Now Steven Slater is a Villian

August 12, 2010

By Cole

Meredith Vieira fluffed my tail on the Today Show this morning when she reported on a “backlash” against JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater over his dramatic resignation. If you haven’t heard about it, catch up with my previous post.

Vieira’s slant was that Slater was a loose cannon who might have done the same thing even if a passenger hadn’t given him a head injury and cussed him out TWICE.

She spoke by phone with a female passenger seated near the front of the plane who apparently missed the altercation, but saw Slater with a huge gash in his forehead, which she described as “wet,” so it was still bleeding. She asked him for a wet wipe to clean up coffee spilled on her seat, but he told her to sit down because he had to take care of himself first. The passenger shut up because she could see he was upset, but has also complained in The Wall Street Journal that he was just being rude.

Next, Vieira interviewed Slater’s ex-wife in person, who has been supportive, and tried to get her to concur that Slater was looking for trouble.


So what about this so-called “backlash?” Not surprisingly, managers and “employment experts” are vilifying Slater. They just hate it when abused underlings finally say “Enough’s enough!” and walk (or slide) away to find something better. Sheeple are just impossible when they get assertive.

Robert Hogan, Ph.D., a personality testing expert in Oklahoma, thinks Slater is a publicity hog and told a Washington Post columnist that people in similar situations should…

Shut up and bear it. People who try to stick up for themselves always lose.

Yeah, right. Try telling that to a cat.

Meanwhile, Slater’s Facebook fan page is up to 170,000 “likes.” I’m guessing none of his fans are managers.

And JetBlue has given $100 vouchers to everyone on the plane — including the still-anonymous “World’s Worst Passenger.”

That’s how JetBlue responds to assault and abuse of their employees. Yet they wonder why people (and cats) admire Steven Slater’s reaction.

Steven Slater Quit His Job Like a Cat

August 11, 2010

By Cole

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.

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