Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 4

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

Cue Second Disciplinary

Seventeen days after receiving a private message from the CEO regarding a comment I posted in a private chat room on Workplace, I received a call from Cabin Crew Manager Fred (not his real name).

The press flight to Tel Aviv I was rostered to work on was leaving the following day. He called me at 13:30, less than 24 hours before I was due to check-in.

The following screenshot comes from an email I received after we spoke.


During the conversation he told me the Head of Cabin Crew had requested the matter be dealt with as a grievance and if upheld I’d receive a final written warning.

The grievance investigation meeting was arranged for 29th October 2019 at 09:30. My appeal meeting with the Head of Cabin Crew regarding the grievance raised by Bart was being held at 2pm the same day. I told Fred I preferred to have both together because I live a long way from the office.

Earlier that morning I had received a call from someone from the press office. The lady said she’d been told by the crewing department I was the operating Flight Manager and wanted to give me some information about the flight. I therefore know that at 10am that morning I was still showing as being part of the crew.

I believe at some point during the morning the CEO looked at the list of operating crew and having seen my name, decided for whatever reason he didn’t want me on the flight. He therefore reported my tongue-in-cheek comment from almost three weeks earlier.

With regards to my use of the word “bloody”, I’m not someone who swears often but “bloody” is a word I tend to use quite freely. I don’t consider it to be swearing probably because of how I use it. For me it adds humour to something I’m saying.

How I use it and how someone else reads or perceives it can understandably be very different. Especially if they don’t know me. I sometimes forget we live in a society today where everyone is so easily offended.

During the disciplinary meeting not the initial investigation carried out by Fred, I was questioned extensively about my use of the word bloody. The line of questioning was absurd. This was a small private group with less than fifty members all of whom were long serving managers in the company. With the exception of the Chief People Officer and CEO I knew everyone and everyone knew me.

This was a tongue-in-cheek comment and a poor attempt at humour that had gone horribly wrong.

I’m in my mid 50’s and had been with the airline for thirty years. I was now being questioned about my use of the word “bloody”. Would it have made any difference had I said “jews are such a fussy lot”? Was it the “bloody” that caused offence or the fact I was saying Jews are fussy?

It’s really important to keep this IN CONTEXT. This was an attempt at humour, I wasn’t making a profound statement. It also wasn’t posted to the wider cabin crew community where anyone could have screenshot the comment and shared it elsewhere.

Every person who was in the group was on the Tel Aviv “core crew” because they had volunteered for it. We all had a genuine interest in making it a success.

Take a look at the following screenshots;


What troubles me most about this situation is the CEO didn’t report the incident straight away. Having told him I was Jewish and apologised for any offence I may have caused, I believed the matter was closed.

Seventeen days later having become aware we were on the same flight he then reported me to the Head of Cabin Crew.

I’m fairly certain had he still been upset with my comment even after my apology, he would have reported me immediately or at least within a few days. Afterall he found time to contact I.T to ask them to remove the post (as you’ll see shortly). Why didn’t he copy in the Head of Cabin Crew?

Maybe he felt embarrassed for having addressed something that was clearly a tongue-in-cheek comment/banter only to then discover I was Jewish. Many communities poke fun at themselves, it’s not done to cause offence or to embarrass anyone.

I think he may also have realised I was the Flight Manager who took out the first Tel Aviv flight. A flight that was a huge success, that received outstanding customer feedback and a great review from a blogger he or his office had asked me to look after.

The flight also received superb TV coverage in Israel from the press team who were onboard.

As onboard managers we were repeatedly told issues should be “nipped in the bud”. I don’t think seventeen days can be regarded as nipping something in the bud.

The following screenshot is one of the company’s brand values.


This screenshot comes from the company’s website. The CEO was being interviewed regarding the impact of Covid on the business.

Effective two way communication???? When I apologised and wished him happy New Year in Hebrew he didn’t even respond!

I had literally bent over backwards to help make this new route a success despite having spent almost a year dealing with a fictitious grievance that was upheld against me. Having made a silly comment that was taken the wrong way I apologised as soon as it was brought to my attention. Bear in mind I thought I had deleted the post.

I can honestly say for all the years I worked for this company I tried to uphold their brand values and represent them to the highest standard. These are not brand values specific to any particular company, they’re brand values of being a decent and upstanding human being.

I’ve always been loyal, pragmatic and tried to set an example for others to follow. I demonstrated empathy, integrity and maintained the highest level of respect for those with whom I worked.

I’m far from perfect but when I make a mistake I try to learn from it.

The way I was treated during my last twelve months by a small group of nasty vindictive cabin crew, three line managers, the Head of Cabin Crew and even the CEO goes against everything I have ever aspired to achieve during my entire working life.

This series of emails shows the CEO did not report my post any earlier than the day before the press flight;

WP = Workplace (a communications platform)


This photo was taken as I left home for the grievance meeting with crew manager Fred and the appeal meeting later that day with the Head of Cabin Crew.

middle aged man in a suit smiling for a selfie

I want to include it to show what someone looks like who’s struggling with their mental health. Someone who on more than one occasion almost gave up.

My own line manager and several other managers including the Head of Cabin Crew were fully aware of my struggles. Despite that they were determined for complaints made by a habitual liar and his sociopath of a fiancée to be upheld.

Having achieved that they continued to pursue me by raising a second grievance that was also upheld. They went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the second matter was dealt with as a grievance when it could have been dealt with very differently.

According to company policy manuals the comment I made on Workplace should not have been dealt with as a disciplinary at all. I’ll talk more about that in due course.

During my appeal meeting with the Head of Cabin Crew I asked whether she knew how many men of my age commit suicide because of depression. She confirmed she did. Less than two weeks earlier she had asked for the second grievance to be raised against me and for it to be dealt with as final written warning.

I find this witch hunt quite astonishing considering how often you hear calls for us all to be more aware of mental health and suicide prevention.

From the Office of National Statistics

What’s very strange is that when I had my appeal meeting with the Head of Cabin Crew it didn’t occur to me that just two weeks earlier she had asked for the incident regarding the tongue-in-cheek comment to be dealt with as a final written warning. It was because of her that I was dealing with a second disciplinary.

During the appeal meeting she was very friendly and even offered me condolences for the loss of my dad. I had no idea it was all a charade.

book with the title Bullying and Harassment Policy Zero Tolerance

The meeting with crew manager Fred that took place before the appeal meeting with the Head of Cabin Crew seemed to go well. It was a world away from the investigative meeting that had taken place in March with crew manager Lana regarding Bart’s complaint. By the end of that meeting I felt worthless and if my nineteen years as an onboard manager stood for absolutely nothing, which of course they did.

The meeting lasted for about an hour during which time I answered all his questions. I explained what I wrote was a poor choice of words, that the CEO had taken the comment the wrong way and no malice was ever intended. I also said I would no longer be using the company’s communications platform Workplace and had closed my account.

The meeting ended with us speaking about Israel. I told Fred it was a wonderful country steeped in history and he really must go.

He was friendly, seemed to accept my apology and as I left the room I believed that was the end of it. The Union rep’ agreed it seemed to go well.

Nine days later I received the following email;


If I didn’t make myself available for the meeting the next day I would have to wait eleven days to see what this was about.

During the telephone meeting that took place between Fred and I the following day he said after reading my post CEO Jack had contacted I.T to ask them to delete it. It was then deleted by them a short while later. Therefore I could not have deleted it.

I told Fred I couldn’t explain that. This discussion went on for some time. He kept telling me the post had been deleted by I.T not by me.

He was accusing me of lying.

Even in this modern age of technology things can and do still go wrong. Of course it’s possible that although I believed I had deleted the post it didn’t delete for whatever reason. I usually accessed Workplace on my PC or laptop but had deleted the post on my phone which is a pretty old iPhone.

This line of questioning had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the post or the reason for the complaint.

Almost nothing of what I said during the first grievance raised by Bart had been believed and I was now facing exactly the same situation again.

It should be remembered soon after CEO Jack messaged me I apologised and told him I would delete the post. Not being able to find it I then remembered I had already deleted it, or thought I had. The reason I couldn’t find the post was because it had already been deleted by I.T at the request of the CEO.

Fred then started asking me why I didn’t remember what I’d written when Jack initially asked me about the post. This was madness, we’d already had a meeting where I’d been questioned thoroughly about my choice of words. The focus of attention had now changed and I was being interrogated about my claim that I’d deleted the post shortly after submitting it.

Jack contacted me out of the blue almost a week after the comment was posted. Did Fred really think I had nothing more important on my mind than remembering a post I’d made several days’ earlier?

text from a text message

Fred then said if he had been asked about something that took place “last year” some things he would remember straight away. He continued, if someone said you posted something that was deemed to be offensive, he felt he would recall that.

He then said when asking someone else this question, if they believed they had deleted the post he would expect an answer along the lines of “I thought I deleted it, I’m so sorry”.

Here’s my response to Jack when he asked me to delete the post because he felt it was “totally inappropriate”, not offensive. Is inappropriate the same as offensive? I’m not sure.

text messages from part of a longer conversation

The following screenshot comes from minutes taken during the second telephone grievance meeting with Fred.

text from minutes taken during a meeting

The focus of this investigation had shifted. I had taken full responsibility for what I had said and repeatedly apologised but it wasn’t enough. Fred wanted to prove I was lying.

I was furious towards the end of the call and couldn’t hide it.

The following screenshot comes from an email I sent to him a couple of days later;

text taken from a longer email
WP = WorkPlace. OBM = Onboard manager.

This screenshot is from an email that was sent to I.T by the Employee Relations Consultant working with Fred. It shows just how determined they were to prove I was lying.

Whether I was lying or not had nothing to do with investigation into the complaint made by Jack.


I.T said they deleted the post at approximately 17:02. That’s a few hours before I replied to Jack. My initial reply was sent at 8pm. That’s the reason I was unable to find the post.

The Employee Relations Consultant then asked who had viewed it and when. It was of no relevance. There were 48 people in the group. What difference if one saw it or everyone? Only one complaint had been received and that came from one of only two people who didn’t know me.

During the disciplinary hearing I said I would like to know who “liked” the post. I had been told two people had liked it. I was subsequently told it wasn’t possible to find that out!

Prior to messaging me CEO Jack made no attempt to find out anything about me. Had he spoken to one of the managers from the office who were part of the group they would I’m certain have put what I said into perspective. This is someone who talks about the importance of two-way communication and his love of people.

The fact I believed I had deleted the post but for whatever reason it didn’t delete was now being used to accuse me of lying.

It was exactly the same with the first grievance. Despite proving Bart’s entire complaint was based on lies, the Head of Cabin Crew was so determined for it to be upheld she wouldn’t even believe the professional opinion of a doctor of clinical psychology.

Take a look at the next two emails. This first one is from the same Employee Relations Consultant;


Fred was clearly determined for this grievance to be upheld just like the previous two crew managers were determined for the allegations of bullying, harassment and inappropriate touching to be upheld.

I.T were unable to confirm whether I “attempted to delete the post”. Therefore as stupid as it may sound, maybe I was telling the truth.

I believe there’s a pretty good chance Fred was told by his manager and friend the Head of Cabin Crew, to do everything possible to ensure the grievance was upheld.

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