On Civility, Excellence, and the Flight Attendant for Jet Blue

I posted on the spectacle that is the Jet Blue flight attendant over at WORLDMag.com. But more than that, I posted on the surprising amount of people who approved of his antics…


No doubt by now you’ve heard of the infamous JetBlue flight attendant who slid his way away from frustration and his job.

No doubt you’ve heard how many people are cheering him on for what he did, as though he took the hero’s route. Turns out, he may not have been as much of a hero as they want him to be.

Something similar went around the Internet about a girl who quit her job using a dry erase board and a series of photos to explain why her boss was such a jerk. This one turned out to be a hoax, but the response from those hoping she’d really done it was mind-boggling.

How quickly we seem to be losing our civility. Would it have killed the airline attendant to at least have finished out his shift for the day? He could have just as easily waited, gone to his supervisor and turned in his name tag. Granted, there would have been little to no fanfare in this, but it would have been the proper thing to do.

Likewise, the idea of using a dry-erase board to tell off her boss and quit her job just seems so over-the-top. Of course, she didn’t really do it, but so many people were hoping she did (and I’d be willing to bet that someone actually will very soon – watch for it).

Why is this? What makes people so ready to support someone else’s knuckle-headed way of dealing with a situation? I suppose it’s the undercurrent in us that wants to stick it to somebody – to stick it to “The Man.” We were wronged, we’re “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” and the whole world needs to know about it. (Check out our obliging media: The photo above shows the ex-flight attendant Steven Slater being led from a Bronx correctional facility to an awaiting van by an ABC field producer after posting bail.)

Is this what we want to be teaching our kids about conflict resolution?

Life isn’t about doing the thing that makes the most people go, “YEAH!” It’s about doing the right thing regardless of how it makes you look to others.

Doing the right thing will seldom land you your fifteen minutes of fame. But it probably won’t land you in jail either.