Steven Slater: Working Class Hero, Or Just A Jerk?

New Yorkers Weigh In On Former Employee's Dramatic Exit

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Overworked, underpaid and under appreciated: It’s the plight of many Americans in today’s economy.

Now, 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.

But despite the 120,000 Facebook fans and seemingly steadfast support for former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, his dramatic actions are prompting some to think of him as, to put it simply, a jerk.

New Yorkers are taking sides in the saga. On Wednesday, Slater made his first public appearance since his arrest amid much fanfare, earned after he abruptly quit his job by cursing over the plane’s intercom then bolting down the emergency slide – but is it really the type of behavior that deserves praise?

“I don’t care how bad a day you have,” said Queens resident Kate Interrante. “Finish your shift and go to therapy. Glad he was arrested.”

Others are chiming in on Slater’s mental state.

“[He] should get fired by JetBlue,” said Manhattan resident Genevieve Schiefer. “He is emotionally unstable and should not be allowed to wait on people. I have no sympathy for this guy, his behavior is unacceptable.”

And while many are applauding Slater for not accepting the rude behavior of the passenger that set him off, some don’t agree.

“I think he should be fired, said Andrew Syracuse of New York. “If not fired, then take an anger management course and apologize to the passenger.”

Still, many admire Slater for standing up for himself in the way that he did – even calling him a hero.

“I think what he did was rather heroic, in a way. [He said] ‘I’ve had enough and I’m not taking it anymore,” said Barbara Gufferman of Manhattan. “It was good, it was fun…and no harm was done.”

There were plenty of other New Yorkers who are calling Slater a role model.

“A role model…he stood up for what he believed in,” said William Graham of Westbury. “People shouldn’t treat people like that just because they are taking a flight.”

What do you think? Weigh in on the issue – post your opinion on our Facebook page!

Comments

One Comment

  1. Franny says:

    True story. Hubby and I took our toddler to watch Toy Story. The screen is showing those Trivia facts, a couple with two kids take the seats in front of us, the kids carrying large bags of popcorn. My son starts to make some noise (FYI- I dont give him the treat, he chokes and coughs). I reached into the baby bag for h…is treats, can’t find it. I tell hubby, who says, we must have left it in the car. My son is whimpering, and starts to push forward off my lap. My hubby gets up to get treats. The lady with the kids leaves too. I calm my son with juice and he proceeds to close his eyes, the lady comes back with an usher. He tells me we have to leave, I tell him that the baby is calm. I beg and pleaded. That the lights were still on and that the previews were not even on! AAnd people were talking,, texting and talking on phones! Results? We were escorted out like villans! But a grown man has a temper tantrum at work and America loves the man. Something is wrong here..

  2. DCrat says:

    Steven Slater caved under the weight of an annoying irritation, a situation that he was professionally trained to deal with
    this causes doubts as to how he would handle a real aviation catastrophe if he went off the playbook for this situation.

    I would rather have one real hero like Sully Sullenburg on my flight crew than to have 100 Steven Slaters.

  3. Dan P says:

    The passenger is guilty of violating several federal laws and should be prosecuted for them. Besides the injury to Slater’s head, she endangered other passengers by opening an all too packed luggage bin (even more over-packed since the checked-bag fees kicked in) while the plane was in motion. Then she refused to obey the orders of flight crew, resulting in injury.

  4. Imfedupwiththisguy says:

    I guess he took his heels off before he went down the slide…otherwise it would have punctured and the diva would have cracked his head on the tarmac. I know I can sleep easier now knowing that this very important event happened…thank you for keeping me informed, American News Media…

  5. tony says:

    posted a comment at 400pm where is it?

  6. Alex says:

    Customers can be really nasty and disrespectful ! I dont blame him for snapping like that, but if he could’ve just hold it a little bit more, he should’ve waited until the plane arrived @ the gate, cursed the guy out in every curse there is in the book and then just leave !the a/c .. instead of going overboard.

  7. Marsha says:

    Why is it that NO ONE has addressed or even approached that rude passenger? She/he sounds like a real jerk and I am glad she was not on my JetBlue flight! Everyone knows you are not suppose to get up to get any bags out of the overhead compartment until the plane comes to a complete stop! Maybe the passenger had been drinking before boarding the plane. All I know is…….I want to see/hear that passenger!!

  8. wss says:

    Would he be such a hero if someone was seriously injured or killed on the ramp? Those slides deploy so quickly some unsuspecting ramp worker [baggage handler, fueler, catereer, etc.] could have been sent flying by the chutde blind siding them. If that happened Slater would not be lauded so.

    Additionally, the aircraft [pan A320] needs be out of service until the chute is repacked and the air pressure charge refilled. An aircraft costs money just sitting still withe engines off [leasing costs, time maintenance issues; maintenance that needs be done regardless of operation, ramp/hanger costs, etc.]. Slater’s actions cost jetBlue more than most realize. It was an irresponsible act that really needs be punished not rewarded.

    Hopefully, he will get jail time ending his 15 miutes of fame

    Fianlly, you in the press need look at yourselves. You have created this “hero” for the public.

  9. Dan P says:

    The more important question is whether the *customer* will be prosecuted under Federal Law for refusing to obey the instructions of flight crew. Opening an overhead compartment (especially these days with so many carry-ons given checked baggage fees) before the plane has come to a complete halt is dangerous not only for the passenger and crew, but for all the fellow passengers. The passenger should be prosecuted for those violations as well.

  10. Jemal Peebles says:

    Sharting on the customer would have been apropos.

  11. Please people says:

    While I think it is hilarious he quit the way he did, his reckless behavior should not be excused. He was arrested for a reason. He broke the law and endangered others. He should not apologize to the passenger. We all have bad days. When my parents were dying and died while I was working, I did not go off cursing and quitting. His life is rough but so is everyone else’s. If your job sucks, then quit and don’t work there anymore. But deploying the emergency slide to leave an aircraft like a drama queen is not the way to submit a resignation, regardless of the employer.

  12. Ben says:

    In the article, Andrew Syracuse of New York Said Steven should “APOLOGIZE” to the passenger? That’s exactly why I agree with what Steven did. Why should any flight attended get insulted, assaulted by a law breaking passenger and then have to apologize? We are all humans.

  13. alex says:

    apologize to the customer? are you crazy people sometimes are so arrogant to a point were the customer think he or she paid money so they can do what ever they want or say what ever they want. will mr slater did the right thing. i would take that customer and put the customers head under the airplanes wheel and say sorry.

  14. Jack says:

    Absolutely awesome! They should drop the charges and thank their lucky stars he didn’t go postal. The peson at fault if you asked me was that one to many icky rude nasty customer. Ha ha ha… Hope she feels like an idiot!

  15. Mike says:

    Simply put, what he did was wrong and unprofessional. That said, I wish that the rude and obnoxious passenger also had been arresting for interfering with a flight crew member. Flying used to be fun, but now you must fly with a bunch of rude, obnoxious travelers who do nothing but ignore the flight attendants and break the rules.

  16. cidigi says:

    As a customer service person which he is really, I think his intentions were understandable but his delivery was way over the top!

    1. leslie says:

      i agree–anyone who works in any type of customer service deals with jerks every day—i was in property mgmt for 23 years & you deal with people like his passenger routinely—it has nothing to do with todays economy. But if you are in customer service, you know it comes with the territory, and regardless of how you feel, you take it with a smile or you are in the wrong line of work! And if it becomes unbearable, you change jobs!

  17. Slater Sucks says:

    “I think what he did was rather heroic, in a way. [He said] ‘I’ve had enough and I’m not taking it anymore,” said Barbara Gufferman of Manhattan. “It was good, it was fun…and no harm was done.”

    Obviously Barbara Gufferman was not one of the people waiting to get off the plane. If I was on that plane and was delayed in getting to the terminal because if an overly sensitive flight attendant I wouldn’t be happy.

    1. Jack says:

      Who cares what you think!

  18. TBriggs says:

    Steven Slater is the man! He gave a laugh for the day. He did what other people dont have the courage to do.

    1. Slater Sucks says:

      Actually, courage would have been sucking it up and finishing the Job you agreed to do. And then, if you weren’t happy, quitting like a respectable person.

      1. leslie says:

        right on! i agree–anyone who works in any type of customer service deals with jerks every day—i was in property mgmt for 23 years & you deal with people like his passenger routinely—it has nothing to do with todays economy. But if you are in customer service, you know it comes with the territory, and regardless of how you feel, you take it with a smile or you are in the wrong line of work! And if it becomes unbearable, you change jobs!

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