|Table of Contents |
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 3
Page 1 – Fighting Hatred in the Workplace
Page 2 – Employing a Sociopath
Page 3 – The Day that Changed My Life
Page 3 – When It All Becomes Too Much
Page 4 – Shalom Tel Aviv
Page 5 – Post Flight Customer Feedback
Page 6 – Cue Second Disciplinary
Page 7 – Outcome of the Grievance
Page 8 – Yee Haw The Last Page!
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 5
Fighting Hatred in the Workplace
In 2011 I had an encounter with the Head of Cabin Crew that led to me reporting her for breach of confidentiality. I believe in 2019 when my name came to her attention because of the grievance raised by Bart that she saw an opportunity for revenge.
When a second incident was then reported to her by the CEO whilst she was dealing with my appeal regarding the outcome of the original grievance, she asked for it to be dealt with as a final written warning. Bart’s grievance was also being dealt with as a final written warning.
She would have been fully aware that if upheld I could be dismissed.
Quite early on in the first grievance investigation I sensed something wasn’t right. Despite Bart’s complaint being made up entirely of lies, crew line manager Lana who conducted the initial investigation didn’t appear to be overly concerned.
In law the objective of a grievance is an opportunity to collate balanced evidence from both sides and to be fair and objective. It’s not about proving guilt. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether there has been a breach of any company policies.
It was clear from the start this investigation was taking a different direction. There was no interest in establishing whether the allegations that had been made against me were truthful. The company only seemed to be interested in ensuring the grievance was upheld.
The evidence being examined was far from balanced. Every word I said in my defence was the truth and was backed up with factual evidence. Everything Bart said in his complaint was a lie. The only evidence he could provide to support his allegations came from his now ex fiancée and three or possibly four crew with whom he colluded.
Bart whose an ex police officer is a manipulative liar with a sense of entitlement. He was aggrieved at not having been given the opportunity to work up in a supervisory position on our flight. A colleague who had been with the company for just a few months longer than him was given that opportunity.
He had never flown previously and having joined the airline in February 2018 had been with the company for just eleven months. Katrina who worked up as Purser had flown with another airline for thirty years, twenty of which were as a Cabin Manager.
Later in my blog when witness statements are published you’ll see collusion between Bart, Anna and Ven could not have been any more obvious. Despite that, in the outcome to my appeal the Head of Cabin Crew stated she could find no evidence of collusion.
All crew line managers report to the Head of Cabin Crew. Since publishing the first chapter of my blog I’ve learnt from two people who worked under her that she’s the driving force behind most if not all grievance investigations. She is no longer with the company as a result of being made redundant.
Following the initial investigation carried out by cabin crew manager Lana I was told there was no case to answer for the complaint of bullying and harassment. That was in relation to bullying and harassment on the aircraft. Lana went on to say there was a case of bullying to answer for several other complaints.
Bart’s entire complaint focussed on character assassination. He was upset at not having been given the opportunity to work up so had taken a dislike to me before we’d even spoken. Addressing several performance related issues with him during both flights irritated him further. The final nail in the coffin was the performance appraisal I wrote on him which was also copied to his manager.
A complaint that was dismissed during the initial investigation was subsequently upheld by crew manager Hayley who dealt with the second stage of the disciplinary process.
This relatively new manager had no idea what she was doing and had clearly not read the outcome of the initial investigation properly or at all.
She was repeatedly described by the Head of Cabin Crew as “a very experienced manager” yet nothing could have been further from the truth. She was oblivious that Bart’s complaint about the way I conducted my pre-flight safety briefing and in particular my use of the phrase “up the creek without a paddle” had already been dismissed.
In her farcical investigation that took six weeks to complete she upheld this point along with all other complaints made against me.
The following comes from the outcome of the investigation carried out by this manager who I’ve called Hayley;
The following screenshot comes from my appeal.
Bear in mind this would have meant me asking nine crew an individual question. I then had to ask the same nine crew an individual safety question. We only have twenty minutes for the pre-flight briefing and there’s already a significant amount of information that must be covered during that time.
According to Hayley’s LinkedIn profile she was a cabin crew base manager at her previous two airlines. She says nothing about ever having flown as cabin crew.
Although cabin crew line managers at this airline do fly, they do not fly as a Flight Manager or Purser. They would therefore never conduct a pre-flight safety briefing. So what Hayley means to say is that were she to fly in the capacity as an onboard manager and be required to conduct a pre-flight safety briefing, that’s what she would do.
The following screenshot comes from the outcome of the appeal carried out by the Head of Cabin Crew.
Regarding the comment “up shit creek without a paddle”, what I actually said can be seen in Bart’s own complaint;
The following screenshot comes from the outcome of the initial investigation that was carried out by crew manager Lana;
Saying up the creek without a paddle was a poor choice of words? Personally I don’t see anything wrong with this phrase at all.
Bart’s allegation that my briefing included “a bombardment and tirade of safety questions” and that I subsequently “became visibly and verbally annoyed despite everyone answering” was like everything else in his complaint, a devious and malicious lie.
Witness statements from the rest of the crew failed to support Bart’s allegations.
In the outcome of the appeal investigation the Head of Cabin Crew stated she did not believe the crew were fabricating evidence. Whilst carrying out her investigation all she did was read through documentation associated with the case, or so she claimed.
Throughout his complaint Bart recounted situations that had taken place and cleverly manipulated them. He knew if he was to be believed he had to get other crew members to support his version of events.
This is someone with an impressive memory for detail which is a prerequisite of being a police officer. His complaint was submitted almost four weeks after we landed home from our flight to Atlanta.
During the early part of my pre-flight safety briefing I asked the cabin crew six safety related questions. The first three were answered immediately by best friends Katrina and Claire. Everyone else remained silent.
The following screenshot comes from evidence I submitted as part of my defence. It shows how Bart manipulated what I said to make it appear as if I was “visibly and verbally annoyed”.
Throughout his grievance Bart attacked every single aspect of my behaviour and personality. His aim was to build an image of someone who was angry, unprofessional and a bully.
I had been a Flight Manager for nineteen years, in the company for almost thirty and had a clean work record. I had also only been back at work for ten months after being off for almost two years with issues relating to my mental health.
The following screenshot is a tweet posted by this company.
The crew members who complained about the different style of delivery of my pre-flight safety briefing in their statements were Bart’s now ex fiancée Anna, Peter and Mia. Peter had been in the company for six months, Anna less than twelve and Mia very slightly longer.
Katrina and Claire who had been with their previous airline for thirty years and crew member T who worked up as Economy Purser had no complaints about the briefing.
A statement made by Lottie was also quite interesting. I’ll share all the responses with you later in the blog. This was the backlash from asking the group as a whole a handful of basic safety questions.
In Bart’s grievance he said he wished for “a suitable sanction to be put in place” and went on to say he “was happy for that to be as severe as loss of employment”.
Something else he said can be seen in the screenshot below which comes from minutes taken during his meeting with cabin crew manager Lana. Pedro was the Employee Relations Consultant. His purpose for being present was to take minutes and ensure correct procedures were followed.
The Employment Relations Consultant who is no longer with the company is apparently a solicitor in employment law.
The next screenshot comes from the outcome of the initial investigation into Bart’s complaint. What’s interesting is that Lana states in an earlier section of her investigation that she could find no evidence of bullying or harassment having taken place on the aircraft. She then says words I used in my appraisal amount to bullying and harassment.
Those words were “quite why”. Here’s what I wrote;
The following comes from the outcome of Lana’s investigation;
Regarding not giving consideration as to how Bart may feel when reading the report, how does anyone feel when they’re given a constructive appraisal irrespective of when it’s written?
According to British Law managing an unsatisfactory level of performance by providing developmental feedback is not bullying or harassment. Providing of course it’s provided courteously and in a professional manner.
Bart had been flying for eleven months and had never flown previously. Part of my job description as a Flight Manager was coaching and developing and that’s exactly what I did.
On our flight together Bart had no idea how the service in First Class should be delivered despite telling me he had worked in that cabin many times before.
Knowing what I know now I don’t think he had ever worked in First Class before. I think it was his first time but as a narcissist with an overinflated ego he didn’t want to admit it. That’s why he had no idea how the service should be delivered. He made some really basic mistakes, mistakes that any crew member who had ever worked in that cabin before would never have made.
During the grievance investigation I asked the company to confirm whether he had worked in that cabin before. Crew working positions are recorded electronically for every flight. I’m almost certain they never looked.
When you read the appraisal I wrote on Bart you’ll see it was written in a courteous and professional manner and with the aim of trying to help him.
Reading the last paragraph in the screenshot above regarding treating colleagues with dignity and respect is farcical. I’ve already shared several extracts from Bart’s complaint which are rude, disrespectful and highly offensive but you haven’t seen anything yet.
Anna and Ven’s statements were also in breach of the the company’s so-called “anti harassment and bullying policy” yet nobody was interested. The primary concern of the managers investigating Bart’s complaint was to ensure the grievance against me was upheld.
The union rep’ who accompanied me to two out of the three meetings I had with with the company said she had never heard anyone say they would be “happy” for someone to lose their job over a complaint made against them.
The airline’s policy recommends disputes initially be dealt with through mediation. Despite Bart being in probation he refused this option. That’s because having told a pack of lies there was no way he’d be able to support his diatribe in a face to face meeting with me.