I, like many others, giggled when I first heard about the antics of a Jetblue flight attendant. As the story goes, Steven Slater was treated rudely by some passengers who did not listen to instructions to sit down and was accidentally hit in the head with a bag. But what the understandably frustrated flight attendant did next has landed him in some legal hot water and has apparently made him a bit of a folk hero.

As you have probably heard, Mr. Slater allegedly took to the plane’s microphone and hurled a number of expletives (apparently including the f-bomb) at the unruly passengers, grabbed some beers, popped the escape hatch, and slid down the emergency slide.

I fly extensively for my employment so I can certainly understand Mr. Slater’s frustration at rude and unruly passengers, for I share it. However, I object to Mr. Slater’s elevation to folk hero for his antics, a claim I heard in several news reports yesterday. There is nothing heroic about what Mr. Slater did and I wonder about one key missing element to the story.

Beyond breaking the law with his grand exit, Mr. Slater’s behavior might have been worse than what triggered it. I guarantee that there are many professionals who day in and day out must deal with irate and rude customers, with significantly less enforcement ability than a flight attendant, who never act in such a way.

Apparently our crosses are not to be borne anymore, they are to be swung wildly in order to take out as many innocent bystanders as possible.

A quick story. About a year ago I was driving home from Mass with my wife and five children in the car. My neighborhood…

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