|Table of Contents |
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 7
Page 1 – WhatsApp Chat Post Flight
Page 2 – The Joys of Being a Manager
Page 3 – Missing Rave Reviews
Page 4 – Ven’s Witness Statement
Page 5 – Finale Ven’s Witness Statement
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 9 (TBA)
Ven’s Witness Statement
In these last two chapters I’m going to share Ven’s witness statement. Several extracts from his statement have already been published elsewhere in my blog.
At the time his rank was Cabin Crew. He has since been promoted to Purser which is an onboard manager position. The Pursers report to the Flight Manager.
I’ve used screenshots because that way nobody can claim the statement has been altered. I’ll add explanations where necessary and will also include links to enable you to refer back to previous sections that may be relevant.
With our trip being over Christmas sickness was high. When I checked-in for the flight I could see we were one crew member down. No Purser’s (PUR) had been rostered on the flight. There should have been two.
Prior to the pre-flight briefing I spoke to crew members Katrina and T about working up to fill these two onboard manager positions.
As we were leaving the cabin crew check-in area I was told someone had been called from standby and would be at the aircraft shortly. I now had a full crew but was still the only onboard manager.
Once on the aircraft I updated my iPad and saw Ven had been called out. His rank was Cabin Crew but when called he was told he would be working up as Purser. That was because the department who called him would have seen I was missing two pursers. There were no trained Pursers left on standby.
With me having already spoken to Katrina and T I didn’t feel it was of any benefit to start changing working positions around. I therefore allocated him CM7 (CM = crew member).
Once the Flight Manager allocates working positions each crew member can see where they’re working (it shows on their iPad). Ven would have expected to see CM4 or CM6 appear because they’re the two Purser positions. Instead he saw CM7 which meant instead of working up a rank he was working in the Premium cabin.
The letters “PUR” (Purser) would remain next to his name on his iPad because that’s the rank he had been called out to fill. Had he been called out to operate in his own rank the letters CC (cabin crew) would be next to his name.
Ven didn’t understand how the system worked.
He states he boarded the aircraft through the L1 door. The doors on the left side of the aircraft are numbered L1 to L4. The L1 door is often used for passengers to board but wasn’t used on this flight. The only door that was open was L2.
The company had recently put out a notice advising all crew they must only board the aircraft through the L2 door, even if the L1 door is open. This was because a security agent is located there who must check their ID. A reminder had recently been issued regarding this new procedure.
With our flight to Atlanta having just twenty customers in First Class the L1 door had not been opened. All customers and Ven therefore boarded through L2. Had the L1 door been open for boarding I would have been standing there instead.
So Ven’s claim he boarded through L1 is not correct. Even if that door had been open he still should have boarded through L2 (which he did). The fact he says he boarded through L1 is not only a lie but also demonstrates he is not familiar with current safety procedures.
He says the crew member who was at the L1 door told him “Laurence is at L2 and is a bit strange and seems strict.”
As he boarded the aircraft he introduced himself to me and said he had been called out to work up as Purser. I asked a colleague to take over from me at the door so I could speak to Ven in the galley.
I explained although he had been called out to operate as Purser he would actually be working in Premium. I asked several times whether he minded not working up. Each time he responded by saying “I don’t mind where I work”. Galley crew member Bruce who didn’t return his witness statement was present during this conversation.
Let me play Ven’s stupid game for a moment. If L1 had been open which it wasn’t, the only crew member who could have been standing there was Katrina. Bart was in Premium offering boarding drinks (as he confirms in his complaint) and Lottie and Claire were hanging jackets and offering welcome drinks in First Class.
With me boarding passengers at L2 there was nobody else left to be at the L1 door other than Katrina. Cabin doors must always be manned when open.
Katrina, Claire and Lottie all spoke well of me in their witness statements. With Katrina having been a cabin manager at her previous airline for twenty years I think it’s highly unlikely she would have made a negative comment about me to someone she had never met, especially considering she was working up as First Class Purser.
That’s all hypothetical however because Ven boarded through L2 so the conversation never took place. The company could have asked Lottie, Claire and Katrina about the alleged comment but never did.
Ven’s reference to my announcements being strange refers to the fact that I sometimes ad-libbed them. We were allowed to do this providing all relevant safety information was covered. So instead of hearing the standard announcement being read from the P.A book my announcements sounded slightly different. That’s obviously something Ven finds difficult to process.
As mentioned previously, I had been praised by several managers over the years for the delivery of my announcements.
Prior to being on long term sick in 2016 I ad-libbed all my P.A’s. After returning to work in 2018 I wasn’t able to do that quite as well especially with longer announcements.
This photo comes from a video taken by the airline of the first flight to Tel Aviv in September 2019, almost a year after my flight with Bart. I was asked by the camera team to make a boarding announcement. As you can see I’m reading it (I only wear glasses for reading).
The hebrew says “thank you for joining us on this airline’s first flight to Tel Aviv”.
Regarding me not making an after take-off announcement this is another of Ven’s lies. It’s simply not possible for a Flight Manager not to make this announcement. It includes important safety information about the flight and once finished, the Economy Purser makes an announcement regarding services in that cabin.
With T working up as Economy Purser he would have started his announcement once I finished mine.
Bart and Anna both mention my after take-off announcement in their complaint/witness statement. Bart says it was over five minutes long. Considering I spoke for that long Ven seems to be totally unaware an announcement was even made. Just like he was unaware which door he should board the aircraft through.
Regarding my interaction with customers being “very direct”, is he implying I’m rude? If so that’s not something that has ever been addressed with me and was never reflected in any performance appraisals.
Ven fails to answer question 20 properly; “how did Laurence ask crew to perform duties, was it direct or via the Purser?”. He instead says there were no Pursers. He then talks about Katrina who worked up as First Class Purser and says she has been in the company for less than twelve months. She had actually been with the company for just over sixteen months. She also had thirty years of flying experience, twenty as a cabin manager albeit with another airline.
He’s also aware Tommy had been on a ground placement for a year and that he’d sent me an email prior to the flight. He was even aware of the contents.
Ven was clearly angry at not being allowed to operate the position he was told he would be working. He therefore asked T why he was working up. T obviously didn’t tell him it was because he had recently been turned down for promotion and I believed it would be good experience. With Ven not being present during the pre-flight briefing he had no understanding of the challenges I had faced in deciding which two crew to ask to work up in supervisory positions.
Ven also established Katrina was fairly new to the company but didn’t ask her himself. Had he done so he would have known she had been with the airline for longer than twelve months.
As a Flight Manager it was up to me to choose who I felt was most suitable to work up. I don’t have to explain myself to Ven but would have been happy to do so had he asked.
When asked during the grievance investigation why I chose T and Katrina, I was subsequently asked a series of questions.
The reason for this was because Bart was also frustrated at not having been given the opportunity to work up.
I’m glad Ven thinks T “did a good job”. Considering he worked at the opposite end of the aircraft and had no reason to go to Economy on either sector, I’m not sure how he knows that. Keep this comment in mind, I’ll come back to it shortly.
As well as being a compulsive liar Ven is also a fantasist. On our flight to Atlanta he was working in a full Premium cabin. Bart worked in the same cabin on the opposite aisle.
Bart was helping Ven because Premium was full and First Class was half empty. I therefore didn’t need so many crew in First. I asked Bart to help Ven in Premium.
On the inbound flight the entire aircraft was full so Bart worked in First Class. Ven worked alone in a busy Premium cabin looking after thirty eight customers.
Whenever he was able to he did help in First but only for short periods of time. He didn’t work as First Class Purser because that was Katrina’s position.
You can refer back to what I’ve said about Ven in a previous chapter here.
Regarding his comment that I should have taken charge when the seat belt signs were illuminated for turbulence, yet again this demonstrates how unfamiliar he is with safety procedures.
When the signs are illuminated the Economy Purser makes an announcement. That person was T. According to Ven “he did a good job” which I agree with. When the seatbelt signs were illuminated T made an announcement advising customers to return to their seats and to fasten their seatbelts. Just as he should have.
All cabin crew then check customers in their area have their belts fastened. They confirm their area is “secure” to the Purser working with them who then confirms that to the FM (Flight Manager).
So I don’t need to take charge and it’s not my responsibility to make an announcement. If it’s not made within a few minutes I will make it.
I can say with a degree of certainty that no crew member would go over the head of three onboard managers and make an announcement regarding the seatbelt signs without asking whether they may do so. Especially when flying with a Flight Manager they have never flown with before.
Cabin crew can certainly make this announcement but would only do so having asked if it was okay, especially on night flights because it doesn’t always need to be made. All cabin crew are well aware of whose responsibility it is to make announcements.
Don’t forget in witness statements Anna, Mia and also Ven (as you’ll see shortly) state I’m very strict. Yet despite being so strict Ven claims he went over my head and made an announcement despite safety procedures stating it’s made by the Purser working in Economy.
On the aircraft we all follow set procedures which vary from rank to rank. It’s not a free-for-all where everyone does what they want. On every flight you’re working with people you may not have worked with before so procedures have to be followed. That’s the same in any safety critical working environment. That way everyone knows what they’re doing and what’s expected of them.
Although the way services are run can sometimes be changed, safety procedures are strictly followed.
Had Ven genuinely made an announcement because it wasn’t made, I can assure you it would have been noted by Anna and Bart. According to witness statements nobody said anything about Ven making an announcement at any time, or about him working up as Purser in First Class.
In point 22 when asked if he had any observations of Bart he says he was amazing with customers and always used his iPad onboard as well as customers’ names.
The use of iPads had only recently been introduced. The only reason for using them (at this time) during the flight would have been to look at a customer’s name or flying club status.
Ven would have to be incredibly observant to notice this behaviour from Bart considering he worked in the opposite aisle in Premium on one sector and in a different cabin on the other. Bart would have no reason to have his iPad with him whilst serving in the Premium cabin.
Witness statements were requested four months after the flight yet Ven remembered Bart always used his iPad. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t something that was noticed by me or anyone else.
Ven mentioning this is further proof of collusion. In response to me saying in Bart’s performance appraisal he looked at the floor throughout the pre-flight briefing, Bart says he was reading his iPad to familiarise himself with his customers.
Regarding my comment about him engaging more with customers he says he spoke to several people whom he addressed using their first name. He mentions Jason and Mark in 16 and 17K (on the inbound flight to London) and also says Iris and Mark (on the outbound flight to Atlanta) were disappointed to learn he’d been moved to another cabin. He also talks about a customer called Pam (in Premium on the outbound flight).
You may recall Customer Relations confirmed there was nobody in First Class by the name of Mark or Jason on either sector.
I believe Bart asked Ven to make a reference in his witness statement to him using his iPad and customers’ names. Just like Anna asked Mia to say she heard me use the phrase tommy tank.
In response to question 24 Ven says he did not witness any communication between me and Bart directly. He worked in the same small galley as Bart and I on two sectors both of which were between eight and nine hours long.
He also helped in First Class on the inbound flight where Bart and I were both working yet didn’t witness any communication between us. I find that strange considering he’s so observant. It’s also very odd because in his statement he says I seemed to single Bart out and always seemed to pull him up. Surely if he noticed that he would have witnessed some kind of communication between us?
According to witness statements nobody else noticed any unusual behaviour between Bart and myself at any time.
The Head of Cabin Crew who carried out my appeal stated she could find no evidence of collusion.
I find what Ven says about me disrespectful and offensive. Have a look back at the company’s Our Standard’s Policy. I was told repeatedly I breached this with my use of the words “quite why” in Bart’s performance appraisal.
Bart claims these words were used to ridicule him and two managers and the Head of Cabin Crew agreed.
Personally I believe he suffers with paranoia and being a narcissist couldn’t cope with being given constructive feedback. It was too much for his ego to handle.
This is what I said in his appraisal; “quite why Bart had his aisle order sheet with him at this time I don’t know”.
At the time Anna was Bart’s fiancée not his wife as Ven states. She’s now his ex fiancée.
Ven certainly was made to feel very welcome particularly by Peter. They’re behind me, Ven has his arm draped over Peter’s shoulder and Peter has his arm around Ven’s waist. Ironically Ven accuses ME of being touchy feely or “touchy feels” as he puts it! My hands are firmly in my pockets.
Bear in mind Ven states he never knew anyone on the crew when he arrived for the flight twenty four hours earlier. Him and Peter worked out of different galleys at opposite ends of a very long aircraft. Despite Ven and Peter’s faces being masked they’re both smiling broadly.
Once again Ven demonstrates how unfamiliar he is with company related matters. Premium Economy was renamed ‘Premium’ several years ago.
Ven was certainly very busy on our flight. After reading my blog the company will wonder why they even need a Flight Manager considering one crew member is able to do so many working positions on a full aircraft.
Bart makes no reference in his complaint to me being absent from the cabin. Anna states that whilst at the front (for all five minutes she was there) she didn’t see me leave the galley. She also says I was less visible in the cabin than the rest of the crew. Lottie states I worked as hard as everyone else whilst Katrina and Claire both say I worked hard and had no concerns regarding my performance, conduct or ability. T makes no reference to me being absent from the cabin in his witness statement, nor does Mia.
Peter and Ven who were working at opposite ends the aircraft both make reference to me disappearing. Peter even seems to know I spent long periods of time in the cockpit. Apart from this being yet another malicious lie, working at the opposite end of the aircraft from me Peter would have no idea how or where I spent my time. Bear in mind he had been in the company for just six months.
Yet the Head of Cabin Crew could find no evidence of collusion.