Thursday 12 August 2010


The King has granted me five minutes to write this so I better make it snappy.

I don’t think I have to explain at this point who Steven Slater is; however, for those of you that have been trapped under something heavy, I shall briefly recap. Ol’ Stevie, until recently, was an airline steward for Jetblue, a low cost airline in the States. In short, at the end of a recent flight, he told a passenger to sit down after she stood up too soon to retrieve her luggage. The passenger told him to shove it essentially, and when he walked up to her to reiterate that she had to sit the hell down, her bag clocked him in the head as she was pulling it down. Slater demanded an apology, but instead was given a mouthful of abuse by the passenger. I’m thinking she didn’t use nice words.

Now this is where things get really dramatic – and oh do I love me some drama. Slater, clearly not one to take things lying down, took to the aircraft's public address system and called her two of my favorite words in the English language (hint, it rhymes with Mother Trucker). He then grabbed himself a beer, proclaimed that after 28 years in the business, he’d had it and was getting the hell out of dodge. And to make the ultimate statement, he then engaged the emergency slide and slid to his freedom (well not really as he was arrested a short time later) - So Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5, no?

And of course, as expected in today’s society - the man has turned into a celebrity over night. You know how I love the metamorphosis from ‘Average Joe’ to ‘Joe 15 Minutes of Fame Guy’ with his own reality show. Just you wait, he’ll be hosting a show in no time in which people are dissatisfied with their jobs and go in search of their dream job or something of this ilk. Or maybe they'll put him and the passenger in a ring and have them fight it out to the death. 

Of course Slater is now also deemed a folk hero, an icon, a pioneer….the list is growing by the minute. Low cost airline stewards/stewardesses around the world are heralding Slater for finally standing up to abusive passengers. Others are saying it finally puts a human face to those that toil in an industry that underpays and overworks its staff. Okay, fine perhaps it does, but I have to say it scares me a bit that others out there are going to look at Steven’s flair for the dramatic and start thinking up new ways to leave their jobs in a fiery storm of ‘take that SUCKA!’ I mean, who is to say that next pissed off airline steward doesn’t strap on a parachute, bust the door open mid flight, and jump from the freaking plane.

While I’m all for Steven’s stick it the man attitude – as I’m sure he’s weathered his fair share of abuse over the years from the fray whining about pillows and stale peanuts, I also must play devil’s advocate for a moment. I don’t think I have to reiterate how I feel about the airlines. I fly a lot and putting aside Steven for a moment – as I’m sure he’s just delightful – some airline staff are just rude. Not only rude, but they clearly hate their jobs and they’re going to take every opportunity during your flight to remind you of this fact. Now I’m not saying they deserve to be hit over the head with a bag – Okay, I lie. Some of them do – but some of them need serious attitude adjustments. For some its not their fault; they have to enforce rules of their airline that are often unfair, ridiculous and seriously hard-line. [Note to Ryan Air, if you try charging for the bathroom, all your airline staff is in the running for a beat down]. But others you can just feel they’re working out their anger issues as they pour you a beverage – for which they’re charging you 8 bucks.

Where does this leave us? Well, the old saying, ‘why can’t we all just get along’ comes to mind. I'll do my best to stay in my seat til the little seatbelt light dings, and the Steven's of the world, perhaps you can serve me my overpriced drink with a big fat smile. How's that for compromise?

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed