Friday, May 16, 2008

He Could Have Called In Sick

Quiz time! I'm sure that there have been days when you've had to go to work and you just didn't want to. In such a situation, do you:

  1. Go to work.
  2. Not go to work.

  3. Go to work and set the bathroom on fire.

If you answered with Number 1, well, you're probably still employed. If you answered with Number 2, well, you're probably not employed...any more. And if you answered with Number 3, well, you'd be Eder Rojas.

On May 7, a Compass Airline flight (They're a subsidiary of Northwest. I had no idea who in the hell they were either.) with 72 passengers aboard made an emergency landing in Fargo (that's in Minnesota) en route to Regina, Saskatchewan (that's in Canada, America's Hat) after the back of the plane filled with smoke (completely reasonable). The reason the plane was filling with smoke is because Rojas, a flight attendant for the airline, was angry about his shift and set the bathroom on fire (completely unreasonable).

According to the fine folks over there at, Rojas, who is 19 (and apparently the boy genius of the flight attendants), told authorities "He was upset at the airline for making him work the route. Rojas allegedly took a lighter from another flight attendant's home earlier in the day. He is accused of taking that lighter with him through the security checkpoint". OK, um, how did the GET the lighter through the security checkpoint? That's my question. Do they have to go through security checkpoints just like the rest of the traveling cattle? If so, then Houston, er, Minnesota, we have a problem.

According the the court documents, Rojas had asked for extra paper towels and tissue before the plane left Minneapolis. (OK, wait. He asked WHO? And is that unusual? Or is it normal to just stock up on paper products before a flight to Canada?) The documents also said that Rojas was getting the food cart ready and after he set the cart up, he went back to the restroom and "reached in with his right hand and lit the paper towels with the lighter." It's not overly clear as to how long the plane had been in the air when he decided to have an impromptu BBQ in the small and closet like lavatory, but after about 35 minutes the pilot, Steve Peterka, noticed an indicator light that indicated (like the light should do) that there was smoke in the rear bathroom. He then called Rojas (unbeknownst to him that was the dude that started the blaze in the first place) and asked him to check it out. Rojas, pretending to be the brave little dumbass, went and "checked" the bathroom, found the flames, pretended to be surprised and assisted another flight attendant and a passenger in putting out the fire (the one that HE had started) with fire extinguishers. How convenient.

After the plane had landed in Fargo, the investigators were going through the plane. And when they did they found a lighter in one of the overhead bins. That is because anyone this stupid would naturally put the lighter in an overhead bin after he was done setting the plane, that he was on, as it was IN FLIGHT, afire. What a maroon.

Strangely enough, after the investigators found the lighter and were interviewing people, when they got around to Rojas, he confessed. He has been arrested and charged with setting fire aboard a civil aircraft (appropriate). He was ordered to be held without bail after he appeared in court on Thursday. appeared in court Thursday, following his arrest a day earlier in Minneapolis, and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said. In case you're wondering what the penalty is for doing something so freaking stupid, it's a maximum of 20 years, which seems about right.

So, there is either something here that I am totally missing, or this guy is just King of the Idiots. I mean, he was ON the plane, for cryin' out loud! As it was in the air! What in the hell did he think was going to happen after he set the restroom on freaking FIRE?! Does he think that the airline is sitting back right now thinking, "Gee, we should really reconsider making any employee, especially that Rojas guy, work a shift when they don't want to." "Um, sir? We fired him. You know...because he set that one plane on fire?" "Oh, right. Right. Well, we don't want that to happen again, so we should be very, very sensitive to employees demands wishes. We can't be having everyone setting planes on fire, don't you know."

And the guy was 19? You can be a flight attendant when you're 19? Huh. Who knew?

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