Cabin Pressure and Public Anger

A JetBlue flight attendant is now the working man’s hero and social media sensation. We ask why.

JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater leaves a correctional facility in the Bronx after posting bail, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010, in New York. (AP)

For about five minutes in the media maelstrom, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater was a straight-up bad boy mad man. The kooky in-flight crew member who unleashed on the P.A. system, grabbed a couple of beers, and bailed out down the emergency chute. 

Then things got a lot more complicated. Slater may be facing reckless endangerment charges, but online he’s become a kind of workingman’s hero. The one who wouldn’t take it anymore, and bailed in style. 

Is this just one more sign of boiling point blues in the American workplace?


Chris Rovzar, writer for New York Magazine who has been covering this story.

Phyllis Moen, professor of sociology at University of Minnesota, where she specializes in workplace issues. She’s author of “The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream.”

Stanley Bing, business humorist and columnist who writes the back-page column for Fortune. He’s the author of numerous books, most recently Executricks: How to Retire While You’re Still Working.”


Hot temper in the service sector has been a buzzy online theme this week. Police in Toledo, Ohio released a video of an incident involving a McDonald’s drive-thru customer who flew into a rage because, apparently, there were no Chicken McNuggets available. The incident took place on New Year’s Day, 2010. Here’s what happened:

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