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Cyclops: That flight attendant was a jerk – not a hero
by Bryan Gray
Aug 25, 2010 | 235 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Much of the grumbling (especially from men) about the phenomenally successful book “Eat Pray Love” stemmed from the author’s seemingly abrupt decision to leave her husband and end their marriage. Now, with the release of the movie starring Julia Roberts, I’m hearing the same derision.

“How dare she be so self-absorbed!” is the battle cry. “It’s highly self-indulgent for a woman to break off her marriage and seek personal pleasure on a world voyage to Italy, India and Bali.”

See the movie. Make your own decision about the woman’s motives. But I find it ironic that some of the same people troubled by the “self-indulgence” of the author are probably supporting Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant whose adolescent behavior has transformed him into a celebrity.

If you haven’t heard of “the incident,” you’ve probably been living in a cave. Annoyed by a passenger and his on-board luggage, Slater grabbed the aircraft’s microphone, liberally used obscenities to berate all the “rude” passengers he had encountered in his career, then opened a beer and ceremoniously activated the jet’s emergency slide.

He slid right into the unemployment line. But many thousands of Americans are e-mailing him support and demanding that Jet Blue rehire their hero. He’s even been offered his own reality TV show.

Oh let’s get real. If it acts like a duck and quacks like a duck … Face it, the guy is a prima donna and a jerk!

We all face workplace pressures. We all have dealt with demanding customers or colleagues. We’ve all peered at the office clock and prayed that we were on Eastern Standard Time.

But most of us handle the pressure in a mature manner. We don’t throw down the gauntlet, urinate on the table and hoist our middle finger as we stomp out the door.

Slater should understand that certain jobs demand certain skills. If you are afraid of heights, you shouldn’t be a roofer. If you fear enclosed places, you shouldn’t be a coal miner. If you cannot take stress, you shouldn’t be an air traffic controller. If you wince at the sight of blood, you should avoid being a surgeon or a trauma nurse.

And if your blood pressure rises when a stranger tries to stuff a large bag into an overhead bin, you probably shouldn’t work in the airline industry.

What’s next? Kick a passenger in the shin when he asks for an extra bag of peanuts?

I’m frankly amazed at the support Slater is receiving. Most of his supporters rationalize away his actions by claiming that “he just had his fill of rude, demanding and obnoxious people.”

I’m sorry, but Slater was well-paid for his suffering. He wasn’t a volunteer.

That was your job, Slater. Deal with it – just like Julia Roberts did in bringing an intriguing journey to your neighborhood theater.

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