I would contribute to Steven Slater's defense fund. I completely understand his decision to quit whoring himself to the ever greedy airline industry and having to cater to the whims of abhorrent passengers. I give him a standing ovation for quitting with such panache! Who hasn't fantasized about escaping on that emergency slide when you feel your IQ being sucked out of your ears to fill the void created by your fellow passengers? I know I've personally wanted to bail out in aggravation despite being thousands of feet above an ocean! Bravo, Steven Slater! You are a hero to both flight attendants and passengers alike.
I could not work in a job where I had to be polite to the public all day long. I give folks who work in "hospitality" jobs a lot of credit. Just today I observed a pillar of patience in action at the auto repair shop where I was waiting for my car. I was reading (John Waters new book "Role Models," which so far is alternately hilarious and sad) when I overheard the receptionist saying, "I'm sorry that happened. Yes, we'll still take your car for your appointment if you're late." Then I heard her say that the person on the phone had driven past the repair shop TWICE and had to turn around TWICE and was very upset. She wasn't upset that she had missed the building, however; she was upset that the building was difficult to spot from the road and was yelling at the receptionist.
A little later, the receptionist answered the phone and again said, in a truly sympathetic sounding tone (which I NEVER would have been able to muster), "Oh no! I'm SO SORRY it happened again! Yes, it is in a difficult location. I'll let him know. Yes, I agree. Well, we'll be waiting for you." What an angel! Then she handed a paper to someone I suppose was a manager and said, "These are her suggestions for better marking our entrance because she missed it 3 times." And she did all of this with a straight face! I would have been wetting myself from laughing at the ninny who felt no shame in admitting that she drove past the same entrance 3 times and missed it every time!
Next, this amazing woman had to deal with a brain dead caller who was apparently lost and needed directions. She kindly explained the directions from a major highway to the repair shop. Pause. Then, "No, sir. I'm afraid I can't tell you how to get on Route 50 (a major highway) from where you are now. Sir, no sir. I'm not familiar with Washington, D.C. We're in Annapolis. Yes, sir." Repeat directions. Repeat directions louder. "Sir, maybe should close your car window so you can hear me better. CLOSE YOUR CAR WINDOW!!!" Repeat directions again. "Sir, you need to close your car win...." I think the conversation ended some time around then. Never once did this paragon of sweetness utter the words "F*** off!" even under her breath. What restraint!
The receptionist asked another employee if she could watch the desk for a minute so she could go outside. I saw her head toward the door with a cigarette in her hand. If it were me, I'd have had a bottle of vodka and a few Valium too!!!