Aug 12, 2010

The Problem with Steven Slater and going Apeshit AWOL at your job.

The first moment I heard of Steven Slater and his amazing stunt at Jet Blue, I thought... fuck yeah, that man is my hero. Come on, I mean... we've all been there, specially ad people. We've gathered our stuff and actually started to walk out the door of many ad agencies.

We've daydreamed of what could possibly happen if we walk up to the Creative Director or the CEO and screamed at the top of our lungs "Go But-Lick some Donkey Balls!" I even called up Human Resources once, with my purse in hand, screaming "what would happen if I just leave... RIGHT NOW?"

Work is hard, the people are bad and the clients make us want to basically either kill ourselves or harm another human being. Going Postal was coined just because some dude at the Post Office went berzkerk with a gun. But trust me, sometimes I wonder if history would have been different and we could now refer to that state of mind as Going Bank, Going Agency... Going Government Office... you know what I mean.

So anyway, back to the dude with the prize of the single most amazing "I quit" moment this decade has to offer. Steven Slater decides to quit in the most flashing way possible. He goes mental on the PA system inside the airplane, opens up the emergency shoot and jumps, not before grabbing two beers. Perfect, Steven. You gave the airplane a piece of your mind.

Now, while I applaud his balls for quitting apeshit style... I wonder if this is ok. Was it safe for old Steven to do it? Aw, come on, the plane was already on the ground. So yeah, it was safe. Was it cool? Sure thing man! Telling any boss that he can suck it is priceless. But should he have actually went ahead and did it? I'm not so sure.

Some people say that with age comes a little bit of wisdom and let me tell you, I completely disagree. With age comes thinking a little bit more what repercussions really mean. For example. If you had asked me 12 years ago about screaming at the top of my lungs and leaving the ad agency at the time, I would have said "OF COURSE, DO IT". Leaving in the most dramatic way would give my bosses something to think about, I would have thought. A show like that would have shown them that treating people badly is not the way to go...

Yeah... right.

Fast forward to present day. Ask me again if 'Going Slater' is a good thing when leaving a job and I will totally disagree. Drama is only good for TiVo and HBO. While you might want to make a scene to demonstrate the problems within a company, your name is WAY more important than anything else.

What do I mean, your name? Your reputation. Jobs can come and go, but your name carries a history. Just like your credit score, if it sucks, it sucks forever and it takes a while to clean itself up. That means that if you are a violent fuck, that will stick. If you are difficult to work with, carry that burden. If you are lazy, idiotic, egomaniac or whatever else... well, just think of the Beatles.

Boy... you're gonna carry that weight a looooooong timeeeeeeee!

So was Steven right in doing the shoot-quitting procedure? Nah. This is just a sad funny joke. At the end you will have someone who will not be able to get a decent job in a long long time. Did his style of quitting tell something about Jet Blue? Don't think so. Did we learn some kind of injustice about the company? Nope. Would we be angry if even Jet Blue did have some skeletons in their closet? No, again.

Being professional and just giving your two weeks notice is all that you need.

Just sayin'...


Joker said...

I never made a super drama when I quit from a job, even at the one where I hated the place and said that I just couldn't stand it any longer. I always made a point of letting my resignation scenes play out as normally and professionally as possible... but if anything I've found out is that the bad shall always show more than all the good you ever did. The extra effort, the asses you saved, the new businesses you won, none of that matters if you are a curmudgeon.

Though I got shit done, often was the case that people remember me at my worst moments, when stress and pressure had me calling someone on their bullshit or launching a shoe across the creative floor. It hurts, it's frustrating, but one learns and though people always seem to mention those embarassing moments, you learn. You learn to bitch every time less, explode less and give people less to remember because you quickly realize that many of those closest to you are the last people you should give as a reference.

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