Author Topic: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?  (Read 6064 times)

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Oscar1

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Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« on: August 11, 2010, 04:18:05 AM »
For anyone who's not heard the story of this air steward's dramatic resignation, just Google his name.

He's being hailed as a hero in some quarters and I certainly have some sympathy with him but, in etiquette terms, his behaviour was inexcusable. A classic case of responding to rudeness with rudeness.

Ceallach

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 05:29:36 AM »
Straightforward case of retaliatory rudeness, IMHO.  Part of the reason retaliatory rudeness is so bad is that it inevitably inflicts discomfort upon innocent bystanders, and in this situation that is more so than ever.  I can't imagine what all of those other poor passengers thought when the flight attendant began swearing over the PA system.  Regardless of how rude a particular passenger had been or even if he'd had dozens of them be rude to him, his behaviour was completely inappropriate. 

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Akarui Kibuno

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 07:39:45 AM »
Had he just used the thingies to get off the planes, I would have thought simply clueless.

The swearing, however, puts this into Super Speshul Snowflake Territory. Not saying his job isn't hard, but there are millions of people who might do a harder job than he does and that doesn't give them a free pass to swear at all the people who annoys them  ::)
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kingsrings

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 11:15:56 AM »
I'm ashamed to admit that I found humor in this situation. And I still kind of do.  :-[

But taking away that and really looking at it, of course what he did was not okay. There were better ways to handle the problem other than having a breakdown like he did. He also could of endangered people with setting off the emergency chute like he did. Airline officials said if workers had been in the area where it deployed, they would of been killed.

Akarui Kibuno

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 11:19:32 AM »
I'm ashamed to admit that I found humor in this situation. And I still kind of do.  :-[

But taking away that and really looking at it, of course what he did was not okay. There were better ways to handle the problem other than having a breakdown like he did. He also could of endangered people with setting off the emergency chute like he did. Airline officials said if workers had been in the area where it deployed, they would of been killed.

Worst thing is, I did find the humor in it too, and then I did just like you and came back to reality pretty quick :)
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kingsrings

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 11:23:00 AM »
I think most of us can emphasize with this guy due to our own experiences with customers and the type of job. I’ve heard that being an airline steward/ess is one of the toughest CS jobs out there. And a lot of us have had thoughts of what we would love to do in a difficult situation. That is where we find humor and can emphasize with him. But thinking it and actually doing it are two completely different things!! 

Bibliophile

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 11:24:08 AM »
To me it wasn't really a case of rudeness as a response to rudeness - it was more of rudeness in response to rude AND abusive behavior.  The guy has scabs on his forehead.  Yeah, what he did was totally uncalled for, but someone needs to arrest the passenger too for not following instructions & injuring the flight attendant.

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audrey1962

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 11:30:45 AM »
Not only did he retaliate with rudeness, but he also broke the law.

I feel for the guy, and I could see a fictional character acting this way in a movie, especially in a comedy, but it's simply not appropriate in the "real world."
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 11:53:33 AM by audrey1962 »

Hillia

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 11:44:41 AM »
To me it wasn't really a case of rudeness as a response to rudeness - it was more of rudeness in response to rude AND abusive behavior.  The guy has scabs on his forehead.  Yeah, what he did was totally uncalled for, but someone needs to arrest the passenger too for not following instructions & injuring the flight attendant.

This.  Slate was completely out of line - as pointed out, he could have seriously injured someone on the ground - but that passenger needs to be held accountable for the assault.  He/she (I don't think it's ever been clarified) apparently smacked Slater in the face with the carryon that was being removed from the overhead bin, in violation of directions from the cabin crew.  It's a completely separate incident and does not excuse the response, but I am disappointed that there's been no mention of holding that person accountable.  I imagine they're pretty pleased with themselves with how things turned out - hey, I got to violate regulations, throw a tantrum, assault someone, and waltz off with no consequences! 

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kingsrings

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 11:45:42 AM »
It will be interesting when more details on the female passenger who instigated the incident is identified and gives her side of the story (or is confronted). There are allegations that she hit him on the head intentionally with the overhead bin, of course, it's not clear what really happened in that case. If she did, it seems that she should also have legal action taken against her for assault. But given what happened, that might not be possible. If he had only kept his cool and followed the procedures for dealing with unruly passengers.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 12:24:44 PM »
Since I work in customer service, I understand the urge to retaliate, and the feeling that I am just going to lose it.

BUT, I keep coming back to the fact that Mr. Slater's behavior was inexcusable.  One version of the incident that I read, another passenger was quoted as saying that they had no idea that there was anything going on, until he heard the profanity laced announcement that Slater made.

About 2 months ago, I had to deal with an extremely difficult customer, for the second time.  The first time, he had apologized for his behavior.  The second time, he claimed that his military recruiter had told him that we would waive licensing fees for anyone in the military, and when I explained that I can waive late fees only, he became almost impossible.  He even went so far as to scream at me, "You want me to go to Iraq and be killed!  That would make you happy!  Admit it!  Admit it!"

As much as I wanted to slap his face, as much as I was tempted to yell back, "Yes!  Yes!", I didn't.  I told him that his statement was childish, collected his fees, called him back as he started to storm out to remind him that he had demanded a receipt from me, and gave him his receipt.

I'm glad I didn't, because the other customers applauded me, literally cheering and clapping.  I was also complimented on my professionalism and maturity.  I'm glad I didn't sink to my customer's level, or Mr. Slater's either.
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Sharnita

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 01:08:59 PM »
I don't know what to think.  His response certainly wasn't good but I do think the fact that he was injured and apparently verbally abused do play a role too.

OTOH, I have been cussed out, threatened by students and have even caught a stray punch meant for a classmate and I manage to keep it together.  I know CPS workers who have never gone off on child abusers like that.

MyFamily

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 02:24:50 PM »
I don't think Mr. Slater's actions were correct.  But I do understand why he did it - the stress of his job combined with the stress of taking care of a dying mother was too much.  I think he needs some psychiatric help on learning on how to deal with the stress in his life.  Unfortunately, when his stress became too much for him he made some really bad choices - one choice was rude and the other choice was illegal. 

As far as why people are supporting him - because he did what they wish they could do but would never do.  Even Pierrotlunaire0's example of the difficult customer highlights this - the desire to yell back and be mean was there, but the knowledge that it was the wrong thing to do was enough to stop Pierrotlunaire from being rude.  In Mr. Slater's case, the knowledge that this was rude and wrong wasn't enough to stop him.  But all these people (his fans on facebook, for example) are jealous that he just did it, because they wish that they could.  Doesn't necessarily mean they are going to do it, doesn't necessarily mean that they think he was right to do it, but they are jealous that he had that momentary satisfaction of telling off that really awful customer.  And it is from there that the support is coming from, imo.

I'm going to say that I feel sorry for him.  He let himself go for one moment of feeling good, and now he is facing up to 7 years in prison; his mother is dying and he is dealing with that and now his own legal issues.  He made a really bad choice, but from what I can tell he isn't a bad person.  So, I really hope that this works out well for him and that the courts don't decide to come down too hard on him.


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Sharnita

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 02:28:08 PM »
I do think that the passenger who caused him injury should be facing his/her own legal issues.

kingsrings

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Re: Steven Slater - Retaliatory rudeness?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 03:18:17 PM »
ITA w/myfamily. That's a perfect summary.