Monday, August 16, 2010

Long Live the King

In recognition of his spontaneous outburst and subsequent unplanned departure from JetBlue flight #1052, Steven Slater was recently crowned America's new folk legend hero.

His 15 minutes began with a 3 second slide down the emergency slide after an unruly passenger verbally and physically abused the veteran flight attendant.

However, in the category of Most Audacious, Plane-Related Employee Self Terminations, his playground antics take a back seat --the one near the toilet that doesn't recline -- to one Gerard Finneran.

Finneran ascended to the throne back in 1995 before the internet, or cell phones with cameras, or social media, otherwise his name would be known throughout the land and not just to those of us who revel in rebellious employee behavior.

On a flight from South America to New York, Finneran, a high finance banker attired in his $2000 suit took his seat in First Class and quickly downed the welcome-aboard champagne greeting. He followed the first libation with several more, until Flight Attendant Ratchett cut him off.

And that's when things got beautiful.

A man not easily denied, Finneran decided to pour his own drinks while Ratchett was handing out headsets. She caught wind of this and demanded Finneran take a seat. And in a word, he did. While the rest of the passengers were cruising along at 35,000 feet, Finneran made an athletic move up to 35, 003 feet above sea level and climbed atop the serving cart.

With the full attention of everyone in first class, business class and some very curious folks in coach, Finneran then dropped his 100% wool trousers to his ankles, assumed a threatening squatting position and then "topped" the chicken almondine with his own personal dressing.

I'll clench my teeth and drive 100 miles in sheer agony so I don't have to drop the kids off at a public pool. So for him to pull off that kind of bold move, well that just takes the kind intestinal fortitude and intestinal command that I, nor many of us, will never possess.

The bad press subsided. Nevertheless Gerard was forced to resign from his job shortly thereafter, when it became necessary to begin every meeting with hushed whispering, "whatever you do don't say anything that might in any way piss off Mr. Finneran."

I knew Gerard Finneran.
And you Mr. Slater, are no Gerard Finneran.

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