|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)
Finale Ven’s Witness Statement
The lies in Ven’s witness expose his ignorance and stupidity. This is someone who’s recently been promoted to Purser. His statement contributed significantly to me losing my job.
He talks about me showing the video as being odd and out of character. Ven and I had never met previously and by this time had only worked together on the flight to Atlanta. The flight was half empty and I worked with Ven on just one service. He wasn’t in the pre-flight briefing and we didn’t socialse downroute.
The following screenshots come from evidence I submitted to the company.
If I turned my phone off “promptly” after giving Anna and Bart a dirty look for turning away whilst the video was playing, I wouldn’t have been able to send T and Ven a copy which I did soon after showing it to them. T confirms that in his witness statement.
I stated during my initial meeting with crew manager Lana and Bart even confirms in his complaint, that I angled my phone away from the right side of the bus. I did that to ensure nobody other than T and Ven could see the cartoon as it played. Nobody else was aware of this video playing. Mia and Peter made reference to another video that was shown to me by the First Officer (you’ll need to scroll up slightly in the link).
T also makes reference to that video yet Bart and Anna make no reference to it at all. That’s because it was shown by the First Officer on his phone and not by me.
In point 32 of Ven’s statement he says I’m quite “touchy feels”. I think the photo of him with his arm draped over Peter’s shoulder confirms if anyone is “touchy feels” it’s Ven and Peter. I don’t believe I’ve ever squeezed a man’s waist in my entire life, or even a woman’s for that matter.
He also states the crew member working up as CM5 (that was Katrina working as Purser) was given no support. In her witness statement she says she received plenty of help and support from me. That’s further confirmed in Lottie’s witness statement. T also makes reference in his witness statement to me giving Katrina direction and discussing her performance with her.
Considering Ven felt so uncomfortable when I touched his ankle over his sock for a split second whilst having a joke with him, he said nothing to anyone about it at the time or afterwards. Yet he clearly feels very comfortable being in a warm embrace for a crew photograph with someone he didn’t know when he checked in for the flight less than twenty four hours earlier.
Peter brought a companion with him on the trip. She joined us for breakfast on Christmas morning but Peter did not (nor did Ven). When I asked where Peter was she said he didn’t come back last night so she had the room to herself.
Katrina and Lottie who were either side of Ven when I touched his ankle whilst he was sitting at the First Class bar state they were not aware of any inappropriate touching. Lottie states “Laurence was laughing and joking with the crew towards the end of the flight”. This was a reference to the joke I played on Ven.
Let me break this last section of Ven’s statement down. He states the service took about four hours. Our flight time to London was seven hours five minutes. That can be confirmed through any flight tracker website.
The first drinks service in the cabin begins approximately twenty minutes after take-off. Add on four hours which is how long Ven says the service took. I’m assuming he means four hours including the after take-off drinks service. That’s fours twenty minutes. The crew had a one hour break each in the bunks in two shifts. That’s six hours twenty minutes.
With everyone in First Class having breakfast we began the service ninety minutes before landing which is the norm. That would only be reduced if very few people wanted to be woken. Everyone in the cabin on our flight had breakfast.
So if what Ven is saying is correct, the flight would have to have been at least seven hours fifty minutes.
In the last chapter I explained how I was able to work out how long the service took. I also included a screenshot in which Bart claims I told Lottie the service went on for so long because “this crew is very inexperienced”. Ven also claims I said “I have no idea why it took so long, maybe it’s because I have very inexperienced staff on board”. I would never refer to “crew” as staff. The crew are not my staff. I’ve always addressed them collectively as “crew”, “cabin crew” or “crew members”.
In his statement Ven says he “witnessed” me making this comment yet doesn’t say who I was speaking to. The discussion they’re referring to was a conversation I had in private with Lottie. Nobody else was present. She makes reference to this and other conversations we had during the flight.
Here’s what she said;
This complaint raised by Bart was dismissed following the initial investigation because there was no evidence to support the alleged comment.
Bart cleverly manipulated what I said to Lottie just like he manipulated everything else. It saddens me that she felt it appropriate to share a comment with Bart that I’d said to her in private.
Despite Ven claiming I said I had no idea why the service took so long, I knew exactly why it had taken so long. I shared my opinion with Lottie whilst talking to her about her performance. Whilst discussing the service I said it was slow, the galley was disorganised and Katrina was also disorganised.
Working up in the role of Purser is not just about being another pair of hands. You’re there to lead and direct the service and must be well organised. With Katrina having been a cabin manager at her previous airline I believed she would do a good job. Despite working incredibly hard there were too many challenges for her to deal with.
I don’t believe it would have made any difference had Lottie who was the most experienced crew member worked up as Purser. With Bart not having a clue what he was doing and the galley being run in an appalling manner, even the most experienced Purser would have found the situation challenging. Don’t forget Bart took an immediate dislike to me from the start because he hadn’t been given the opportunity to work up!
The following screenshot also comes from Lottie’s witness statement;
During the dinner service I spoke to the aisle crew on two occasions to address things that were not being done properly. Lottie sees this as lecturing whereas I see it as trying to guide the crew into delivering the standard of service that’s expected of them.
Katrina and I also spoke extensively throughout the flight about what the role of Purser involved. She took a keen interest in her development and initiated many of the discussions we had. According to her witness statement she felt well supported and had no complaints regarding me personally or as a Flight Manager.
Whilst on one hand Lottie is complimentary about my performance and ability, she had been repeating things we spoke about to Bart. This is apparent because Bart and Ven both claim they were aware I said the crew were inexperienced which is a modified version of what I said.
Anna also made a comment in her statement regarding me not knowing the service. I believe that’s likely to have come from Lottie who says in her statement I had my own way of laying up tables which was not in line with the service flow. Ven also closes his statement by saying I was not familiar with the service.
I had been working in this cabin in one rank or another since 1995. Contrary to what all three crew members say with regards to my knowledge of the service, performance appraisals written on me over many years dispel any doubt about my ability and competence.
The following photo comes from the company’s Service Procedures Manual. It shows how a First Class table should be laid up. Considering I laid tables up on every flight I operated and was accompanied on the trolley by a crew member, what on earth could I have been doing that was so wrong?
Ven’s states he witnessed me making the comment regarding the crew being inexperienced but when Lottie and I spoke we were alone. I wouldn’t discuss someone’s performance with them in front of anyone else especially when encouraging them to go for promotion.
Returning to Ven’s statement, he claims the entire service in Economy and Premium (the cabin in which he was working) had finished before we’d even begun the dinner service in First Class. The Economy cabin on the A340-600 is huge. There’s four crew serving two hundred and twenty five passengers. After take-off they do a drinks service, clear in and then begin serving dinner. They then clear in and offer tea and coffee on a separate service. Cups are then cleared in and the duty free service begins.
The service in Economy was completed very fast. We were half way through serving hot meals when T rang from the back to tell me they’d finished. In hindsight the only way that would have been possible was if they skipped the drinks service.
Several years ago on some night flights the company dropped the after take-off drinks service in Economy. The crew went straight out with dinner. The service was then reintroduced. Not doing the drinks service would have taken a good forty five minutes off the service.
Having been advised they had finished I asked T to send a couple of crew to the front to help with our service. He arrived with Mia and Anna a short while later. I didn’t need three additional crew so asked Anna to return to Economy.
If Ven had finished his service in Premium as he states, he would have been helping us in First. I would therefore only have needed one additional crew member from the back, not two.
In point 36 of Ven’s statement he says “Laurence has no management or leadership skills. There was no guidance or support to new crew. He clearly also doesn’t have an idea of who would be placed where if he puts crew positions in himself.”
This is a reference to me allocating crew working positions myself instead of allowing them to choose where they wanted to work. Company policy states inflight working positions should be allocated by the Flight Manager. We were told experience should be spread throughout the aircraft. With that said, the majority of Flight Managers allowed crew to choose where they wanted to work.
Since the introduction of iPads in 2018, once crew positions had either been chosen or allocated they had to be entered into the Flight Manager’s iPad. Their iPad would then sync with the crews’ iPads. Ven seems to believe that by me allocating positions myself I would have no idea who would be working where (on the aircraft).
I had been flying with this airline since Ven was in nappies. Bear in mind this is someone who doesn’t know what door the cabin crew should board the aircraft through, who doesn’t know the Economy Purser is responsible for making the announcement regarding the seatbelt signs and who felt it was out of character for me to show him and T an adult gay cartoon on the bus. They both then asked me for a copy and T subsequently replayed the video on his iPad.
Ven refers to me as having a split personality. He also says I singled Bart out and always seemed to pull him up despite not witnessing any communication take place between us. He doesn’t even know the difference between “waist” and “waste”. Let’s not forget Ven is now a Purser which is an onboard manager. As part of his role he’ll be writing anonymous performance appraisals on both sectors of every flight on the crew working under him and on the Flight Manager.
In the absence of a Flight Manager he will be called upon to work up in that position. That means he’ll be leading a large team of cabin crew and will be in charge of an entire aircraft of people.
Ven’s witness statement speaks volumes about the type of person he is.
To close this chapter I’ll leave you with the final two responses of Ven’s witness statement. For clarification, Ven stated earlier in his statement that he did not witness or was aware of me touching any crew member inappropriately at any time. Therefore his response below refers to me touching his ankle for a split second and his blatant lie that I squeezed his waste (oops I mean waist).
He also refers to “videos” “(plural) yet previously only mentions the naughty gay cartoon. Bear in mind I only showed one video, the second was shown by the First Officer. Anna and Bart completely “forgot” to mention this second video despite it being pretty offensive. T, Mia and Peter also make reference to it.