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Jet Blue Flight Attendant Slides Down Chute of Internet Fame

Move over Susan Boyleand David After Dentist, there's a new Internet sensation in town—Jet Blue Flight attendant (sorry, former flight attendant) Steven Slater!

Source: facebook.com/pages/Steven-Slater

The down economy has left a lot of work places feeling like pressure cookers: Employees are overworked and underpaid — and they can’t even threaten to quit or go somewhere else.

So, it’s no surprise that with all that tension building, the story of Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater, who quit in a blaze of profanity-laced glory after a dispute with a passenger, has become a bit of an Internet folk hero.

It certainly didn’t hurt that the guy had style: He delivered his tirade—and resignation—over the plane's PA system, grabbed two beers from the galley and escaped via the inflatable emergency chute.

He made it all the way home, too. There are reports that when police knocked on his door, he was in the middle of having sex with his boyfriend.

"Jet Blue flight attendant" was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. and several Facebook pages have sprung up since the incident.

The “Steven Slater” page already has over 14,000 members.

There’s also the“Free Steven Slater”club, which already has over 1,200 members, two “Steven Slater Defense Fund” pages and perhaps the most amusing, “What Would Steven Slater Do? (WWSSD).”

“SLATER FOR PRESIDENT!!!,” Michael Yb Lam wrote on the Free Steven page. “Chant after me: STEVEN FOR PRESIDENT! We need more of him around to weed the low lives!” he cried.

“I hope someone with Photoshop skills can take Steven's profile photo and add a super hero cape and place the letters SFA to his shirt for Super Flight Attendant!” added fellow Slater fan Susan Shepard.

Even humorist Andy Borowitz couldn’t resist, penning a story about the need for all workplaces to be fitted with inflatable slidesto accommodate disgruntled employees.

“If post offices had inflatable slides, think of the lives we could have saved!” he wrote.

"I wish we could all quit our jobs like that,"fellow passenger Phil Catelinet, told the Daily News.

Steven Slater seen here in an undated photo aboard a JetBlue aircraft.
Source: MySpace.com
Steven Slater seen here in an undated photo aboard a JetBlue aircraft.

Slater’s meltdown really struck a nerve: 91 percent of respondents in a Daily News poll said yes, they have at one time or another felt like screaming “I’ve had it!” and storming out of their workplace.

In fact, there’s buzz that “pulling a Slater” may replace “going postal” as the new way to threaten to quit a crappy job.

Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the Steven Slater business: There are already T-shirts saying, “Free Steven Slater”for sale online.

Just to give you an idea of how big the Steven Slater phenomenon is, by the time this post was finished, the Steven Slater Facebook page that had over 14,000 people who "liked this" page had grown to over 25,000 and by the closing bell on Wall Street, it had OVER 37,000.

We’ve heard a lot of inspiring stories since the recession began, about the lengths people went to to get a job, how some reinvented themselves and how others found their dream jobs.

But Steven Slater may just be the one that sticks.

So, ask yourself, punk, "What Would Steven Slater Do?"

Quitter Treats:

Quitting via White Board. If emergency chutes aren't your style, maybe you want to go the "Jenny" route. "Jenny," and we use quotes because we're not sure she's real, was a Wall Street assistant, who allegedly delivered her resignation via white board and emailed the photos to all of her co-workers. Nothing quite says "Screw you, boss!" like erasable ink!

Pillow Fight! If all this job stress talk has left you with a little angst, maybe all you need is a little pillow fight at 10,000 feetto lighten the mood!

Laid-Off Laughs. One Boston comedy club is offering free admission with a pink slipand features laid-off workers making jokes about their tough times, the Today Show reports.

All About Jobs:

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Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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