“You’d better not try to stand in my way

As I’m walkin’ out the door

Take this job and shove it

I ain’t workin’ here no more.”

– Johnny Paycheck

 

True, fed-up flight attendant Steven Slater didn’t walk out the door in leaving his job Monday.

Rather than exit JetBlue Flight 1052 via the terminal ramp at JFK International Airport in New York, Slater opened a rear door and deployed an emergency slide, pausing only to grab two beers on the way.

Which naturally made him a hero.

As of Tuesday night, he had acquired 74,000 supporters on his Facebook page, and probably had 74 million people who admired him for what has to be one of the grandest gestures of contempt ever made while quitting a stressful, relatively low-paid job in which taking guff is a standard part of the job description.

Slater’s point of no return reportedly occurred when he was hit in the head while trying to intervene in a squabble between two passengers over space in the overhead bin.

Everyone who has flown in recent years knows exactly what happened. Because airlines have been trying to save money, they have not only cut back their on-board amenities, many have begun charging outrageous fees for checked bags.

That has led passengers to try to carry on larger luggage, and since bin space is limited, it is often the object of territorial disputes.

After being cursed at and struck, his attorney said, Slater bid passengers a farewell (thanking some and offering a few expletives to others) over the PA system, popped the slide and went home to his Queens apartment, where he was arrested. He was later released on bail.

He may not have much to worry about, however. If his jury is composed of former airline passengers, a “not guilty” verdict would seem to be inevitable. Then they could buy him a couple of beers.