It's time to reinvent management. You can help.

JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater was Mad as Hell

by David Sims on August 10, 2010


david-sims_1's picture

JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater was Mad as Hell

If you need more evidence of the simmering discontent that many employees have for their jobs, you need look no further than the online cheers of support for Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who couldn't take it anymore, cussed out a planeload of travelers, and slid out to infamy.  Slater's impulsive and dramatic escape -- from the plane, his job, and anonymity -- has already inspired hundreds or thousands of cheering comments on news stories around the web, and as of mid-day Tuesday nearly 21,000 fans liked his page on Facebook. I would be surprised if a spot on a reality show is not already in the works.

But beyond the cheers, the Likes, the thumbs-up, lies a sadder reality: so many people empathize with Slater's stress, his long-squelched feelings of being trapped in a situation where he was compelled to endure the abuse of irate travelers, that they openly cheer his bizarre (and possibly reckless) departure. Slater is already being compared to Howard Beale, the anchor (played by Peter Finch) in the 1976 film Network, whose on-air tirade declaring, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" became a watchword for a generation of the disgruntled. Three decades on, despite the heroic efforts of management innovators who are trying to improve the way we relate to our jobs, there is still enough mismanagement of employees that some are still pulling the escape hatch and fleeing.

We at the MIX believe that we can do better. That's why we've joined this effort to reinvent management: to see if together we can share success stories and figure out how to prevent the future Steven Slaters from reaching their wits' ends.

If you have a mad as hell story -- or how you prevented one -- share it with us.

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mireille-jansma's picture
Hm, I thought I had a story, but it appears to have been a hoax....