Blame JetBlue Snit on Alcohol Withdrawals?

by The Discovering Alcoholic on August 10, 2010

A JetBlue employee that berated passengers over the PA system before resigning via the emergency slide has gained national attention.

Prosecutors say the JetBlue flight attendant (Steven Slater) flipped out over a fight with an agitated traveler Monday, cursing over the intercom before grabbing some beer from the plane’s galley and making a grand exit down the emergency slide at Kennedy Airport. He has been charged with felonies but elevated to folk-hero status by thousands who shrugged off allegations that Slater endangered others and praised him for his take-this-job-and-shove-it moment. ~ AP

The press is touting this story as the justified meltdown of a mild mannered flight attendant caused by rude passengers, but a closer look through the TDA magnifying glass suggests the culprit may be alcohol withdrawals. SFGN reports that Slater has recently bragged about “beating alcoholism and substance abuse” – yet flamboyantly fleeing responsibility with beer in hand leads me to believe he never really quit. The short temper, erratic behavior, and the willingness to sacrifice anything for a drink sounds more like Mr. Slater was experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms and simultaneously being hammered by the close-quarters-reality of an airplane while trying to support a failing facade. Then he did what all alcoholics do when under duress- he bolted, for the bottle. Using misdirection, a major component of the alcoholic’s playbook, by creating a scene he masked the real problem that he could no longer accomplish his job without drinking.

Of course this is only conjecture, but I’ve been there, done that, still wear the T-shirt and my alky-sense is definitely tingling here. Hopefully I’m wrong; Mr. Slater has a world of hurt to face for his actions and fighting DT’s and struggling with sobriety certainly will not it make it any easier.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary (MPJ) August 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I have so missed your take on things. That will teach me to take the summer off! 😉

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2 The Discovering Alcoholic August 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm

It’s great to see you again MPJ! I’ve already got you on my new blogroll.

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3 Paul August 11, 2010 at 12:09 am

I find this a bit sad and see it as a reminder of how pathetic we addicts can be – of course I don’t really know what’s went on and I’m making a lot of assumptions. I remember well the number of times I made a ‘grand stand’ and then used this as an excuse to stay drunk for weeks afterwards. As I have heard people say before, “Something bad didn’t happen every time I drank, but almost everytime a bad thing happened I was drunk”. I would never have normally even considered doing a lot of the things I would do while drunk; I’d imagine that this chap is the same.

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