1. Money

I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm Gonna Deploy the Slide!

By August 10, 2010

If you were in hibernation during the last 24-hour news cycle, you may have missed the story about Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater, who was mad as hell and wasn't gonna take it anymore. A passenger got up and opened the overhead bin before the plane had come to a complete stop and the seatbelt sign had been turned off. The attendant got up to get the passenger back in his seat, in the process getting clonked on the head by the passenger's falling luggage. Many expletives ensued and the attendant did what anyone would have done. He grabbed a beer from the galley, got on the microphone and told the passengers what he thought of the dope who was out of his seat, unlocked the evacuation slide and took off feet first in one of the grandest exits ever made from a career.

This guy does not need Jet Blue. He needs an agent and some entrepreneurial ideas. He could make more money in the next year as a business person than he made in his 20 years as a flight attendant.

So let's give Steven a head start. What do you think he should do to capitalize on this opportunity? Make "Deploy the Slide!" t-shirts? Speaker circuit? Reality TV show? Let's get creative and hear your ideas!

August 16, 2010 at 10:14 am
(1) Dennis Bevers says:

He should definitely opt for self-employment. Being able to fire clients who aren’t worth the time and trouble they bring can be empowering. There are plenty of great prospects out there for someone who knows how to give great customer service, as Slater obviously did for 28 years in the skies, before the passenger from hell pushed him over the edge.

My career in promotional advertising sales tells me that I did the right thing when I opted for self-employment 23years ago. In spite of the bad national and local economy that I faced, with local unemployment far above the national average, I made my sideline business my full-time career.

Slater’s 15 seconds of fame can be invaluable for almost any business he chooses to start, as long as he focuses on what he did right, and not on the legal hurdles he faces.

If he can find the right opportunity as an Independent Agent, it won’t even matter if he hasn’t made all the financial preparations for opting for self-employment. With no large capital cost required to enter the promotional advertising field as an agent, he could be in the black in a matter of weeks, compared to the 2 years or more suggested with many franchises, and that after a sizable investment in buying a franchise and the required start-up costs.

With the legal hurdles Slater faces, and the financial expense involved in his defense, he’ll definitely need a low-cost start-up option, unless he finds some angel investor he can pitch with a great opportunity.

Dennis Bevers

August 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm
(2) Charles M. Barnard says:

Guess I’m confused.

What did he do that would result in criminal charges–other than deploy the slide, which wouldn’t seem to be a large enough matter to bother sending the cops after him en masse?

Jetblue should issue him a medal or award and capitalize on the publicity–but most companies can’t manage to see how to turn such events in their own interest.

I’ll bet that the passengers and crew unanimously agreed with his actions–certainly most air passengers would have.

Technically, the passenger standing was a potential risk to the passengers, and by refusing to sit down ought to have been forcibly reseated, since there’s no way to know that he wasn’t a terrorist–where were the flight marshals?

If they file charges, good luck in getting a jury that knows THEIR rights to convict.

August 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm
(3) Mitchell York says:

Charles, I would love to see an airline announce to its passengers along with the rather pointless instructions on how to blow into a flotation device something like: “Our main job for the next X hours is to get you to your destination as quickly and safely as possible. Your job as passengers is to facilitate our job. That means staying seated as much as possible, not bothering other passengers, putting the toilet seat down and cleaning up after yourself, and being nice to the flight attendants. You aren’t going to be waited on. This is not a restaurant. It’s a really unpleasant form of transportation. So this would be a good time to take your Xanax and read a book. Don’t hog the armrests. Don’t put your seat all the way back onto someone’s knees like they don’t exist. And for Pete’s sake, have the maturity to sit the hell down when the plane lands until the #$)({*#$ seatbelt sign is off. “

August 23, 2010 at 10:02 am
(4) Pamela says:

Clearly, he has a flare for the dramatics. Perhaps he could be in movies. Wouldn’t he be great as a BULL in an arena facing a toreador? How about a role as a child in a body of an adult? Perhaps the setting should be in a psych ward instead?
Now for the passenger: What company does that self-centered, greedy, egotistical SOB work for? I don’t want to have anything to do with him, either. Where is polite? Where is kindness? There is too much MEism in this world and both of these jerks exemplify it to the max.

August 26, 2010 at 2:46 am
(5) RJ says:

+1 Pamela

Couldn’t have put it in better words. Is this how an Entrepreneur would behave? No sir I think not. One of the distinct qualities of an entrepreneurs is that they are humble, polite and don’t blow off their fuse at the drop of the hat. That’s what sets them apart … from good to great.

I can’t believe you find people like him entrepreneur material. I think he’s gonna be a jacka$$ all his life unless there’s a divine intervention.

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