Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The spotlight will most always show your true colors...

There were two stories from yesterday that I absolutely can't let slide by without comment.

First, there's the flight attendant that apparently lost his mind, proceeds to curse the passengers on his flight in a tirade over the PA system, pulls the emergency lever on the forward door releasing the slide, grabs two beers and deplanes by going down the slide, across the tarmac, out of the airport and to his home.

That's where authorities arrested him on a number of charges. If cowardly stupidity were a crime...this dude does life.

In a profession were cool under pressure is an absolute requirement, Steve Slater doesn't make the grade. He's the type of crew member that rushed to launch in a lifeboat not a fourth of the way full while the Titanic slowly slide beneath the waves with hundreds aboard who didn't have a chance at a lifeboat. I guess for him it's every man, woman and child for themselves George Costanza style.

Unfortunately, many are regarding him as a modern day hero. Bet those people would feel differently if they had been on US Airways Flight 1549 that went down in the Hudson River that cold January day last year and Steve here had been one of the flight attendants. True color...


Then there's the subtle message this guy projects for his generation of, ahem, men...




If you watched the entire video, his girlfriend even tells him she's afraid of getting hit by a foul ball! Sure enough, she gets nailed, and he bails on her like scalded dog. True colors...

Dude doesn't even give her the ball she has so rightfully earned. He's more worried about his hat being cranked sideways and backward on his head for the cameras. If I'm this young lady's dad, I'd punch him square in the nose the very next time we met. No warnings or apologies either.

Is chivalry truly dead? I think the concept of chivalry is often limited in definition by most people to mean courteous behavior towards a woman, but chivalry goes much, much deeper. Courage, honor, justice and willingness to help others were all marks expected of the medieval knight from where the word is derived.

I see none of those attributes on display in these two examples pulled from the headlines of yesterday. I'm actually embarrassed for both of the guys, and I hope they are embarrassed too. Maybe both will use this Warhol 15-minutes of fame to self-reflect and realize the need for a change.

God knows I've been there myself...

12 comments:

David said...

I have had jobs where I would like to walk out and leave just like that... churches too.

You skipped three important facts:

1 The woman went off on him when he told her to get back in her seat.
2 He was found with his lover when the cops showed up.
3 He took to Bud Lites and his suitcase down the chute.

Can we shoot both of them for acting like nursery school children? The other too facts I just thought added some color to the story - makes me want to grab a couple of brewskies and run home to my wife before the kids get in from work and camp.

#2
"Baby" I might get hit...

She got the right. And she should run, not revisit this.

Deborah Ann said...

Aw, I don't know. That guy in the bleachers just reacted to a speeding bullet. I'm not so sure I wouldn't have done the same thing, or my husband for that matter...

Tony C said...

You have a point Deborah Ann, reflexes do kick in...but she TOLD him she was afraid of getting hit by a foul ball before it happened and he told her he wouldn't let it happen.

Hmmmm.

Thanks for the comment. Love your Heavenly Humor blog!

Michelle said...

Well, I'm just going to say...my husband would be there with confidence...catching the ball the declare ownership...not protection. (JK! I know he would protect me.)

The other guy...well...that's just typical of what "self-esteem" has created in people. Entitlement and elevated self-confidence.

Tony C said...

Nate would def protect you...

Dead on in that last statement!

Mesha said...

SO what you're saying is...you'd jump in front of the ball for me? :) haha...

Jeff said...

This is a tough one for me Tony. I have said, somewhat in jest, that Steven is my new hero. I work in a phone center on a swing shift. The callers have become more and more abusive in recent months. The constant attacks really do take their toll.

Also, the airline industry has also changed quite a bit in recent years. Customers are being nickle and dimed to death and planes are packed to the gills. There also seems to be a attitude amongst a portion of travelers who think they are above the rules. The customers actions to not follow his instructions is a felony, just saying. Was it right for him to cuss over the PA system? No. Was it right for him to take two beers? No. Was it right for him to open the door and deploy the slide? Probably not.

I think he resonates with so many, especially those in the customer service field, because they are drained. The emotional and physical toll of dealing with rude, selfish, and mean customers is what can push someone over the edge.

So, is Steven still my hero? Maybe only in the dream of quitting my job. Truth is Tony, you stepped on my toes Brother, you convicted me.... Thank you.

I would just ask others to remember the clerk behind the counter or on the phone is a person just like you. They may be overworked and underpaid. They have nothing to do with hold times, they may be limited in what they can do, they may be having a bad day. Please, please take it easy on us.

Tony C said...

@ Mesha - Of course I would! You're my hero!

@Jeff - You make some very good points, but what if Stevey was driving a school bus and lost it like that?

I completely agree that common courtesy is a two-way street and regardless of the venue, we should all be a little more patient and kinder with each other. That's as WWJD as it gets brother!

Great comments!

David said...

@Jeff - Call centers have a tough job, and as tough as it is in person, it is tougher on the phone. Internet chat is better. I am not wishing you out of a job, but you might like the chat better.

If I were to write an open letter to customer service employees (which I have been), I would ask only one thing of your employers. That would be that they find a way for you to solve my problem, or get someone on the line that can.

Here is my story: I use my US Airways credit card for an occasional purchase. One day I went to get an oil change, and it was rejected. This has happened a few times over the years, and when I called CS, there has been no problem - possibly a scratch on the magnetic strip - who knows.

The last time I called, and it turned out my account was closed. What? Closed due to a payment plan. Well, I didn't authorize a payment plan with a $0 balance. Long story short, someone else had made a plan, and it was entered in with a wrong SS number (mine). One would think that a manager with a brain could reverse this. Not possible. I ended up Googling CS and found a name for the VP of Customer Service. A few Internet tricks and I got his email. I received a phone call from his EA about 10 minutes later. She fixed the account in 10 seconds, and they gave 200,000 miles for the disaster, because it hit my credit report.

I had similar experiences with Citizens Bank. I closed an account, and they forgot to do something and the closed account sent a check to pay my car payment. We're in collections now. Seems again, that there is no manager that can reverse the error.

So, if you are doing a better job than that, God bless you!

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Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I think a lot of people relate because a lot of people have jobs that are highly stressful and from which they dream of walking away and cannot. I don't think that many people are condoning the implied "abandon the clients" attitude as wishing that they could adopt the attitude "there are things more important than money [job]." People, in general, are not risk-takers but admire them, and I suspect that most saw that this was a big risk vis-a-vis future jobs, income, even legal issues, and all those seem to be part of the ramifications so far.

Tracy said...

Gosh I hate to be a culture-complainer, but I am! As a mom of 3 sons, one who just started 12th grade and another who just started 11th, I constantly see this lack of chivalrous behavior. Especially in kids in these two sons age group. Repeatedly situations arise where I'm amazed by the way I see teens acting; and where I ask my sons later, when we're alone, what their thoughts were concerning the situations. Most typically my sons act respectfully and thoughtfully toward others; but some of the music they listen to is so symptomatic of the problem.