August 10, 2010

We Are Steve

Steven Slater via Facebook

Steven Slater via Facebook

My main question is, how many people out there select an obvious work photo for their Facebook picture?

This choice, and the fact that he’s not beaming about it, suggests Steve “was having some issues” with his work identity.  That being the case, however, I don’t begrudge him what he did, not this summer — especially when you read the account in today’s NYT about how much abuse Mr. Slater took from the passenger, and how he still had safety in mind as he sprung the slide.

I’d say it’s an ironic coincidence there’s an escape exit in the background. The rest of it, though — the near-frown and near-wince juxtaposed with the cheap snacks (along with the prominence of his right ring finger, evoking, for a gay man, ties that bind) — sends a powerful message about one guy, in a “no service” world, having finally worn down.

Summing up twenty-eight years of the job on his face, the smile being the prime piece of the uniform, it says: ‘would you just look at this.’  And, in the best tradition of Howard Beale, now we have.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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