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Steven Slater: Working Class Hero, Or Just A Jerk?

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Overworked, underpaid and under appreciated: It's the plight of many Americans in today's economy.

Now, the bizarre case of an angered employee quitting his job in dramatic fashion has caught the attention of people across the country, and the admiration of disgruntled employees everywhere.

But despite the 120,000 Facebook fans and seemingly steadfast support for former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, his dramatic actions are prompting some to think of him as, to put it simply, a jerk.

New Yorkers are taking sides in the saga. On Wednesday, Slater made his first public appearance since his arrest amid much fanfare, earned after he abruptly quit his job by cursing over the plane's intercom then bolting down the emergency slide – but is it really the type of behavior that deserves praise?

"I don't care how bad a day you have," said Queens resident Kate Interrante. "Finish your shift and go to therapy. Glad he was arrested."

Others are chiming in on Slater's mental state.

"[He] should get fired by JetBlue," said Manhattan resident Genevieve Schiefer. "He is emotionally unstable and should not be allowed to wait on people. I have no sympathy for this guy, his behavior is unacceptable."

And while many are applauding Slater for not accepting the rude behavior of the passenger that set him off, some don't agree.

"I think he should be fired, said Andrew Syracuse of New York. "If not fired, then take an anger management course and apologize to the passenger."

Still, many admire Slater for standing up for himself in the way that he did – even calling him a hero.

"I think what he did was rather heroic, in a way. [He said] 'I've had enough and I'm not taking it anymore," said Barbara Gufferman of Manhattan. "It was good, it was fun…and no harm was done."

There were plenty of other New Yorkers who are calling Slater a role model.

"A role model…he stood up for what he believed in," said William Graham of Westbury. "People shouldn't treat people like that just because they are taking a flight."

What do you think? Weigh in on the issue – post your opinion on our Facebook page!

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