|Table of Contents |
The Ugly Truth Part 3
Page 1 – The Ugly Face of Revenge
Page 2 – The Day That Changed my Life
Page 2 – When It All Becomes Too Much
Page 3 – Shalom Tel Aviv
Page 4 – Great Customer Feedback
Page 5 – Cue Second Disciplinary
Page 6 – Outcome of the Investigation
Page 7 – The Last Page
The Ugly Truth Part 5 (TBA)
The Last Page!
I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear cabin crew manager Fred found there was a case to answer. The matter was then passed to another manager to deal with the disciplinary hearing. I’m going to call this latest cabin crew manager Brenda.
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 senior manager xx. Until I received that I certainly wasn’t going to start dealing with a second grievance. I couldn’t actually believe Fred had deemed there was a case to answer. Actually I take that back, I fully expected that outcome.
Senior manager xx sent me the outcome of my appeal on 20th December. Despite telling me she would try to deal with it as quickly as possible, it had taken her almost eight weeks to complete her investigation. Not only was it five days before Christmas but it was almost a year to the day since my trip with Bart. Although Christmas doesn’t mean much for me it should be a time for happiness.
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 takes managers to complete their investigations.
It took Lana the manager who conducted the initial investigation into the grievance two months and ten days to compile her report. It took Hayley who carried out the disciplinary hearing and subsequent investigation six weeks. It took senior manager xx almost eight weeks. I waited almost five weeks for the outcome of Fred’s investigation and almost six weeks for Brenda’s.
Almost every one them blamed the delay on the fact they’d 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 (mentioned in the previous chapter) took place over two separate 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.
Soon after finding out 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?
The following email is my conversation with the union rep’.
I was well 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 were absolutely in breach of the social media policy. The comments continued for some considerable 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 members 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 various Facebook groups, but also on their own corporate platform.
Many years earlier I made a comment regarding something that happened on a flight. I said I felt it was a really difficult situation for us as cabin crew to be in. My manager asked me to delete it because he said with it coming from a Flight Manager, it gives the impression I don’t agree with the way the company are handling the matter.
Surely I’m allowed to voice an opinion, I thought that was the purpose of the forum. It was posted on what was at the time a secure internal chat platform accessed through the company’s own intranet.
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 struggling with my mental health.
The chain of correspondence can be seen here. It’s goes to the same page I asked you to look back at slightly higher up.
The following is from the report completed on me by Occupational Health;
The grievances referred to are grievances I submitted against crew members Bart, Anna, Mia, Peter and Ven.
Not having heard anything from the company regarding these, I chased them up. By this point in time I’d had the grievance meeting with Brenda regarding the forum comment. 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 cabin crew managers were currently dealing with at least two grievances so it may be some time before I hear back from anyone. This was just at the very 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-19 was taking hold and many staff were already 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 and now having to shield wasn’t helping.
In those early days little was known about Covid and how it was being spread. 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. I’ll talk about the way everything was handled in a later chapter.
Let me return to the investigation carried out by cabin crew manager Brenda, but first I have to explain something that happened with Fred.
During his investigation he was trying hard to prove I was lying about deleting the forum 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 after it was posted. It later turned out 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 at the time he said it was posted. I had no clear recollection of what time I submitted it.
This matter was discussed extensively during the second of our two meetings.
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.
My meeting with senior manager xx regarding my appeal against the grievance raised by Bart was on the same day as the first meeting with Fred. Clearing my name from false allegations of bullying, harassment and inappropriate touching was far more important than a tongue-in-cheek comment that had been blown completely out of all logical proportion.
The following comes from the outcome of the disciplinary investigation carried out by Brenda.
The meeting with her went on for about three hours during which time I was thoroughly interrogated regarding 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;
The company had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue this matter as a grievance. Bear in mind I even had to be cleared by Occupational Health to have the meeting because I was off sick.
What a complete and utter waste of time and resources. All over a comment that was taken completely out of context and blown out of all logical proportion. The only person in the room it offended was Jack who like me, is Jewish. I think I’m probably more observant than he is.
With him having reported the incident seventeen days after our exchange of messages, I’m fairly certain he did that to avoid coming face to face with me on a flight the following day.
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. Had another manager dealt with this matter and that been upheld, I would have been dismissed there and then.
I believe senior manager xx made it known from the start she wanted the grievance to be upheld. I believe that’s why Fred had to come up with something more substantial to support the case. He therefore focussed all his attention on the time I claimed to have deleted the post to try to prove I was lying. What a nice company this is!
With the outbreak of Covid just a few weeks after receiving this outcome, I was advised I was being made redundant.
Imagine being put through all of that after giving so much to a company for thirty years of your life. All because one person was after revenge. Had senior manager xx not been driving both grievances from the start, I’m fairly confident nothing would have come from either of them.
I often wonder how Bart, Ven, Mia, Peter, T, Fred, Jack, Hayley, Lana and senior manager xx would feel had I gone through with what I considered doing so many times. I don’t believe any of them would have felt much remorse. I think Bart and Ven would feel quite relieved.
During the darkest and most terrifying times of my life when I felt at my most 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 this airline. I wanted to get everything down in writing.
Writing the blogs has not been easy. As I write I relive every 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 for what I was put through. All because one self-righteous crooked ex serving police officer was aggrieved at having been given a constructive review whilst still in probation.
I’m 100% certain that had I delivered that performance review to Bart on the aircraft instead of writing it from home, it wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference.
In chapter 5 of my blog which I’ll start writing in a couple of months, I’ll finally get onto the performance review I wrote on Bart and his response.