wow, he was arraigned today and it gets more fun:
At the arraignment on felony charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in a packed room in the basement of criminal court in Queens, Mr. Slater’s court-appointed lawyer, Howard Turman, said that Mr. Slater’s activation of the slide was not reckless. He said Mr. Slater followed the proper procedure for activating the slide, checking out the window first to make sure no one was on the tarmac who could be struck by it.

...

When asked why Mr. Slater chose to avoid the conflict by taking the emergency slide, Mr. Turman replied, “It was right there.”
Neither this guy's nor his lawyers balls fit in the overhead compartment.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:59 AM on August 10, 2010 [56 favorites]


In all my years of flying I've never seen a FA step over the line into abrasive rudeness, but I've seen plenty of passengers step over that line. I'm not saying they're all saints, but I have sympathy for FA's in general.

I've seen abrasive behavior from both groups. One FA example from this spring coming from St. Maarten to JFK on AA flight. FA working first class would accost customers for ordering drinks or meals in 'non-specific' way. She would cut people off before they could finish their sentences and ridicule then with answers like "A soda? There's more than one kind. A coke, a sprite, a diet coke? Ice, no ice, glass, no glass, half can, full can..." and "Tea -- what kind? Milk, no milk, lemon, no lemon..." Passengers were afraid to order or ask anything.

After I had the audacity to save a meal for my sleeping son she decided to totally ignore me for the rest of the flight. My wife going to the galley and saying "I'm sorry to bother, but could I get some milk for the bottle?" resulted in behind the back mumbling "I graduated in English and I know that but negates everything before it."

This particular flight attendant was/is well known as unstable by frequent American Airlines flyers to Caribbean.

Sorry for long example, but this is one example of obnoxious FAs I've seen over 10 years and 1M+ flights. More passive aggressive FAs use the threat of 'reporting to authorities' rather than overt hostility.

Seen plenty of bad passenger behavior as well.
posted by zeikka at 10:06 AM on August 10, 2010


Guess State's ARE hard up if they are charging rent for jail cells.

Just give Joe Arpaio a little more time, and he'll be right there for you.
posted by Copronymus at 10:07 AM on August 10, 2010


When I first read this somehow I thought the plane was in flight, and the attendant used a parachute, as in, cursed out the passenger and then bailed out at 25,000 feet, screaming something like "So long, suckers!" as he tore open the emergency door and threw himself into the raging torrent, the other crew members struggling to close the door as the passengers panic. It would be the single most magnificent take-this-job-and-shove-it flame-out in the history of the world!

So ...

It's still a pretty good story.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:08 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then there is Gerard B. Finneran.
"A few years ago on a United Airlines flight from Buenos Aires to New York, Gerard B. Finneran, an investment banker, went totally bonkers. Newspaper accounts said that after becoming intoxicated, Finneran demanded more alcohol from the flight attendants. When they refused, he began helping himself to the liquor supply. After being cut off a second time, he became visibly angry. He pushed one flight attendant (federal offense No. 1), verbally threatened another (federal offense No. 2), interfered with a third who was assisting a sick passenger (federal offense No. 3), then walked up to the first-class cabin, dropped his pants and defecated on a service cart in plain view of the passengers and crew. Then he stepped in his own feces and tracked it through the main cabin (federal offense Nos. 4, 5 and possibly 6).

Finneran was arrested upon landing in New York. He subsequently pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to two years probation. In addition, he was given 300 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine and was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution to the airline and to reimburse fellow passengers for the price of their tickets."
The article continues with other "examples [which] will give you a better idea of what flight attendants put up with every day."
posted by ericb at 10:08 AM on August 10, 2010


Just received this -- Jenny quits, in 33 photos.

Going out in style, man.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Buh-bye.
posted by Kabanos at 10:12 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Guess State's ARE hard up if they are charging rent for jail cells.
Jails To Charge For Room & Board.

Bill would raise cap on Va. inmates' rent to $5 a day.

Mass. and Calif. consider charging inmates $5-a-day rent.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So when will Astro Zombie's BALLAD OF STEPEHEN SLATER make it to Youtube?

Because I wants it NOW!

pretty please?
posted by washburn at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2010


Aww. I want to use twobeersoneslide but if he is a recovering addict that's not really cool.. any other ideas?

I'm trying to contact him but as you can imagine he's the media flavor of the month so no dice yet. Still want to get the domain stuff set up or whatnot incase he needs it.
posted by cavalier at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2010


The reason this might be such an inspiring story is because of the economic stressors caused by crap employers who are not hiring and the lack of freedom of movement within the economy that employees are feeling. This guy basically was pushed to the point where he did not care about the consequences (at least he did not care at the moment he took his dramatic exit), and told the system to fuck itself, thus validating the feelings of many people who have commented that this person is a hero. Those who do not see him as a hero do not feel that the economic pressures caused by poor management are at all to blame for this type of situation, and are thus, probably bad managers. (that last part was only slightly a joke)
posted by daq at 10:15 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


cavalier, I think he is still in a cell, yes? Or is he out on bail now?
posted by jeanmari at 10:18 AM on August 10, 2010


His bail is only $2,500 and I've read that he is expected to be out this afternoon.
posted by ericb at 10:19 AM on August 10, 2010


According to his MySpace profile he's a recovering addict, so nabbing those two beers might not have been such a hot idea:

Gahk! I'd forgotten just how hideous MySpace was until I clicked on this link...

All in all, there are worse ways to quit a job. Consider my now long lost friend and former band mate back in Panama City, FL who reportedly got so fed up with his dead-end job at a Sallie Mae call center he ran around the office in the middle of the day smashing all the computer monitors before he left (and yes, of course, he earned himself a stint behind bars in the process). Or the networking guy at my most recent previous job, a young family man who killed himself after word of his office romance with our petite, Harry Potter-reading head of IT leaked out. But I guess that last one goes a bit further than just quitting a job. Probably the worst way is the shameful, cowardly no-call, no-show. I'm ashamed to admit to having pulled that one once or twice in my youth.

But no, say what you like, this departure had panache.

Oh how I do still sometimes wish I'd left my last job in the blaze of glory I had fantasized about while wiling away the dullest hours: hacking the employee intranet site to substitute the phrase "ARBEIT MACHT FREI!" for those randomly-generated daily motivational messages on the home page. But alas, I'm no Steven Slater. And since then, I've matured considerably, for better or worse.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:20 AM on August 10, 2010


JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater is the Toast of the Online Community.
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just read the latest NYT account. Dang!

Everyone has their limits. Everyone. Sounds like this guy has done something most of us have only dreamed of.

The unruly Pgh passenger should have been charged with assault. And, if I met Mr. Slater, I'd love to buy the guy a beer. Many beers, actually.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:25 AM on August 10, 2010


One more thought:

Everyone who chimed in with "he's no hero" is certainly right from a "babies in a burning building perspective"; but considering that in my (albeit) limited flying experience in the past 10 years, I haven't had one trip where at least one let had at least one completely entitled ass-wipe giving off grief to fellow passengers and crew alike*, if his actions cause some folks to reconsider their rudeness, he's more of a hero than I'll be today.

(unless, God forbid, a nursery school starts on fire on my way home)

* Like memorably bad -- and, despite the impression I give here, I'm a really tolerant person, but rudeness on planes towards others has gotten really, freaking out-of-hand. The airlines and airports may be horrible, but the customers don't need to make it so much worse.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:37 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking he had already socked away a fair amount of cash and had other prospects in another industry and this was just a convenient opportunity for him to say to hell with it.

Or else, given his history as a recovering addict, he just has poor impulse control. Either way, I hope he comes out of this OK.
posted by availablelight at 10:40 AM on August 10, 2010


> When I first read this somehow I thought the plane was in flight...

My wife and I went to see Charlie's Angels 2 (it was hot out, we didn't have air conditioning, the first one was okay, give me a break), which opens with a scene of Drew Barrymore's character opening the door of a commercial airliner and parachuting out midflight. You're supposed to think she's a badass, but my wife leaned over as the scene played out and said "She just killed everyone on that plane!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:49 AM on August 10, 2010


I can't believe he wasted a perfectly good opportunity to moon everyone on the plane before jumping onto the slide.

It would probably have gotten him branded as a sex offender.
posted by marble at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Westjet allows their staff to go offscript as well. Its usually along the same lines - at airports where you're going onto the tarmac they will warn you not to walk into the white hot engines while catching up on emails etc.

I have heard them announce upon arrival in Calgary that "the captain has dimmed the cabin lights to improve the looks of the flight crew".


What a dumb ass. In this economy you don't quit jobs because of one asshole customer.

Yeah, that puzzled me too. I mean, when he said he had been doing this for 28 years, surely he meant that the first 27 years and change had been a glorious cycle of song and a medley of extemporanea.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, Gerard B. Finneran. Poor guy. He's mentioned in John Waters' new book, and he's a recurring subject online, and why not? He crapped on an airplane.

This was him. He died of Alzheimer's 10 years after the event. Once you're diagnosed, the average life expectancy is between 7 and 14 years, and a definitive diagnosis usually isn't made until cognitive impairment is profound enough to compromise daily living activities.

Of course, it just seemed like some lunatic passenger throwing an astonishing tantrum because he wasn't getting what he wanted. But it was probably one of the first signs of his eventually fatal derangement.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:58 AM on August 10, 2010 [14 favorites]


creative... but he's got nothing on george costanza
posted by matt755811 at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2010


Say, does anyone have a similar story to people quitting dramatically, possibly from thechive.com?
posted by mreleganza at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


> And we're cheering why exactly?

Maybe because everybody says Stand Up To Authority and Fight The Power and all that but somehow we're living in the most conformist, don't-rock-the-boat era since Reagan was president, or maybe since Eisenhower? You want your mojo back, got to start somewhere.
posted by jfuller at 11:04 AM on August 10, 2010


twobeers and hasstyle are registered, flushing DNS now. This will probalby be moot as someone close to him already has this, but, well, ya gotta try!
posted by cavalier at 11:06 AM on August 10, 2010


When asked why Mr. Slater chose to avoid the conflict by taking the emergency slide, Mr. Turman replied, “It was right there.”
Neither this guy's nor his lawyers balls fit in the overhead compartment.


I kind of expected the lawyer's next line to be something like: "Also my client crossed his arms across his chest while descending the slide, which further demonstrates his commitment to safety. Reckless endangerment would be if he had held his arms in the air and yelled 'WHEEEEEEE' while descending the emergency evacuation slide".
posted by kiltedtaco at 11:09 AM on August 10, 2010


Mr Slater,

Please get a job with Virgin America; I will buy you drinks as needed when you take your turnovers here in Seattle.
posted by nomisxid at 11:09 AM on August 10, 2010


Another Eyewitness Account of the Slater Incident on Jet Blue Flight 1052
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:16 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2010


I arrived at today at slightly past 6AM, where, after waiting 20 mins, I was informed that there were no vans for me to drive, and would have to wait for some undefined amount of time until one became available.

Just like last Tuesday, when I was told I would have to wait until noon for a van.

In both cases I went home because I'll be goddamned if I'm going to waste my time waiting in some fucking dispatch office, unpaid, for hours, so I can possibly be gifted with the ability to do the job I am on the payroll for and am scheduled for, and instead do something productive with my time, like get a new job (ha ha), while I contemplate missing a days worth of work and the proceeding cut to my barely higher than (43 cents !) minimum wage paycheck.

And I think of this story, I say, "Good." Sometimes enough is enough, and you're done being everyone else's bitch, and today, just for a little while, everyone else is going to be yours.
posted by Snyder at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I arrived at work..."
posted by Snyder at 11:22 AM on August 10, 2010


According to his online profiles, Mr. Slater has been the leader of JetBlue’s uniform redesign committee
Pshht. Design people.
and a member of the airline’s in-flight values committee.
== Passengers: watch your asses.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:40 AM on August 10, 2010


Speaking of employees going off script, there is a guy at my local airport who has a particular gift for comedy. I always hope that he will get on the intercom and make an announcement. Recently, he announced at the gate:

"Attention passengers on flight ____, we have a full flight and the overhead space is going to be limited, so we are asking all passengers to gate-check large bags. Please come to the desk and get a gate-check tag. We hope that you enjoy your tag, because it is the last free thing you are ever going to get from an airline."
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 11:44 AM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Now that he has the fame, all he needs is a movie deal.
As folks around the world cheer for Steven Slater, the now infamous JetBlue attendant who quit his job in a really spectacular way, we started to wonder who could play him when Hollywood comes knocking.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:46 AM on August 10, 2010


Hruhmn. No luck with contacting Mr. Slater's lawyer yet. It would appear there are 3 Facebook support pages and at least two more domain pages that all are looking to help him.

That said, Has Style is live, albeit with no donation inforamtion until I can get something that gets sent directly to him.
posted by cavalier at 11:49 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's really not too classy to offer to buy a recovering addict a drink. Not like he'll read this, but still.
posted by desjardins at 11:49 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:21 AM on August 10 [+] [
!]

What??? What would his PRIVATE medical status have to do with anything????
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:50 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


COURT DOCUMENT: Criminal Complaint Against Steve Slater
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:53 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


> What??? What would his PRIVATE medical status have to do with anything????

Well, having a potentially life threatening illness could explain the devil-may-care attitude, not that it's really any of the public's business anyway. But, these kinds of disclosures are exactly why we shouldn't be making people like this in to celebrities--they didn't ask for the attention and they're probably not too happy about every little facet of their past being put out there for everyone to pick over.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steven Slater is the Susan Boyle of fed-up employees
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:55 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


> COURT DOCUMENT: Criminal Complaint Against Steve Slater

Yikes, some felonies in there.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:56 AM on August 10, 2010


Yeah, felonies. Once it's on a plane it's pretty hairy.
posted by cavalier at 11:58 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yikes, some felonies in there.

It's fucking ridiculous, isn't it, the idea that anything this guy did was a possible felony? I mean for fuck's sake.

we shouldn't be making people like this in to celebrities

In his case, it might be a good idea, since it might keep him from doing time: shame JetBlue into coming to his defense. He put in 20 years of service with them after all.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 12:01 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


This year I have been traveling quite a lot for business, and I have a new-found respect for flight attendants. Yes, even the rude ones. What the fuck is so hard about following directions? Seatbelt sign means sit down. Take-off and landing means keep your seatback and tray table up. If the flight attendant says to turn off your iPhone, then don't just hide it in your pocket until she walks by. We are a nation of children who delight in disobeying.

What??? What would his PRIVATE medical status have to do with anything????

"HIV-positive" is a none-too-subtle dog whistle for "practicing homosexual", although nowadays we should be adult enough to come out and say, "He was caught with his boyfriend" or whoever. It's sort of like how the news media tip-toed around Justice Kagan's sexuality by posting a picture of her playing softball in college **wink wink**. Disgustingly juvenile behavior, but I've come to expect much less.
posted by muddgirl at 12:05 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's really not too classy to offer to buy a recovering addict a drink.

d'oh, er I mean I'll buy him a coffee drink, yeah this is Seattle, that's what I meant
posted by nomisxid at 12:08 PM on August 10, 2010


'Free Steven Slater': The JetBlue freak-out folk hero
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jenny quits, in 33 photos.

I like this one even better than Slater's story. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be calculated viral self-promotion for an actor (or whatever.)
posted by Zed at 12:17 PM on August 10, 2010


What??? What would his PRIVATE medical status have to do with anything????

And if updated reports are to be believed, he may have been bleeding in the cabin which would be the angle the reporters would use as to why they mentioned it, but really it's just a "in case you missed it, he is gay" clue for the slow readers in the newspaper's audience, along with the "caught in bed" line which I swear I have never read before in a news report.
posted by jessamyn at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


"IN THAT THE DEFENDANT DID: UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING A DEPRAVED
INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE, RECKLESSLY ENGAGE IN CONDUCT WHICH CREATED
A GRAVE RISK OF DEATH TO ANOTHER PERSON;HAVING NO RIGHT TO DO SO NOR
ANY REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVE THAT HE HAD SUCH RIGHT, INTENTIONALLY
DAMAGE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS;RECKLESSLY ENGAGE IN CONDUCT WHICH CREATED A
SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON;HAVING NO
RIGHT TO DO SO NOR ANY REASONABLE GROUND TO BELIEVE THAT HE HAD SUCH
RIGHT, RECKLESSLY DAMAGE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON IN AN AMOUNT
EXCEEDING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS;KNOWINGLY AND UNLAWFULLY ENTER OR
REMAIN IN A BUILDING OR UPON REAL PROPERTY WHICH IS FENCED OR OTHERWISE
ENCLOSED IN A MANNER DESIGNED TO EXCLUDE INTRUDERS"

a depraved indifference? is this the swearing or the releasing the chute bit?
posted by marienbad at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2010


Also on the front page of the Daily News there is an article about an off duty cop who shot her girlfriend and is out on $1000 bail. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/08/10/2010-08-10_ekeythia_dunston_released_on_1000_bail_for_alleged_shooting_of_girlfriend_erica_.html

Why is this guys bail even $2500?
posted by mokeydraws at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is this guys bail even $2500?

I swear to god I am not making a pun, but he is probably something of a flight risk.
posted by desjardins at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2010 [27 favorites]


I swear to god I am not making a pun, but he is probably something of a flight risk.

*P.A. system crackles to life*

A Ms. desjardins? Ms. desjardins to the 4chan thread, please.

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:33 PM on August 10, 2010


I have a paypal account setup, the domain is live, but I'm waiting to get approval from his lawyer before it goes out. I've also sent requests to the freeslater site and the t-shirt site asking how they are connected to him.
posted by cavalier at 12:37 PM on August 10, 2010


KevinSkomsvold: The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.

Oh Christ... of course, my so-called 'feel-good-story-of-the-year' has to be fucked up by the very media that brought it to my attention. Thanks, assholes.

Good to know whatever awesome thing I do with the rest of my life will possibly have that tag attached to it the next day. Even though I won't be doing hypothetical awesome thing in 1986.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


ColdChef wrote: "Also: a good lawyer will make it so that this guy acted out because of the head trauma he sustained from the asshole who bounced a suitcase off of his head."

When I read that this morning, that's what I was thinking. Well, I was thinking it's likely that he was having a manic episode, possibly caused by being hit on the head.

Also, if they were at the gate, I'm surprised the slides hadn't yet been disarmed. Accidental activation happens enough that many (if not all) airlines make the FAs check each other's work in disabling the slides.

The Card Cheat wrote: "You're supposed to think she's a badass, but my wife leaned over as the scene played out and said "She just killed everyone on that plane!""

She did something that is physically impossible. The doors are designed such that they can't be opened in flight due to the pressure differential.

Anyway, I was annoyed when I saw that he was charged with three felonies. I thought criminal mischief would have been plenty, and it probably should have been a misdemeanor. Then I realized that whether criminal mischief is a felony is probably based on the amount of damages caused, and I expect the damage caused is enough to reach that felony level. Still don't get the reckless endangerment, though. Even if the slide had hit someone it probably wouldn't have killed them.

desjardins wrote: "I swear to god I am not making a pun, but he is probably something of a flight risk."

He's probably already on the no-fly list.
posted by wierdo at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ballad of Steven Slater.
posted by cortex at 1:07 PM on August 10, 2010 [28 favorites]


> He's probably already on the no-fly list.

Gotta say, that's pretty understandable even if it's probably overly punitive and not entirely justified. In the eyes of the FAA and DHS, here is an individual who knows the ins and outs of security protocols, how to activate and manipulate emergency equipment, the nooks and crannies of airplanes, and tendency to make hasty and irrational decisions. From their perspective, they would probably be remiss if they didn't add him to some kind of watch list.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:08 PM on August 10, 2010


SLIDING DOWN, the Steven Slater Story

*He answers the door, surrounded by police* Wait a minute, I'm the bad guy?

I feel bad for his poor, sick mother. She must be worried... well, sick.
posted by Eideteker at 1:10 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ballad of Steven Slater.

I just favorited that so hard.
posted by ColdChef at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2010


I'm torn between "Yeah, OK, I can see why they're throwing the book at this" and "That was still AWESOME." God knows I've had fantasies of quitting in a spectacular manner now and then.
posted by BZArcher at 1:22 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ballad of Steven Slater. That song is better than any new song I have heard on the radio in a long time! And it was written and recorded in a couple hours!
posted by punkfloyd at 1:28 PM on August 10, 2010


Proper technique for exiting aircraft (via)
posted by howling fantods at 1:29 PM on August 10, 2010


Ballad of Steven Slater. That song is better than any new song I have heard on the radio in a long time! And it was written and recorded in a couple hours!

For free!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:31 PM on August 10, 2010


I like this one even better than Slater's story. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be calculated viral self-promotion for an actor (or whatever.)

There is almost zero chance of it not being viral. To wit: the girl is very pretty, the handwriting very legible, the lighting very clean, the story pat. Fakety-fake would be my call.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:37 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Fake but fucking delightful.
posted by edbles at 1:39 PM on August 10, 2010


KevinSkomsvold: The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.

Are you sure, because I don't see that anywhere on their website?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on August 10, 2010


Bookhouse: Fakety-fake would be my call.

Yes, mine too, sadly.

Let this be a lesson to you, Internet: if your funny job-quitting story doesn't end in agents surrounding your house like it's a hostage situation, we are no longer interested.

And thanks much for the Ballad of Steven Slater; though it now makes me want to demand a pony for favoriting for tag lists; "astro/attendant/beer/flight/headtrauma/jetblue/quitting/sex/slater/steven/zombie" is now my favorite group of seemingly nonsensical words ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2010


Ballad of Steven Slater.
posted by cortex at 4:07 PM on August 10


Okay ... this deserves to go viral. Someone post it on the Facebook page(s).
posted by ericb at 2:05 PM on August 10, 2010


I put it there, I hope people like it.
posted by jessamyn at 2:07 PM on August 10, 2010


After rant, some see Steven Slater as a hero.
posted by ericb at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2010


Posted the ballad to the page called simply "Steven Slater" on Facebook.
posted by mdonley at 2:14 PM on August 10, 2010


rticle "HIV-positive" is a none-too-subtle dog whistle for "practicing homosexual", although nowadays we should be adult enough to come out and say, "He was caught with his boyfriend" or whoever.

At least the Salon article on Steven Slater to which HP LaserJet P10006 linked above was adult enough:
"When officials caught up with him to arrest him for his shenanigans, he was allegedly having sex with his boyfriend."
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on August 10, 2010


D'oh, beat me to it, Jessamyn.
posted by mdonley at 2:16 PM on August 10, 2010


ThePinkSuperhero: KevinSkomsvold: The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.

Are you sure, because I don't see that anywhere on their website?


Yes, they seemed to have removed it. But that didn't stop it from showing up as one of the top Google News stories for part of this morning/afternoon.

It seems to me (and this just based on the story I can no longer find and nothing more) that the source was someone who arrested him, as it was reported as Mr. Slater letting the arresting officers know this. There's any number of reasons why and how he may have done so, but the one that comes to my mind is that it's the polite thing to do when you're HIV-positive and you have a gash in your head. Despite the fact that if he's healthy and medicated, there's quite possibly little-to-no-risk, it's still considered good form.

However, let this be a lesson -- good form won't get your privacy respected.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2010


In related news...
posted by wallstreet1929 at 2:21 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


In related news...

Okay, it's just funny at this point.
posted by cavalier at 2:30 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


wallstreet, did you read any of this thread at all?
posted by marienbad at 2:33 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I was at home with my camera, I'd make a white board presentation about how I'm quitting Metafilter because nobody reads the whole thread before they comment.

And because nobody calls me a H.P.O.A.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:36 PM on August 10, 2010


wallstreet, did you read any of this thread at all?

Probably not thoroughly enough.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on August 10, 2010


Eats, Chutes & Leaves.
posted by gman at 2:40 PM on August 10, 2010 [31 favorites]


There are some weird inconsistencies in these stories. The offending passenger was male, then she was female. Steven Slater is 39 but said it'd been "a good 28 years" (in other articles it's listed as 20 years). They were on the tarmac; no, they were at the gate. He walked off and drove away, or he took the Air Train to the parking lot.
posted by desjardins at 2:40 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steven Slater is 39 but said it'd been "a good 28 years" (in other articles it's listed as 20 years).

This might be what happens when newspapers do their reporting off a gay man's online profile. I've known lots of "39 year olds" who've been out of high school for closer to 30 years... and they weren't Doogie Howsers.

Just kidding. At least in regards to Mr. Slater.

I think the age may be actually right -- it seems there's lots of different versions of what he supposedly said.

(But seriously, and I realize it's been said earlier in the thread, which might make my previous joke hypocritical, but the amount of "reporting" that has been done by reading an outdated MySpace page pains me.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:47 PM on August 10, 2010


So who gets the first Steven Slater interview: Oprah, Barbara Walters, Larry King?

This guy is bigger than Lady GaGa right now. But like Paul the Psychic Octopus, Falcon Heene, or Sergeant Crowley, Slater better understand how fast his proverbial 15 minutes really is.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 3:10 PM on August 10, 2010


A bunch of flight attendants are all pitching in for his bail, and if he wasn't a recovering alcoholic we'd all buy him drinks. We all snap sometimes, but he snapped with STYLE.
posted by jnaps at 3:16 PM on August 10, 2010


For every person who is glad they weren't on Slater's flight because of the trouble he caused, there will be 100 who wished they were there. And 10 who will claim theywere anyway.
posted by localroger at 4:12 PM on August 10, 2010


To all those humour- or clueless enough to wonder why Slater has become such a sudden folk hero, compare his case to that of Mark Hurd. Both have resigned their jobs. Both have costed their companies a few tens of thousands of dollars through their misbehaviour. Yet Slater, whose misbehaviour came spontaneously out of rightful anger, and was certainly stylish enough, is being charged with three felonies, while Hurd, whose misbehaviour appears to have aimed to merely cover up a sordid, mercantile sexual affair, and who could certainly be charged with a nice list of felonies himself (a.o. fraud, forgery, wire fraud, tax fraud, etc., apart from those sexual harassment allegations) is getting a 28 million dollar golden parachute and support from the usual press whores.

This is why Slater is such a hero: because it gives normal, hardworking people the hope that, even if they don't belong to the high managerial caste with an apparent licence to, in the words of TIME "cook books, steal from company coffers and behave more egregiously than Hurd allegedly did", they may, for once, take revenge on the unforgiving grudgery of working life.
posted by Skeptic at 4:16 PM on August 10, 2010 [11 favorites]


If you're still confused about the events, here's an animated version from Apple Action News.
posted by Nelson at 4:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero: "KevinSkomsvold: The New York Daily News is reporting that "JetBlue flight attendant HIV positive: sources" as if that has fuck all to do with something.

Are you sure, because I don't see that anywhere on their website?
"

It was a bullet point on the right side bar. I clicked the link and read the 12 comments that were posted which were all along the lines of "NYDN better lawyer up because this is bullshit." I checked back and the side bar was gone. Someone must have gotten wise and killed it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2010


Speaking of things that have already been linked to in this post's comments, that other true life story about somebody quitting their stinking job.... not so much.


The Quitting Tale That Suckered the Whole Internet


(where the "whole Internet" does not equal quite a few people on MetaFilter)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:06 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"...and if he wasn't a recovering alcoholic..."

When you combine that with his grabbing the beer before jettisoning, this just makes the story sadder. =(
posted by Eideteker at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2010


Did you all see my homeboys cortex & Astro Zombie's song on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer? [link just goes to the Music thread comments, mathowie's uploading the video now]
posted by jessamyn at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


So far my favorite thing about this has been media outlets TRYING and WANTING to call him a great big queer without actually SAYING THAT.

Case in point, Metro NY

"According to his Online profile he enjoys spirituality, interior design, fashion, St. Tropaz, and anything outdoors!"
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 PM on August 10, 2010


Yeah, I can't wait till gay is NBD. Nobody rushing to point it out, nobody rushing to defend. Peoples is just peoples.
posted by Eideteker at 7:45 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why did no one straighten me out on Stephven! AGH! Oh well, another domain...
posted by cavalier at 8:00 PM on August 10, 2010


Straight or not, he is now allowed One Free Makeout Session from The Whelk.
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


A version I read last night reported that when Port Authority officials showed up at his house to arrest him, it appeared he was in the middle of having "sexual relations."

+1 for style.
slogger


That was the Daily News article.

JetBlue flight attendant who went nuts was in bed with boyfriend when found by cops

As readers we really needed to know that.
posted by mlis at 8:49 PM on August 10, 2010


I'm late to the party, but this is exactly what I needed to read tonight. At work a male customer got violently angry with me and my coworker and made a huge scene. Another customer actually ducked out and sent her dad back to check on us and ask if we needed the police, it was that awful. I spent the rest of the night shaking, and planning what I would do if the guy was outside waiting for me or tried to follow me home or something. He didn't touch me - but he did shout and call me all kinds of bitches and idiots, and I SHOULD have called the cops... *Sigh* Retail.

So Slater may not be a hero, but it takes stories like this to make oblivious people aware of how horrible some people are to service people -- oftentimes without provocation. There's hardly ever a reason to be so goddamned demanding, but people are selfish and not ashamed to act like absolute animals to get what they want. The pleasant customers make your job worthwhile (and fun, even,) but the rude ones make you want to flip tables and do insane shit, like this guy did. I walked out in the middle of a shift once, years ago, but this... wow. This made my night.
posted by polly_dactyl at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2010


non-preview: So far my favorite thing about this has been media outlets TRYING and WANTING to call him a great big queer without actually SAYING THAT.

No, the Daily News went ahead and called him gay. Which was a little surprising, seems like something the NY Post would do. The Daily News is more of a serious newspaper, turns a profit and wins a Pulitzer every now and then, unlike the Post.
posted by mlis at 8:58 PM on August 10, 2010


Wow look at the sleeves on that cop. I didn't know they could get away with that.
posted by desjardins at 9:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did you all see my homeboys cortex & Astro Zombie's song on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer?

I fucking love this place.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:51 PM on August 10, 2010


Flight attendant Steven Slater 'deserved his meltdown'
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:01 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


New Yorkers react to Steven Slater meltdown
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:05 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


jeffmik: Smells a bit virally to me - but good for a laugh.

http://thechive.com/2010/08/10/girl-quits-her-job-on-dry-erase-board-emails-entire-office-33-photos/


You called it.
posted by zerbinetta at 7:08 AM on August 11, 2010


"He seemed kind of happy about it. He was like, 'I just quit my job.' "
posted by msconduct at 7:26 AM on August 11, 2010


As a Flight Attendant Who Longed to Jump From a Plane, I Get Steven Slater
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:41 AM on August 11, 2010


8 Moving Tributes to Steven Slater (including several items mentioned in this thread; The Ballad Of Steven Slater is among them. Welcome to viral fame, boys!)
posted by hippybear at 9:51 AM on August 11, 2010


Flight attendant Steven Slater 'deserved his meltdown'

"Many of Mr Slater’s fans claim to be familiar with the stresses of customer service-orientated careers"

GRAMMAR RAGE! FUCKING ASSHOLES!
posted by cereselle at 11:10 AM on August 11, 2010


Slaters gonna slate.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:41 AM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I spent my primary and secondary school days in Scotland. I was taught to use 'orientated,' and still do to this day.
o·ri·en·tate -- 
[awr-ee-uhn-teyt, -en-, ohr-] –verb (used with object), verb (used without object), -tat·ed, -tat·ing. to orient.

orientated --
Function: adjective
Usage: chiefly British
Date: 1950.
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Flight attendant Steven Slater 'deserved his meltdown'

And you'll note that that article is from 'news.com.au' -- an Australian news site.
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on August 11, 2010


The Quitting Tale That Suckered the Whole Internet

Well, not really.... at least for me and almost every comment section I read that was The Quitting Tale that Myself And Everyone I Talked To About Instantly Assumed Was Fake.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:05 PM on August 11, 2010


Steven Slater's grandfather: "That passenger must a bitch, just a pure bitch, because nobody else could get him wound up like that."
posted by ericb at 12:17 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually -- it's his ex-grandfather-in-law.
posted by ericb at 12:20 PM on August 11, 2010


Air steward's dramatic exit was the end of simmering in-flight feud with passenger.

I wonder if we'll ever learn who the rude passenger was. If so, the web will go nuts!
posted by ericb at 1:24 PM on August 11, 2010


Stephen Colbert Salutes Steven Slater.
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hero Flight Attendant's Impassioned Online Warnings.
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I wonder if we'll ever learn who the rude passenger was. If so, the web will go nuts!

Yeah, the rude passenger should hope for anonymity. Remember dog poop girl? The internet will eviscerate this person far more thoroughly.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:32 PM on August 11, 2010


Since at least four different people posted that link to the "quitting on whiteboard" girl, it is only appropriate that I follow up MCMikeNamara and reiterate that the whole thing was a cheesy hoax.
posted by Justinian at 1:45 PM on August 11, 2010


Remember dog poop girl?

No. Link? Also, it's amazing that the passenger hasn't been identified, firstly because it would be easy to do so with the flight manifest, and also because they've printed all kinds of personal information about Slater.
posted by desjardins at 3:01 PM on August 11, 2010


> No. Link?

Here.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:04 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The last flight I took was that same JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh. I do believe that he was on that flight, and I remember him as fussy but efficient. He seemed like someone with whom one could share an easy laugh in the galley, once the plane was in the air and the snacks served.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:31 PM on August 11, 2010


No. Link?

Or here at famourpictures.org. I won't blame you for not wanting to google "dog poop girl". That's a door that could lead anywhere.
posted by Gary at 6:08 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rut Roh:


"Police have completed interviews with 70 percent of the passengers aboard Monday’s bizarre JetBlue flight at Kennedy Airport and all of them said they never saw flight attendant Steven Slater get hit in the head with a piece of luggage or argue with anyone."
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:30 PM on August 11, 2010


A hero and a lover now, not a Circumnavigater

love that line
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:45 AM on August 12, 2010


Apple Daily's video. You know it's a big story when you have a Chinese CG video about it.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 AM on August 12, 2010


Further rut roh from the Wall Street Journal: "She said he spent much of the 90-minute flight slamming overhead bins and refrigerator doors."
posted by desjardins at 8:29 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


A post I saw on Twitter the other day said something along the lines of "In other news, I quit my job at the waterslide park by jumping on an airplane. Didn't see that in the paper" - I had no idea wtf they were talking about, but now I do. :)
posted by antifuse at 8:49 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, maybe they'd better rewrite those songs.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 AM on August 12, 2010


No, no, this just means the proper musical approach is a he-said she-said rock opera looking at narrative reliability and media motivation. It'll basically be Rashomon with guitars.
posted by cortex at 9:05 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Dueling Narratives.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on August 12, 2010


Slater thought about pulling chute for years [video | 03:52].
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on August 12, 2010


Well at least it was Steven and not Mel Gibson. Can you imagine that fall out?
posted by stormpooper at 9:46 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It looks like the eyewitness accounts don't match the story we've heard so far.
posted by Bonzai at 4:51 PM on August 12, 2010


When Flight Attendants Get Mad, They Fart In Your Face
posted by homunculus at 7:45 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The WSJ is reporting that investigators believe he injured himself before he got on the plane and that they can not find any passenger to corroborate his story.
posted by Lame_username at 5:46 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I were the one who hit him on the head and called him a motherfucker, I wouldn't admit it either.
posted by zerbinetta at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The cost for deploying the slide: $25,000.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2010


I like the disgruntled employee exits where nobody gets shot.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:22 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"TMZ has learned the people at Goodrich -- who manufacture the inflatable emergency evacuation slide for the JetBlue Embraer ERJ-190 plane -- tell us they're 'pleased' with the way the slide performed during Slater's infamous moment. A rep for the company tells us the slide 'functioned properly ... just like it was designed to.' As for Slater's technique -- Goodrich says, 'From what we can tell, he did things exactly the way he was supposed to ... with the exception of throwing his luggage down the slide.'"*
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Michael Priem, CEO of USDM.net -- an agency that works with U.S. and international airlines, Hilton and others -- said he has brought up the Slater story in meetings and expects travel and tourism marketing firms to react to it, whether by referencing the case directly or drawing indirect lessons from it. He can see any service company benefitting from a campaign that uses Slater as a spokesman. 'He could show how painful it is to be in the wait line for a cell phone carrier or sit at a service center that frustrates us,' Priem said. Joseph Jaffe, a consulting on new marketing, had a Hollywood comparison for the flight attendant. "Steve Slater is the modern-day equivalent of Charles Bronson in 'Death Wish' -- except, of course, there's no artillery, bloodshed or permanent damage in this particular example of brand vigilantism," he said. 'I'd recommend JetBlue gets behind him. They have the kind of brand personality and authentic self-assuredness to use this as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate purpose and conviction. And if not, then I'd recommend one of their competitors snapped him up.' Angela Farrell, an accountant at marketing firm MSCO, reminded that 'American Idol' seems to be in need of a new controversial host/hero, and Scott Cromer, partner and managing director of creative agency Mutt Industries said, 'The whole thing feels like a John Hughes film.' Said Jim Joseph, president of Lippe Taylor: 'I think he will end up being a spokesperson of some sort. He's quickly becoming the mascot for the disgruntled employee.'" *
posted by ericb at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2010


ericb: 'I'd recommend JetBlue gets behind him. They have the kind of brand personality and authentic self-assuredness to use this as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate purpose and conviction. And if not, then I'd recommend one of their competitors snapped him up.

If Mr. Slater ended up being used as a corporate sell-out tool and made much money doing so, such to the point that he was no longer considered "cool", I would consider this a tremendously happy ending.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:39 PM on August 13, 2010


Flight attendants: Bartenders or bad cops?
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on August 17, 2010


He was (is?) in our office today for something utterly unrelated to my job, and a couple of us noticed him and stopped to say hi. He was incredibly gracious, let us take a picture, and said he was still very overwhelmed by everything. I definitely wish him well.
posted by flaterik at 2:44 PM on August 17, 2010


If I were the one who hit him on the head and called him a motherfucker, I wouldn't admit it either.

No, but in theory, there'd be ANOTHER passenger on the plane who would be able to corroborate his story.
posted by antifuse at 1:29 PM on August 19, 2010


« Older To celebrate its tenth birthday, popular site Devi...  |  Dr. Karen Woo, one of the 10 m... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments