JetBlue Flight Attendant Turns Folk Hero

Most people just put in two weeks’ notice, but JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quit his job with flare, literally taking the emergency exit.

Slater made national headlines when he took the intercom on a plane that had just landed at JFK airport and made an expletive-filled announcement to the entire crew and passengers that he was quitting the friendly skies.

"To the f-----g a--hole who told me to f--k off, it's been a good 28 years," Slater said. "I've had it. That's it."

According to the New York Daily News, Slater then “grabbed some beer and bolted out an emergency slide” from the side of the plane and took public transportation back to his home in Queens. Police later arrested Slater at his house on several charges, including reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Authorities are currently holding him on $2,500 bail.

Slater’s lawyer has since explained that this bizarre incident was caused by a female passenger who was hostile toward him. Sometime between the plane’s departure from Pittsburgh and arrival in New York, the passenger argued with Slater about using the overhead luggage bin, and according to the lawyer, “slammed the overhead into [Slater’s] head.”

In any other year, Slater might simply be written off as a disgruntled employee with a screw loose, but instead, Slater’s audacious exit seems to be resonating more with Americans, perhaps because the poor economy has forced many in this country to keep working jobs they find deeply unsatisfying.

Tens of thousands have already joined a Facebook fan page in support of Slater and some have even begun to market merchandise based on the event.

“Americans may sympathize with this man because he represents the collective frustration employees have,” said Alexandra Levitt, a career expert and author of New Job: New You. “Those who have held onto their jobs during the recession have been forced to do more work for equal or less compensation, and cope with stressful conditions on a daily basis.”

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