Many people have quit jobs in their lives and some have quit with aplomb. For my money though, I’ve never heard a better quitting story than Steven Slater’s. I’ve pieced together the best parts of the story from several other reports. Here’s the timeline as I understand it:
After their flight from Pittsburgh landed at JFK, an unnamed passenger struck 38-year-old JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater in the head while unloading his luggage from the overhead compartment, before the plane had stopped taxiing. Slater demanded an apology, but the passenger refused. An argument ensued, with the passenger ultimately suggesting that Slater “fuck off”.
At this point, Slater got on the plane’s PA system and used it to vent his frustrations. As part of his verbal onslaught, he is reported to have said “To the passenger who called me a motherfucker, fuck you. I’ve been in the business 28 years1. I’ve had it. That’s it”.
Slater then proceeded to activate the plane’s inflatable emergency slide. He grabbed two beers from the galley, then slid down the chute to freedom and unemployment, to perhaps be followed by jail time.
That may be the pinnacle of the story, but it doesn’t end there. After sliding down, Slater reportedly returned to pick up his bag – it’s not clear from where exactly it was retrieved. After getting his bag, he rode the AirTrain, creating another spectacle at the Terminal Five stop by removing his company tie and flinging it off the train, much to the amusement of his fellow passengers.
Slater made his way to his car and drove to his home in Belle Harbor, Queens. Jetblue officials, presumably not yet believing that what they’d witnessed was real, waited 25 minutes before notifying Port Authority Police of the incident. This wait enabled Slater to make his ridiculous getaway.
Shortly after, police collected Slater from his home and returned him to the Port Authority police station at JFK airport for questioning. He was reported to have been calm, as he was questioned and ultimately charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
It’s just too good. Fed up with his job, the man activated the emergency chute, then grabbed two beers and slid down the chute! Can you picture it? I can. Can you stop laughing? I can not.
Was he a flight attendant at the age of 10? Has he been lying about his age? Is he just bad at math? We may never know. ↩