|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 the matter was passed to another manager to deal with the disciplinary hearing. I’m going to call this line manager Brenda.
The first letter I received from Brenda 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 the Head of Cabin Crew 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.
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 once again on long term sick struggling with depression.
The chain of correspondence can be seen here.
The following comes from the report completed on me by Occupational Health. This assessment had to be carried before the grievance could go ahead. The reason was because I was on long term sick.
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.
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.
Just a month or so later I was told I was being made redundant. At 53 years old and after being with the company for thirty years that’s not something 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.
When furlough 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.
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.
I emailed him a few 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.
Here’s the rest of the outcome which is self explanatory;
I had to smile. She says the group contained people who look to me for direction and leadership. I had tried to give direction and leadership on my flight to Atlanta and look where that got me!
The company had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue this matter as a grievance. Had it not been downgraded to a written warning instead of a final written warning I would likely have been dismissed.
As it turned out with Covid then happening I lost my job anyway. But so did the Head of Cabin Crew. I think that’s called karma.
What a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time and resources. All over a comment that was taken out of context and blown out of all logical proportion. The only person it offended was Jack who like me is Jewish.
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 he 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 “poor guy, he did have mental health problems.”
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 in a supervisory role despite not being able to do his own job properly.
You really couldn’t make it up.