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Flight Attendant's Meltdown Sparks Sympathy, Admiration

Steven Slater Now A Hero To Employees Everywhere
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Steven Slater

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – He blew a gasket, grabbed some brewskis and bolted from his job in a workplace meltdown of epic proportions.

The bizarre case of an angered employee quitting his job in dramatic fashion has caught the attention of people across the country – and the admiration of disgruntled employees everywhere.

JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater posted his $2,500 bail Tuesday night after pleading not guilty to numerous felony charges. But despite his problems, people are celebrating him as a hero – for exiting a stressful job in a fashion they would never dare try.

“He’s mad as hell,” said Upper West Side resident Mike McKone. “And he’s not gonna take it anymore.”

His Monday tirade has made him a hero to some working folks who approve of the way he said “enough is enough.”

At his arraignment on Tuesday, Slater entered into evidence his account of what happened.

“I lost patience after a female passenger had an argument with another passenger and then opened the bin door, hitting me on the head,” he said. “I got the microphone and said ‘to those of you who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for a great ride.’ I accessed the porthole pulled the door handle, inflating the slide, took my baggage and slide down and left.”

In New York, there as no shortage of admiration for Slater’s actions.

“Do I look at that as someone to emulate?” asked Adrienne Jamiel. “Yes,” she said emphatically.

“I’m unemployed,” said another New Yorker. “And frankly, he’s my hero.”

And all over the Internet, there are messages of admiration, most notably on Facebook, where users are leaving comments like:

“You’re my hero! I’ll fly with you anytime!” and “You are just awesome, sir! Thank you for standing up and demanding respect for us all!”

So what is it about this flight attendant who allegedly swore up a blue streak on JetBlue that’s resonated with so many?

CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport spoke with Dr. Ben Dattner, a workplace psychologist.

“I think a lot of people dream of doing something like that,” said Dr. Dattner. “We all know the song ‘Take this Job and Shove It.’”

He adds that while most everyone has a boss or a job issue that grates at them, few ever pull a Steven Slater.

“When people feel that they don’t control their workplace environment and they are getting blamed for things, they can snap.”

And in today’s rough economy, with so many struggling just to keep their paycheck, Dr. Dattner said a lot of employees are forced to work jobs they dislike and bite their tongue.

Until the flight attendant.

“Honestly,” said Upper East Side resident Susan Littwin. “Can any human being say they never wanted to do that? I don’t think so.”

But few will ever give notice – or get noticed – the way this guy did.

To weigh in on the story, or share a dramatic way you quit your job, click here and post it on our Facebook page!

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