When Emotional Labor Fails…


Managed heart? Not today! I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often, actually:

It has been a long time since flight attendant was a glamorous job title. The hours are long. Passengers with feelings of entitlement bump up against new no-frills policies. Babies scream. Security precautions grate but must be enforced. Airlines demand lightning-quick turnarounds, so attendants herd passengers and collect trash with the grim speed of an Indy pit crew. Everyone, it seems, is in a bad mood.

On Monday, on the tarmac atKennedy International Airport, a JetBlue attendant named Steven Slater decided he had had enough, the authorities said. After a dispute with a passenger who stood to fetch luggage too soon on a full flight just in from Pittsburgh, Mr. Slater, 38 and a career flight attendant, got on the public-address intercom and let loose a string of invective.

Then, the authorities said, he pulled the lever that activates the emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career. On his way out the door, he paused to grab a beer from the beverage cart. Then he ran to the employee parking lot and drove off, the authorities said.

Read the rest here.

2 thoughts on “When Emotional Labor Fails…

  1. I had a series of terrible flights and terribly mean flight attendants when I flew to and from France for a conference last month. If given the chance I would’ve taken the chute exit.

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