The Last Straw

My new hero is Steven Slater the flight attendant who had enough abuse from a passenger to exit via the emergency slide after lambasting the passenger on the plane’s speaker.  And he also grabbed a couple of beers for the ride home.  While he sits in jail and attorneys wrangle over his crime, I can only say Bravo.  (By the way, why doesn’t the media print the passenger’s name?)

Who among us hasn’t had a final straw moment whether you acted on it or not?  For me there’s been a few.  One time a new client who was both stupid and arrogant (amazing combination) wouldn’t pay the $1 million media bill until I could explain the $2.48 postage costs.  She actually did that month after month as a way of grinding me and agency into resigning.  Eventually the unpaid invoices got close to $5 million while she questioned $20 worth of incidentals.   It is a long story.  Suffice it to say that justice prevailed and she was fired and the review was cancelled…just before I said that’s the final straw.

Another time a boss sneeringly said to me:  “Just because everybody likes you doesn’t mean I have to like you.”  And he didn’t.  He spent a lot of time over the years proving how much he didn’t like me.  It was easy to leave that job.

Frankly I haven’t had a lot of last straw moments.  But I did see an interesting situation on a plane last year.   The plane was nearly loaded and a woman came down the aisle with one of those stroller bags that is really a mini-mobile home.  When she got to her aisle seat she opened the overhead and saw that it was full.  She promptly removed a bag already there and replaced it with hers.  A guy sitting two rows up said that was his bag and asked what she was doing.  She said:  “This is my overhead because it’s right above my seat.  Go find your own.”  Then she sat down and put on her ear buds.  The guy’s jaw dropped and face turned red, but he didn’t say anything.  He had to check his bag.  And by the way, why don’t we just get rid of overhead compartments?  Is that 15 minutes when you have to wait for your bag that precious?  And don’t tell me you’re afraid of the airline losing it.  In 30+ years I’ve not lost a bag.   The pain and suffering of everyone jockeying to cram stuff into those bins is monumentally exasperating, not to mention causing planes to depart late.

And finally there was the time a disgruntled employee found a list of everybody’s salaries, mad ecopies and put one on every desk in the company.  He had already been fired and this was his last straw.

But I digress.  Go here to read the latest on the story.  Then be sure to read the comments posted by hundreds of people telling their “last straw” moments. 

In the meanwhile, I’m making Free Steven tee shirts to raise money for his defense and the first hundred beers he will be drinking upon release… while he looks for a new job.


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