If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you probably have heard of Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant. I’ve heard various versions of the story, but almost all agree that he was dealing with a rude customer and got to the point where he just literally bailed on his job – grab some beer and went down the inflatable slide to exit the plane. (Side Note: I’ve always thought that would be fun to use the inflatable slide… just never wanted to be in a situation where it was the best option.) Many are hailing him as a hero of the common man.
Shortly after, news started to spread about Whiteboard Jenny, a young lady who had enough of her boss’… well just about everything. It turns out that stunt involving Jenny (real name Elyse Porterfield) was a complete hoax. Before it was revealed to be a hoax, a lot of people took notice and sympathized with this office assistant.
The timing of both these stories has made for a lot of talk in the media. The bad economy is making companies try to do more with less money. This means fewer people doing things they might not be accustomed to doing. This means more situations where people are not happy with their jobs. It sounds a little bit like a generalization to me, but perhaps it is accurate.
One thing that struck me is that Steven Slater might have difficulty finding another job. (Elyse Porterfield, as she was just a hired actress in a hoax, does not face the same problem.) His next employer could say, “We don’t need this person flying off the handle and creating another media circus.” Of course the opposite could be true too. In any event, it is easier to “pull a Slater” if you have another source of income outside of your main job. There are times that, as part of my job, I have to be nice to customers who are rude to me. I don’t know if I could ever just a pull a Slater and show up a customer, but it’s nice to have freedom to walk away from the job. The alternative income that I make from websites makes this possible.
However, alternative income doesn’t have to come from websites. For some it is real estate or stock dividends. For others, it may be eBooks and/or iPhone apps. Or it could be teaching people how to start their own business.
If alternative income was your inflatable slide, what color would it be?