|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 Department 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 it as an opportunity for revenge.
When a second incident was then reported to her by the CEO 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.
As a senior manager she would have been fully aware that if upheld I could be fired.
Upon receiving the complaint from the CEO she should have immediately passed it to someone else to deal with. With her already dealing with one disciplinary in which I was involved, dealing with a second matter equates to a conflict of interest.
Quite early on in the first grievance investigation I sensed something wasn’t right.
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 didn’t seem to be any interest in establishing whether the allegations 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 backed up with indisputable evidence. Everything Bart said in his complaint was lies. The only evidence he could provide to support his allegations came from his now ex fiancée and three or possibly four team members 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 role 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 as an inflight manager.
Although witness statements provided by Anna, Ven, Mia and Peter strongly suggested the existence of collusion, the Head of Department stated in the outcome to my appeal she could find no evidence to support this.
All Cabin Crew Managers report to the Head of Department. Since writing my story 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.
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 Department 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 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 Hayley’s investigation;
The following screenshot comes from my appeal.
Had I used the “ice-breaker” suggested by Hayley, nine people would have to tell the room something about themselves that nobody else knew. We only have twenty minutes for the pre-flight briefing during which time a significant amount of information must be delivered and each crew member must also be asked an individual safety question.
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 Managers at this airline do fly, they do not fly as a Flight Manager or Purser. They would therefore never be required to 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 the pre-flight safety briefing that’s what she would do.
The following screenshot comes from the outcome of my appeal conducted by the Head of Department.
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 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 fail to support these allegations.
In the outcome of the appeal investigation the Head of Department 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 four weeks after we landed from our flight to Atlanta yet he remembered everything in great detail about my performance and behaviour from the second we met.
During the early part of my pre-flight safety briefing I asked the crew six aircraft familiarisation 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. In Bart’s complaint he accused me of becoming “visibly and verbally annoyed” when the crew failed to answer the questions”.
Throughout his grievance Bart attacked every single aspect of my behaviour and personality. He was trying to build a picture of someone who was angry, unprofessional and a bully.
The crew who complained about the “different style of delivery” of my pre-flight safety briefing in their witness statements were Bart’s fiancée Anna, Peter and Mia. Ven wasn’t present in the briefing.
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 style of delivery.
The following extract comes from minutes taken during Bart’s meeting with Crew Manager Lana. Pedro was the Employee Relations Consultant. His purpose for being present was to take minutes and to ensure correct procedures were followed.
This comes from the outcome of the initial investigation into Bart’s complaint. 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”.
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 has been written?
According to British Employment Law managing an unsatisfactory level of performance by providing developmental feedback is neither bullying or harassment. Providing of course it’s delivered 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.
On our flight together Bart struggled with every aspect of the service despite telling me he had worked in that cabin many times before.
Knowing what I know now, I don’t believe he had ever worked in First Class previously. 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 First before. Inflight working positions are recorded electronically for every flight. I never received a response.
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 develop him.
Reading the last paragraph in the excerpt 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 there’s far worse to come.
Anna and Ven’s statements were also in breach of the the company’s “anti harassment and bullying policy” yet nobody was interested.