The Associated Press has unearthed an internal JetBlue memo, and it’s pretty clear that the airline doesn’t view disgruntled flight attendant Steven Slater as a hero. In fact, JetBlue‘s memo has characterized his actions as inexcusable.
Loved because he left his job in grand fashion – despite the fact that “aviation is in his blood” and he wants the gig back – the emerging reality suggests that Slater really put himself and other people at risk of injury or worse.
Even if Slater was reacting to an uncooperative passenger, JetBlue isn’t interested in his excuses. The company’s chief operating officer, Rob Maruster, wrote in the memo, “If Mr. Slater’s story proves to be accurate, and even if there was a precipitating event that motivated his behavior, that still doesn’t excuse his actions.”
And, let’s not forget that Slater was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. He entered a plea of “not guilty” and is out on $2,500 bail. According to a report by MyFoxNY, he faces felony charges.
Perhaps the most frightening part of the Slater saga – aside from the fact that a person whose “primary job is safety,” as the flight attendants like to say, lost his mind in something that’s nowhere near a crisis situation – is that he could have injured or killed somebody.The fact that he deployed an emergency slide, notes the memo, is “the most distressing aspect” of the situation. According to The Associated Press report:
“Slides deploy extremely quickly, with enough force to kill a person,” the letter to employees read. “Slides can be as dangerous as a gun.”
Maruster added that the “episode does not reflect the professional and sincere service you deliver to our customers every day.”
Fortunately, when he used this “gun,” Slater also had a beer in his hand. This guy might be getting the “hero” treatment by working folks everywhere, but here’s the question nobody seems to be asking: would you want to rely on him where you work?