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

Yee Haw The Last Page!

With cabin crew manager Fred having found there was a case to answer, it was passed to another crew manager to deal with the disciplinary hearing. I’m going to call her Brenda.

disciplinary action in red letters

The first letter I received from her regarding this second meeting was 10th December 2019. I hadn’t yet received the outcome of my appeal from the Head of Cabin Crew. Until I received that I certainly wasn’t going to start dealing with a second grievance.

I received the outcome to my appeal into the grievance raised against me by Bart on 20th December 2019. Despite telling me she would try to deal with it as quickly as possible it had taken her eight weeks to complete the investigation. It was almost a year to the day since my trip with Bart.

I called in sick the following day and never returned to work prior to being made redundant.

Here’s a recap on how long it took different managers to complete their investigations.

It took Lana the manager who conducted the initial investigation two months and ten days. It took Hayley who carried out the disciplinary hearing/investigation six weeks. It took the Head of Cabin Crew eight weeks. I waited almost five weeks for the outcome of Fred’s investigation and almost six weeks for Brenda’s.

Each one of them blamed the delay on the fact they had annual leave.

To save repeating what has been written elsewhere in my blog, take a look back at this chapter. Read to the bottom of the page.

The appointment with Occupational Health to ensure I was fit enough to participate in the second grievance took place over two telephone meetings.

In one of those emails Brenda says; “I can see from your roster you have recently been off sick”. I was still off sick and hadn’t advised the company otherwise.

Having learnt I was facing another disciplinary I spoke to the union. I told them I was contemplating not attending the hearing. I kind of knew I had no chance of winning so what was the point?

By this time I had only attended the investigative meeting with Fred.

The following email is my conversation with the union rep’. Her reference to hearing from senior manager xx (now referred to as Head of Cabin Crew) refers to the outcome of my appeal. The appeal meeting had taken place on 29th October.

copy of an email

I was aware the company were not dealing with all incidents in the same manner. In the weeks prior to this taking place I had seen some pretty fierce and divisive comments on Facebook. A small group of cabin crew were trying to get recognition from the company for a new union. Some of the posts I read regarding this matter were absolutely in breach of the social media policy.

The comments continued for some time and no attempt was made to stop them. I know managers were aware of them because everyone in the company was talking about them.

I had also spoken to other crew who had been asked to remove comments they made on social media. No further action was taken against them. The company had become obsessed with censoring social media comments not only on Facebook groups but also on their own corporate platform.

In a reply to cabin crew manager Brenda regarding her “invitation” to the disciplinary meeting, I mentioned something regarding a TV personality who had recently taken her own life. Her reply is interesting considering at that time, I was off work on long term sick struggling with depression.

The chain of correspondence can be seen here.

The following is from the report completed on me by Occupational Health;

copy of written correspondence

The grievances referred to are grievances I submitted against Bart, Anna, Mia, Peter and Ven.

Not having heard anything from the company I chased them up. By this point in time I’d had the grievance meeting with Brenda regarding my post. Unsurprisingly it had been upheld although she downgraded it from a final written warning to a written warning. For that reason I wasn’t dismissed.

Having spoken to my manager about the grievances I submitted he told me all seventeen crew line managers were currently dealing with at least two grievances so it may be some time before I hear back from anyone. This was at the beginning of Covid.

I was subsequently told in an email by an Employee Relations Consultant that I could not raise a grievance regarding any matter that had already been investigated as part of my appeal. That meant I couldn’t accuse Bart and those with whom he colluded of lying because that was a significant part of my appeal. I could therefore not do anything more about it.

By the time of this email Covid was well underway and many staff were on furlough.

copy of text from correspondence

Although I spoke to the union and sought legal advice regarding how to proceed, it was now really difficult because of Covid. Not only was I still off sick but I was also shielding. A pre-existing condition I have meant I was in that wretched group classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable.”

The world was changing at an alarming rate. I was trying desperately to get back on track mentally but having recently had a second grievance upheld against me and now having to shield really wasn’t helping.

In those early days little was known about Covid and how it was transmitted. As someone with a pre-existing condition that put me at high risk, I now had something else to worry about.

Just a month or so later I was told I was being made redundant. At 53 that’s really not the news you want to hear. Not only could I not work because of Covid and not being fit mentally, but I was now being told when things improved I had no job to go back to.

The company chose which crew members were to be made redundant based on certain criteria. They also chose who would offered a place in the holding pool and who wouldn’t. Being in the holding pool meant when things picked up you could be re-employed.

The company originally wanted to keep the holding pool open for twelve months but after negotiations with the Union agreed to extend it to twenty four. Many people were made redundant and were told they did not have a place in the holding pool.

With the government offering furlough there was no reason to make any cabin crew redundant. Covid wasn’t the end of the world, things were eventually going to return to some kind of normality. It wouldn’t have cost the airline a penny.

When that scheme came to an end employees could have been offered unpaid leave or a sabbatical until the company needed to call them back. Had that been done the airlines and airports would not have been in the mess they’re now in.

copy of a government issued letter

Returning to the investigation carried out by Brenda, the first thing she talks about is the time my post was submitted.

During Fred’s investigation he tried hard to prove I was lying about deleting my post. He therefore focussed a huge amount of attention on the time it was submitted. I initially said I deleted it a short while afterwards.

In my mind I believed I deleted it a couple of hours later. It was actually the following day, or at least it was the following day when I believe I deleted it.

Fred told me the post was submitted very late in the evening. That confused me because I’m usually in bed by that time. I had no clear recollection of what time it was posted.

The precise time it was submitted was discussed extensively during my second (telephone) meeting with Fred.

copy of an email
Email from Fred asking to meet for a second time

I emailed Fred some days later to say I was very confused about the timings.

It really had nothing to do with the post itself. To me it was all minor detail that wasn’t that important. The complaint was about words I used not about the time of the post or whether I deleted it or whether it was deleted by I.T.

The following comes from the outcome of the disciplinary investigation carried out by Brenda.

The meeting went on for about three hours during which time I was thoroughly interrogated about why I made the comment, my use of the word “bloody” and much, much more. The same union rep’ who had accompanied me to all previous meetings dialled into the call.

text from written correspondence

Here’s the rest of the outcome which is self explanatory;

copy of text from correspondence
copy of text from correspondence
copy of text from correspondence

The company had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue this matter as a grievance and had it been upheld, would likely have dismissed me there and then.

What a complete and utter waste of time and resources. All over a comment that was taken out of context and blown out of all logical proportion. The only person in the group it offended was Jack who like me is Jewish. I think I’m probably more observant than he is.

With regards to crew manager Fred, it wasn’t enough for him to prove my choice of words was inappropriate, he also wanted to prove I was lying.

I believe the Head of Cabin Crew made it known from the start she wanted the grievance to be upheld. That’s why Fred had to come up with something more substantial to support the case. He therefore focussed his attention on the time I submitted the post and the time I claimed to have deleted it. All in an attempt to prove I was lying.

Imagine being put through all of that after giving so much to a company for thirty years. Simply because one person was after revenge. Had the Head of Cabin Crew not been driving the grievances from the start I’m fairly confident nothing would have come from either of them.

I often wonder how Bart, Anna, Ven, Peter, Mia, T, Lana, Hayley, Fred, Brenda, Jack and the Head of Cabin Crew would feel had I gone through with what I considered doing so many times. I don’t believe many of them would have felt much remorse or considered their actions to be a contributing factor.

They probably would have said like so many people do, “well he did have mental health problems.”

I think Bart and Ven in particularly may even have been relieved considering both still work for the company.

shadow on a brick wall of someone holding a noose that's hanging from above

During the darkest and most terrifying time of my life when I felt incredibly self destructive, the one thing that held me back was the thought that if I’m not here nobody will ever hear the truth.

I decided early on to start blogging about my last eighteen months with the company because I wanted to get everything down in writing. Writing this blog has not been easy. Each time I write I relive every painful second of what I went through.

Although in one respect it’s cathartic and helps with the healing process, I still have so much anger. All because a self-righteous narcissist crooked ex police officer was aggrieved at having been given a constructive review. Oh and also because he wasn’t given the opportunity to work up despite not being able to do his own job to standard.

You really couldn’t make it up.

You may be asking yourself why I didn’t take the company to an industrial tribunal. I’ll answer that later in my blog because this latest chapter is already long enough.

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