Karen’s book, How to Work Like a Cat, may have been a few years ahead of its time, but downtrodden, demoralized employees seem ripe for it now, if public reaction to the behavior of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater is any indication.
The media initially reported the way he quit his job as a blow-up that flared suddenly when Flight 1052 landed at JFK on August 9, but there’s much more to the story.
According to Slater’s lawyer, an unidentified female passenger boarded Slater’s plane in Pittsburgh with a large carry-on. She started fighting with another woman for overhead bin space, hit Slater’s head with the bin door when he approached to mediate, and didn’t apologize. When he told the woman she’d have to check her bag, she cursed him.
As soon as the plane landed at JFK, the woman demanded her bag immediately and let loose with another barrage of swearing when Slater told her it would be on the baggage carousel.
That’s when Slater finally had enough. He got on the intercom and called her the “f**king asshole who told him to f**k off,” but thanked all the polite passengers. Then he looked out a porthole to make sure no ground crew were outside the plane, grabbed a few beers, deployed the emergency slide, and headed for home.
So what’s feline about that? That woman stepped on his tail twice. He let her get away with physical abuse the first time. But he understandably hissed and spat at the additional verbal abuse and made a hasty escape from a bad situation.
And people are LOVING it. He’s an Internet sensation and Facebook fans are raising money for his legal defense.
We at Cats Working think his approach was a bit too feral, but we applaud him in principle and hope that others follow his example by standing up and saying, “Enough!” to the never-ending crap they’re dished on the job.
What surprises me is that the woman who caused this brouhaha remains silent (still no apology?) and her identity is being protected. She deserves to be publicly humiliated and labeled the “World’s Worst Passenger.” If it doesn’t teach her to behave on her next flight, at least other flight attendants will know they’ve got a crude and selfish abuser on board.