The Jet Blue flight attendant who dramatically departed from his post yesterday by declaring over the intercom: "To the fucking asshole that told me to fuck off, it's been a good 28 years!"... clearly made his intentions known. Steven Slater then double-fisted some beers and slide down the emergency chute he activated, along with his bags.
In the 24 hours or so since his meltdown—spurred by a "malicious" passenger—he's received an overwhelming amount of support (just check out the results in our poll). But did Slater's actions qualify as an official resignation from Jet Blue? We asked the airline, and they didn't say yes or no, only that "Mr. Slater has been removed from duty pending the outcome of the investigation."
The long time flight attendant is a recovering alcoholic and substance abuse user, who has also been diagnosed with HIV. To top it all off, he's allegedly been under stress lately as his mother loses her battle with lung cancer. So will he want to return to his job, and will Jet Blue even offer the option if he does? Dr. Alan Hilfer, Director of Psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, says: “People are making a folk hero out of Slater, because we’ve all been there. Long hours, no raise or possibly a salary cut. Couple that with a difficult customer or client and he did what we all wanted to do, he told the customer to shove it! And stormed off. The drama of this situation captured all of our attention... he brought a movie climax to real life by doing what the rest of us only fantasize about doing. However, most of us realize that in the big picture of life and in the rules of the workplace he was inappropriate. Despite the celebrity he is now enjoying he will not easily find a new job unless his new job is being a celebrity." Jeez, doc, way to kill our folk hero buzz.
For now, Slater is likely enjoying the support he's garnered nationwide. Like Conan O'Brien before him, his fans have taken to Facebook—and he's already racked up over 22,000 of them! Comedian Patton Oswalt even Twittered in his support earlier today: "Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater should be inducted into The Avengers." So perhaps Mr. Slater is moving on to more exciting adventures...