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I’m sorry, Mr. Slater. You are no hero.
And shame on the television news shows for making him out to be one.
If the morning news cannot find a better story than one of a disgruntled, spoiled, arrogant flight attendant who decided to throw a tantrum to get attention, then maybe they should just air an infomercial or promote some other liberal’s book.
Steven Slater is 38 years old and has apparently worked for several airlines over the years. His father was a commercial pilot. You would think Stevie boy would know better. But then, maybe he’s getting just what he wanted — attention.
According to one website, more than 20,000 people have declared themselves to be supporters on Facebook. It’s scary to think there are that many people in the work world today who would consider such an act, if given the chance. And with all the attention Slater is getting, somebody else will.
Some say Slater was justified in his actions because he had been drawn into a confrontation between two women passengers, and one of them cursed at him.
I’ve been cursed at a few times in my career – and threatened. Most of us who consider ourselves professionals and deal with people on a day-to-day basis have faced similar situations.
Ever since I started working for the public at Town & Country Supermarket while in high school, I was taught “the customer is always right.” That can’t always be taken literally, but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. Most situations can be defused with proper conversation. Sometimes it’s necessary to walk away. And, believe it or not, it’s also okay to apologize if found to be in the wrong.
In a sense I guess you could say Slater walked away. He grabbed a beer from the cooler, deployed the emergency slide (which deploys at 3,000 pounds per square inch and would have killed anyone in its path on the ground), made a profanity-laced announcement over the intercom, and exited the plane.
Slater’s attorney said his client was under stress because his mother has lung cancer and his father died over 10 years ago.
Sounds to me like the boy has problems, but he’s no hero.
* * *
I read in the Salem News this week that Mitch Jayne has died.
Jayne was an author, humorist and musician who made his mark in the entertainment field as a member of the Darling family on the Andy Griffith show, playing upright bass with Douglas and Rodney Dillard, from the Salem area. It is said Mitch learned to play the bass on the way to California, lying down in the backseat of the station wagon.
Jayne gave the “Snake and Tick Market Report” on a local radio station in his community, and was intrigued by the Elizabethan English spoken by his students when he taught the one-room schools of Dent County.
His wife, Diane, worked for our friend Roger Dillon at the Current Wave in Eminence.