|Table of Contents |
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 6
Page 1 – A Royal Commendation
Page 1 – Lana’s Investigation Continued
Page 2 – More from Lana’s Investigation
Page 3 – Yet More from Lana’s Investigation
Page 4 – Almost Finished but not Quite
Page 5 – That’s It for This Chapter
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 8
More from Lana’s Investigation
I’m trying to keep Lana’s investigation and Hayley’s investigation separate but it’s not always possible. Lana carried out the initial investigation into Bart’s complaint. Following her meeting with him she then met with me. She subsequently compiled the questions for the witness statements that were sent to the crew.
Two crew failed to return their statement. One was Bruce who worked the First Class galley, the other was a crew member who worked alongside Anna in Economy.
Hayley dealt with the second part of the process which was the disciplinary. She investigated the points to which Lana found “there was a case to answer”.
Here’s what Bart and Anna said about my announcements.
So after two people who combined had been in the company for less than two years made a complaint about my announcements, Lana feels there are learnings to be had which she’ll share with my manager.
Here’s what the rest of the crew said about my P.A’s.
Nineteen years as a Flight Manager, two years as a Purser, both ranks make announcements. Despite never having received a single complaint from a customer or crew member Lana feels I need development in this area.
What she says about me acknowledging that I should have spoken to Bart on the inbound flight refers to me not speaking to him about his performance as a whole. I explained during our meeting that during the dinner service I gave him loads of help and support because he was struggling to keep up. When Mia and T came from the back to help I asked Mia to help Bart on his side.
I then spoke to him in the presence of Katrina after the breakfast service because a customer complained Bart had woken him up but did not returned to serve him. During that conversation I explained exactly how the service should be delivered.
I didn’t tell him he hadn’t secured his cabin to standard for landing into Heathrow because he watched from his crew seat as I opened two window blinds that were obstructed by pillows and removed several items from ottomans. Nothing is permitted to be on these footstalls for landing.
It’s difficult to address something with a crew member at that stage of the flight because it’s so close to landing. After landing we remain seated until the seatbelt signs go off. Customers then start disembarking.
Once the last customer leaves the crew grab their belongings and want to get off as soon as possible. Our flight from Atlanta landed before sunrise on Boxing Day so everyone was eager to get home.
After what had been a very challenging flight I certainly wasn’t going to speak to Bart about not securing his cabin properly. I’d had enough for one day and my attention was now focussed on my dad. By that point Bart was the least of my worries.
Despite my personal file being full of praise for the way I coached and developed crew over many years, Lana feels there are learnings to be had that she’ll discuss with my manager.
This comes from the outcome of the appeal carried out by the Head of Cabin Crew.
She begins by saying “you believe Bart was upset by not being asked to work up in the Purser role”. The following comes from my defence;
I explained my reasons for choosing Katrina and T to work up and my explanation was accepted.
In the previous screenshot Lana says she doesn’t believe there is a case to answer for me not speaking to Bart about his performance as a whole because I was busy on a busy flight.
The Head of Cabin Crew says she would expect concerns about his performance to be discussed and my concerns to be shared with his manager. One of Bart’s complaints was that copying in his manager could have seriously damaged his reputation, average scores and promotion aspirations in the future. That part of his complaint is here.
Take a look at what Lana says regarding this in her meeting with Bart;
Lana and the Head of Cabin Crew can’t even agree with each other. Despite Lana being in the company for many years and being a Crew Performance and Development Manager (basically a line manager), she’s unaware how the Performance Management system works.
In hindsight had I addressed every point with Bart as was expected of me he would certainly have accused me of overbearing supervision and bullying and harassment. Afterall that’s what he said about all the issues I discussed with him on the aircraft and about the remaining points addressed in his performance review.
I didn’t put what had been discussed with him in writing at the time because I was incredibly tired and being the only onboard manager was already busy enough. Towards the end of the flight I had to ask Katrina for help because I had so much still to do. That’s why Ven was showing her how to complete the drinks bar paperwork and not me.
I spoke to Katrina who worked up as Purser at length regarding her performance. I spoke briefly to T who worked up in Economy. I also spoke to Lottie about her performance and to encourage her to go for promotion. I spoke to the galley crew member about how he was plating up food. I even spoke to Ven to thank him for helping in First Class and to praise his standard of work.
Evidence from various witness statements confirms all of these conversations took place.
Regarding asking the Purser (Katrina) for things to be done instead of asking the crew directly, that was because I was trying to coach her on what she should be doing when working in the role of Purser.
She was working up in that rank so was happy to learn and be coached. Being Purser involves so much more than just being an additional pair of hands. You’re there to lead and direct the service whilst also managing the crew with whom you’re working.
The alternative was for me to do everything myself which just wasn’t possible.
Katrina and I had several conversations regarding how she was doing. Despite having been a manager at another airline for many years, working as an onboard manager in First Class was very different.
That never occurred to me when I asked her to work up in that position. I believed with her years of onboard managerial experience she would step easily into the role. It never occurred to her line manager either who suggested she may be the ideal person to work up.
Bart is such an ignoramus he doesn’t even understand when he’s being praised.
He confuses me helping him convert the bed with the FM’s “walkaround.” I helped him with the manual seat conversion way before the seatbelt signs were illuminated for landing.
With regards to the walkaround he says it’s to ensure nothing has been missed. Yet again this confirms he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
The Flight Manager walks around the aircraft after the cabin has been “secured for landing”. That means all customers are seated with their seatbelts fastened.
As per the airline’s Safety and Procedures manual this is done to ensure all cabin crew are seated for landing. The FM then sits down themself and confirms to the Captain the entire cabin is secure and all crew are seated.
Should the FM notice anything has been missed they will rectify it as I did but that’s not the purpose of the walkaround.
Having addressed the matter of the closed window blinds and items on ottomans in his appraisal he says it’s “bullying; inappropriate/derogatory comments about my performance”.
The complaint was dismissed because it’s a mandatory safety requirement.
Going back to the outcome of my appeal carried out by the Head of Cabin Crew, she says in her view I should have discussed Bart’s performance with Katrina so she could mark him accordingly in his performance review. Alternatively I should have done his review myself on her iPad.
Whether she accepts it or not that would have been unprofessional and a breach of confidentiality. Katrina had been in the company only slightly longer than Bart and was not a trained Purser. I would never have discussed his performance with her or with any other crew member who was working up in a supervisory role.
Had I completed his review on her iPad she would be able to see what I wrote. The reviews are designed to be anonymous so the only person who should see what has been written is the crew member concerned. There’s no requirement to show it to them but you can if you wish.
Once every three months all cabin crew are given access to their performance feedback. They cannot see who wrote it or on which flight it was written.
Upon returning home I decided to write a review on Bart and share my concerns with him manager. I made that decision because as a responsible Flight Manager I felt there were many issues that needed to be addressed. Especially with him still being in probation.
The Head of Cabin Crew says the “choice you made to deliver the feedback by email” made Bart feel intimidated and uncomfortable. I find her choice of words quite offensive.
Would it have made him feel any less intimidated and uncomfortable had I written and delivered the feedback on the flight? I very much doubt it.
Bart is a narcissist who couldn’t cope with being given constructive feedback irrespective on when or where it was given.
The Head of Cabin Crew says there was no warning or indication given regarding the content. Take at look at this. And words I used were offensive and gave no consideration for Bart’s feelings. The previous link shows the offensive words I used. If you haven’t looked at the link the words he found offensive were “quite why”.
I apparently had no consideration for Bart’s feelings just like Hayley had no consideration for mine when she sent me the outcome of her investigation three hours after I landed from an inaugural flight. There was also no warning about the content of her email.
The Head of Cabin Crew allocated this case to Hayley despite it being her first grievance since joining the company. She had to be guided by the Employee Relations Consultant during the meeting because she had no idea what she was doing.
It took six weeks for her to investigate the matter.
In the letter I received not only was a considerable amount of text printed over the letterhead of the paper which made it impossible to read, she also upheld one complaint that had already been dismissed. In fact she upheld every one of Bart’s complaints.
But that was all okay because as the Head of Cabin told me repeatedly, “Hayley is a very experienced manager.” As a very experienced Flight Manager I made two mistakes. The first was not speaking to Bart about his entire performance and the second was not telling him I would be documenting my concerns and would be copying in his manager.
I had done that once previously when I had an issue with a crew member and didn’t have time to document it during the flight. I then did it again a couple of weeks after flying with Bart.
I’ve written these words so many times but here they are again. Despite proving Bart and Anna were telling nothing but lies and bearing in mind what I’ve written in this chapter so far, this was the last paragraph of the outcome of the appeal that had taken the Head of Cabin Crew more than eight weeks to investigate. Don’t forget, she told me she she would try to deal with it as quickly as possible.
Call me cynical but I’m fairly certain she dragged it out for as long as she could to ensure the outcome was delivered as close to Christmas as possible. It was received on 20th December, almost a year to the day after my flight with Bart.
Although she dismissed two further points she upheld the allegation of inappropriate touching. In doing so she ignored what had been written in witness statements by six members of crew plus the Captain and First Officer. She also disregarded the opinion of a doctor of clinical psychologist.
The allegation was upheld purely on evidence given by Bart, Anna and Ven.