|Table of Contents |
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 5
Page 1 – Outcome of Lana’s Investigation
Page 2 – An Aircraft Called Emmeline Heaney
Page 3 – Profile of a Narcissist
Page 4 – Anna’s Witness Statement
Page 5 – Our Standards Policy
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 7
An Aircraft Called Emmeline Heaney
During the investigative meeting which I found incredibly stressful, whilst trying to defend myself from a pack of lies I couldn’t remember the exact words I’d used when making an announcement some four months earlier.
The day after the meeting I sent crew manager Lana an email which included the following two paragraphs;
The only crew who had any recollection of me giving the name of the aircraft either during the briefing or whilst on-board were Bart and Anna.
At the time of this first meeting witness statements had not yet been requested.
Lana didn’t speak with Katrina as Bart had asked, she just referred to her witness statement. At the end of her statement Katrina invited the company to contact her should they have any further questions. Nobody ever did.
In response to Bart’s initial complaint before the investigative meeting took place, I stated I made an announcement on the ground regarding the name of the aircraft and not as Bart states in my after take-off announcement.
In later correspondence I supplied a copy of the announcement which was on my iPad. Here it is;
This comes from Anna’s witness statement. She only refers to me by my surname which I’ve removed;
This next extract comes from the outcome of my appeal carried out by the Head of Cabin Crew.
Let me put what she says into context. During the investigative meeting I was told Bart claimed I made the statement during my pre-flight briefing and then repeated it after take-off.
I didn’t argue with that at the time but having thought about it, realised I would not have given this information after take-off. The P.A would have been made before the door was closed for departure.
The Head of Cabin Crew states “the majority of crew don’t recall you making the comments onboard the aircraft”. She’s right, the only two who allegedly had any recollection of it were Bart and Anna.
She then states she felt it was an inappropriate comment for me to say during my pre-flight briefing. The only people present in the briefing were nine cabin crew. Briefings are carried out in a closed room, the atmosphere is fairly relaxed and it’s a time for everyone to get to know each other.
Had I said Emmeline Heaney was nobody well known/famous that would have been okay but because I expressed myself incorrectly, this senior manager feels I need additional coaching.
I had a lot on my mind that morning. Having said goodbye to my dad I wasn’t certain he’d still be alive when I returned home. I was also aware with it being Christmas I had to create a happy atmosphere for the crew and customers. I was also feeling slightly apprehensive being the only on-board manager on a flight with a relatively junior crew.
Everyone’s so into mental health nowadays yet considering several crew found my briefing “strange and unusual”, nobody thought of asking me why that was or if everything was okay. Bear in mind none of us had met before.
We all occasionally say things that don’t come out quite as they should. Here’s a perfect example.
Returning to the outcome of Lana’s investigation;
The first comment refers to Bart’s allegation that prior to the pre-flight briefing he approached Tommy and I and asked “are you on the Atlanta flight?” He alleges I walked away and ignored him whilst Tommy replied “they’ve already been allocated”. A reference to inflight working positions.
Bart states the first time he was advised of where he was working was when I told him during the pre-flight briefing. Surely if Tommy stated positions had been allocated his next question would have been “where am I working?” All crew want to know their working position as soon as possible.
Tommy doesn’t mention this conversation in his witness statement and states he was unaware of me ignoring anyone at any time.
Many flight managers allow the crew to choose their own working position but it wasn’t really allowed. I allocated positions myself which is how it’s supposed to be done. As you will have seen from reading my blog, I generally liked to do things as they were meant to be done.
The point regarding clearing the rubbish refers to me asking Bart to clear rubbish from the right side of the Premium cabin whilst I did the left. I stated Bart ignored my request and it was only after I returned to the galley for the second time with a full tray of rubbish that he went into the cabin.
When I returned to the galley he was still speaking to his colleague. Our eyes then met and only then did he pick up a tray and leave the galley. I never addressed this matter with him at the time but should have.
It was Christmas Eve, we were coming to the end of a long flight and I didn’t want to create a bad atmosphere. I knew we would all be having Christmas dinner together that evening in the hotel so didn’t want to address something that I didn’t feel at the time was terribly important.
Although I had spoken to Bart shortly after take-off about taking orders on the ground, the matter had been addressed and I considered it closed.
In witness statements received from the remaining crew which included the Captain and First Officer, nobody was aware of me ignoring or excluding anyone at any time.
Bart complains about the length of my P.A’s and says they’re not effective or concise. He says this behaviour is “overbearing/abuse” of my seniority which is an “over-arching” concern for him.
I was the Flight Manager and had been flying for thirty years. He was the second most junior crew member and had been flying for eleven months.
Regarding me attributing blame on Bart for missing a customer out during the breakfast service, I didn’t blame him, I asked why the customer was missed out. Having been told how he did the service I then said that’s not the way it should be done.
In his complaint he blames Katrina and Claire for the passenger not being served. He also states I should take some responsibility because I am in charge of running the service. Yet again Bart is not familiar with the Service Procedures on the aircraft. I am not in charge of running the service, the Cabin Service Supervisor is.
I never admonished Bart and having told him how the service should be done correctly that was the end of it. The conversation was carried in the presence of Katrina.
Had she told him to wake every customer up on his side as he claims in his complaint, I believe she would have taken responsibility for that. He never told me that at the time and she says nothing about it in her witness statement.
He says I never addressed anything directly with the crew and always went through Katrina who was working up. Yet repeatedly accuses me of bullying him.
Most crew members state in their witness statement they were unaware of any unusual behaviour between me and Bart. One of those people was Mia who worked alongside him during the dinner service.
Others state they never saw the two of us talking alone.
Tommy says in his statement Bart was openly criticising the way I was running the flight whenever I left the galley.
When I addressed an issue in Bart’s appraisal about him not securing his cabin correctly for landing which is a mandatory safety requirement, he says it’s derogatory comments about his performance.
Returning to the outcome of Lana’s investigation;
So for advising Bart he shouldn’t have taken drinks and meal orders prior to take-off because that’s not how the service is done and for telling him it’s not necessary to write first names on his aisle order sheet, I was in the wrong so his complaint was upheld.
This comes from Bart’s meeting with crew manager Lana. Employee Relations Consultant Pedro was taking minutes. He’s the same person who took minutes during my meeting with Lana and who was guiding Hayley during the second disciplinary meeting.
Bart states customers already knew what they wanted to eat. Of course they did, menus are on their seat when they board.
People are not silly, they don’t give a crew member their drink and meal order just because someone comes along to say hello. Most customers were Delta Airline passengers who had never flown with Virgin before.
He states I was expecting him to take drinks and meal orders separately. That’s correct, because that’s how the service should be delivered.
He says Katrina said it was okay for him to start taking orders so once again he’s blaming her instead of taking responsibility for his own actions.
As you can see from the previous screenshot, Katrina states she was unaware when he took orders.
The following screenshot comes from my evidence. The black text is from Bart’s complaint, blue is my response. The exhibits were screenshots from the Service Procedures Manual.
On the rare occasion crew do take orders on the ground it’s because the cabin is busy and not because it’s quiet.
Bart is a compulsive liar, he just cannot help himself. I believe he genuinely suffers from mythomania also known as pseudologia fantastica. The chronic condition of compulsive or habitual lying. He had no idea how to deliver the service correctly which is why I now believe he had never worked in Upper Class before.
Having an overinflated ego he thought he could “wing it” but it all went terribly wrong.
The comment regarding the crew shaking their heads was the alleged response to me saying in my after take-off announcement Emmeline Heaney is nobody important just someone who won a competition.
These minutes were taken by Employee Relations Consultant Pedro during my first meeting with crew manager Lana;
What he’s saying is that on a recent flight a Cabin Service Supervisor commented in my upward feedback about how I coached and developed a crew member. I then said Lana could speak with Katrina regarding how I coached and supported her on our flight.
Having asked Bart to clear in rubbish on one side of the Premium cabin I was disappointed he didn’t go out straight away. I said he didn’t seem to be friendly towards me but didn’t feel it necessary to address it at the time.
Bart had stated during his meeting that he felt we didn’t have a great rapport. I said I had no issues with him and didn’t understand why he would have a problem with me.
This next section of Lana’s report I agree with. It was poor judgement on my behalf. With Bart having blatantly ignored me when I asked him to clear in rubbish, having looked at the floor throughout the pre-flight briefing and now being aloof and unfriendly, I really should have spoken to him about his behaviour.
With it being such a nice flight and also being Christmas Eve I didn’t want to create any bad feelings so let it go over my head. That is bad management and I’m not someone who’s afraid to address issues. I accept when I make a mistake and am happy to learn and be developed.
In his deranged mind he believes me asking him to clear in rubbish and not being happy because he didn’t do it fairly quickly equates to overbearing supervision and bullying and harassment.