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JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater leaves a correctional facility in the Bronx after posting bail, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 (Louis Lanzano)
JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater leaves a correctional facility in the Bronx after posting bail, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 (Louis Lanzano)

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How JetBlue flight attendant is a hero to those who dream Add to ...

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'Pulling a Slater' The JetBlue flight attendant alleged to have quit his job in a rather remarkable fashion has become a folk hero, his tale having sparked the imagination of those who have fantasized about quitting their job by telling their bosses to shove it. T-shirts urging "Free Steven Slater" are selling, a re-enactment of his alleged stunt has gone viral and there are now songs about him, according to Reuters. He even has his own phrase: Pulling a Slater.

Mr. Slater is alleged to have reacted to being hit on the head by a passenger's luggage by swearing over the intercom, grabbing two bottles of beer and sliding down the emergency chute of a plane. He has been charged in the alleged incident, and no charges have been proven, but that hasn't stopped the groundswell of support among those who dream of saying "Take this job and shove it."

"Obviously he's tapped into a pretty pervasive emotion," Jonathan Berent, author of an upcoming book, Work Makes Me Nervous, told the news agency. "There's so much frustration and anger about the economic climate, the unfairness of things and dealing with stress in the workplace."

Workplace advisers don't advise "pulling a Slater" for the obvious reasons. Quitting a job in anger may be instant gratification, but then you're looking for another job having left a sour mood behind.

Mr. Slater's lawyer Howard Turmon told reporters yesterday that his client wants to go back to work and "wants to thank the world for its understanding." Mr. Turman said Mr. Slater was not rude and put the blame on a "lack of civility on the part of one passenger," according to The Associated Press.

Germany drives European growth Europe's economy rebounded at a solid pace in the second quarter of the year, but its headline growth rate was driven by Germany and masks the disparity across the continent. The economies of both the 27-nation EU and the smaller euro zone, whose 16 members share the common currency, expanded by 1 per cent, compared to the first quarter, the Eurostat statistical agency said today. On an annualized basis, the growth rate was 3.9 per cent. In Germany alone, gross domestic product surged by 2.2 per cent - that's about 9 per cent annualized and the strongest pace since reunification - as Europe's biggest economy and main exporter solidified its position as the continent's growth engine.

"Superman is wearing black, red and gold this year, Germany's national colours," said economist Carsten Brzeski of ING Group. "But at some stage he'll become Clark Kent again. The economy can't keep growing at this rate."

The Eurostat report highlights the diverse nature of Europe's recovery, a problem for the European Central Bank, the monetary authority for the 16 countries in the euro zone. While Germany surged, others countries that have been at the heart of Europe's debt crisis, such as Greece, Spain, Hungary, Ireland and Portugal, lagged.

"The optimism from the German report was short-lived, as markets focused on softer growth elsewhere which widened peripheral Europe's sovereign debt spreads," said BMO Nesbitt Burns economist Benjamin Reitzes.

U.S. retail sales disappoint It appears Americans still aren't spending in any meaningful way. Retail sales in the United States rose 0.4 per cent in July, and though that was the first increase in three months it was driven largely by sales of cars and gasoline. Excluding autos, sales rose 0.2 per cent, shy of what economists were expecting. And when you take out both autos and gas, sales fell 0.1 per cent. Of the 12 categories measured by the U.S. Commerce Department, sales were down in eight. The retail numbers are a key gauge of the U.S. recovery given the clout of consumer spending in the overall economy.

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