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Coffee, tea or flee? JetBlue attendant's exit strategy serves crummy job right

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The JetBlue flight attendant who cursed at a passenger, grabbed some beer and then popped the emergency chute of a plane at JFK has been released on bail. Since the incident, Steven Slater has become something of a cult hero.

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A: All About Me

B: Business

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C: Casual

D: Deer in Headlights

"A and D are the ones you have to look out for," the woman says. A's are obvious -- they're the ones who are demanding bottled water and a free snack box before the wheels go up. But never underestimate a D. Your typical D passenger, the spacey novice, is the one who is going to open the overhead bin and gently spread his overcoat down the length of the whole compartment. The D will not hear the sighs of annoyance from the other passengers, because the D will have already unwrapped his smelly sandwich and plugged his headphones into your seat's jack.

Incorrect, Passenger D. That move is incorrect.

Bobby Laurie, a San Francisco-based attendant reached via telephone, has dealt with more A's and D's than he cares to remember in his five years on the job, including one colossal A who swept his first-class meal onto Laurie's pants when he "didn't like the looks" of the dinner option. This is why, when Laurie speaks of Slater, his voice gets tremulous and overcome with glee.

"He took a stand for not only flight attendants but everyone" who has ever hated a job, says Laurie. "You always hold back. You always bite your tongue. You never actually say it. But he said it! He said it!"

Slater is reminiscent of Tuesday's other Internet darling, the administrative assistant who quit her job by sending a series of photographed messages written on a white board to everyone at her firm. The messages revealed that her boss, in addition to referring to her as a "Hot Piece of [expletive]," also dedicated nearly 20 hours a week to playing Farmville. (People are already speculating that it's a fake, but the joy it prompted was definitely real.)

In a way, the only unique aspect of Slater's amazing exit fantasy is the flight vocabulary -- the slide, the beverage cart, the overhead bins. Every other part of his Buh-Bye looks like the one we all dream of at our own cruddy jobs.

"I worked in the past for a legacy airline that had" never treated its employees particularly well, says Laurie. He consoled himself by planning his escape and how he would leave it all behind. "My last day on the job I was going to slide to freedom. Hit that slide and ride it alllll the way to freedom."

Hit that slide. Soon the phrase will become this generation's "blow this popsicle stand"; someone will create an entry on UrbanDictionary.com.

Oh wait. Someone just did. "Hit the slide: To quit one's job in a truly stunning fashion."


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