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Thursday, 24 April 2014

It is not in the interest of cabin crew and other readers

I have decided to bring down the post " Senior manager "quitting" SIA cabin crew division?" dated 20 April 2014 due to some good reasons.

The comments in that post were mainly negative. It's understandable the crew whom the manager complained against on one of his flights were celebrating his departure. However, he was doing his job by stating how he felt about the inflight service. I don't think there was anything wrong with that.

The other thing is whether he was asked to leave or he has decided to leave voluntarily, only he and his SVP knows. Outside of that, it's pure speculation.

When one leaves the company, the crew should not celebrate but instead wish that person well and a better future. This should be one of the hallmarks of cabin crew.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Is obedience towards seniors good for service?

I received the following reply when I stated that the cabin crew pioneers ingrained in their juniors to be respectful and follow orders given. What's your take on that?

"the implicit culture of the crew whereby the seniors get priority in everything is a horrible culture to begin with. in a society where we strive for meritocracy, it is ridiculous that junior crew should be treated like kids having to respect their grandparents. you don't cultivate such culture where seniority even within the same rank is being enforced. everyone should be treated with same respect and pleasantries regardless of their rank.

the cabin crew have been taken akin to SAF. and senior crews who endorse sucha culture are themselves to begin with, deprived of power and achievements in life that seize any opportunity to feel important themselves.

i think it is really sad that people who fly for a considerable time are stuck in this "i am powerful because i am senior". fact is, you and i both know it can ONLY be exercised within work, and result - junior crews treated like 2nd class citizens. 

i am not a crew, but i understand the workings of the dept, and i strongly disagree that the service standards of SIA has anything got to do with the pioneer batch enforcing such implicit culture.

it is unhealthy!"

Hahaha The moment I've finished posting the above topic I received this classic reply:

"Seniority has its origins under Colonial Rule. It was widely practised and had been found to be good overall. With the passing of time, some fine tuning or change became necessary. 

The writer who replied to BT appears to have a narrow understanding of Seniority. The British have a reputation for granting recognition to its employees, with good intentions. Examples can be found in the careers of Teachers and the Civil Service. It is also a formal endorsement of respect and loyalty that Britain confers on its elderly citizens and senior employees. 

I reject the writer's opinion that CC is like the SAF. In fact, I would venture to go as far as saying that MINDEF and its agencies have a level of competency that rivals those in the region. Its media unit and public affairs dept are staffed with officers who are qualified. Many of them are in their senior years.The SAF has become a force to be reckoned with.

In fact, I have had the pleasure of working with two former SAF officers. They are versatile, articulate and are comfortable in discharging their duties to the satisfaction of their seniors. Their PR skills are as good as those in upper MGT, if not, even better.

Seniority was never intended to demean meritocracy. In fact, it is a good tool that can be used to enhance meritocracy. So often we have all heard about the old cliche : OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW. Is this what we all want to see? 

In case the writer has forgotten, it is a good habit for parents to let their children spend time with their grandparents. They get to learn about respect for the elderly and when the time comes, they will also carry this tradition with them.

The SIA brand with its standard of inflight service even other airlines talk about had been earned at the toil of blood, sweat and tears. Had it not been for the high standards in discipline and duty set by JYM and his team, all of us would not be here today". 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Instigated his crew to stop work

IFS Ron was anti-company. He felt his employer wasn't treating him well. One day he took the opportunity to strike back at airline that employed him by instigating a "walk-out".

The opportunity came when the flight he and his cabin crew had to operate encountered a long delay. It wasn't long actually by some airlines standard. In total, he and his crew had to operate close to 14 hours. However, instead of the usual 2 sectors, they had to do 4 sectors, example: HKG/TPE/TYO/TPE/HKG instead of just HKG/TPE/TYO.

After operating HKG/TPE/TYO/TPE  and instead of working on the last sector to HKG, Ron persuaded his crew to consult a doctor in TPE and asked for medical leave. Seven crew members and Ron was granted a day medical leave due to "fatigue". Due to safety issue, the B747 was grounded in TPE for 10 hours.

The "walk-out" inevitably cost the airline a lot of money and time. Ron was hauled to the office but management could not take disciplinary action against Ron and his crew. They were legally covered by the medical leave issued by the doctor in TPE.

 I don't know whether someone tip off the management or not but Ron was "spot checked" by the airport security staff when he returned from one of his other flights. Ron was found to be in possession of a bottle of liquor which belonged to the company. He was booted out after a hurriedly arranged disciplinary inquiry.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

SIA cabin crew salary

Due to the popularity of this topic, I have re-post it here ( was first posted in March 2013). Hope the subject is useful to those who are interested in applying for the cabin crew job with SQ.

Each crew is given $277 a month as transport allowance and $125 a month for uniform laundry. An average of $2,800 in Location Meal Allowance (LMA)and IFA (assuming a crew flies from 70 to 80 hours a month)is paid to each crew per month. For a new crew the staring Basic salary is $1,340. If you were to add up all the allowances and salary of a new cabin crew it comes up to $4,567.
The above does not include bonuses and gratuities.

BT: The salary of $4,567 for a new crew is my estimate.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Cabin crew so stylo milo one

Cabin crew so stylo milo one is the common Singlish phrase used to describe how fashionable or stylish the SIA cabin crew are. The life a cabin crew was even more stylo milo in the old days than it is now. The reasons were the purchasing power of the money or salary we were paid back then was better and it was uncommon to fly in aeroplanes say 30 or 40 years ago. These days the crew are being paid more but inflation would have eaten a big portion of their salary. Things are more expensive as compared to the days when I was a steward.

A flight steward's salary with MSA/SIA was about $500 a month ( inclusive of all the allowances). Things and services were inexpensive. One could travel by bus for as low as 5 cents. The taxi fare for a 10 kilometre ride was about $2 as compared to $15 now (inclusive of peak hour surcharge, ERP and what have you). Of course the cabs did not have air-conditioning. But who needed air-con 30 or 40 years ago when Singapore was so green and almost jungle like. The air was cool and fresh unlike now where it's humid, hot and often polluted (we will be lucky if we do not have haze covering our island).

An average size house with 3 bedrooms cost around $15,000. I used to live in a rented house with 2 bedrooms for $200 a month. One day I was asked to leave because the owner had sold it. How much did he sell it for? $10,000!  Today, the same size house is going for $1.5 million.

A bowl of noodles cost 20cts but now it cost $3 or more. I bought my first car, a brand new Mini Morris for $5,400. If there one today, it would cost at least $130,000.

Many ordinary folks can't afford to fly as passengers unlike today most can afford air travel. The air fare was too expensive. So you see being a cabin crew back then was a big deal or stylo milo lah!

She has grounds to..............

She has grounds to rant ...read more

Friday, 18 April 2014

Karma = retribution..that's what crew says

Len is a gay inflight supervisor whom the crew claimed to have given them a difficult time when working under him.  Many stewardesses claimed to have suffered under him,especially the prettier ones. Len has a dislike for ugly stewards. He loves good looking stewards and would be lenient to them.

Last night, I received a message from a crew saying that Len has been dumped by his young lover. To make matter worse, Len's lover swiped all his savings and eloped with another gay.

One crew told me that Len is paying for his sins (bad treatment of his juniors) and many are rejoicing. Another told me that Len is now devastated and financially broke. Yet another told me Len is considering quitting his job.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Classmates better than working colleagues?

We did not spend many years together, at the most perhaps 3 to 5 years in our schools. After we left schools, some left for further studies while others started working. I am talking about my classmates. We had our differences but we they were all childish stuff. The good thing was we never back bite nor bad-mouth each other. Even if we did, they were done without malice because we were young and innocent.

When I entered the work force, things were different. Although we spent umpteen years as colleagues, most of the time we were not sincere nor nice to each other. If we did, it was only superficial  and sometimes sinister, if you know what I mean.
There were tons of back stabbing and bad-mouthing as well each trying to outdo one another. But why? The answer was, they were all done in the name of promotion and the desire to be in the good books of the bosses.
Many were promoted and rewarded with double and merit salary increment due to the ability to suck -up to and be in the bosses' good books and not due to hard work nor being productive to the company.
The bosses had equally contributed to the situation. They loved those who carried their "balls". They loved to have their asses tickled from time to time. I was often told not to voice the truth even to the extent of improving the service standard. " If the svp tells you that black is white you agree with him" a manager once advised me.

As for our classmates, whenever we get together, we would talk about the good old school days, about the girls we were chasing after, about the songs and movies we used to enjoy and share.
Sometimes we would  be invited for dinners and karaoke in some of our more well to do classmates who own huge houses. One surprised me recently by buying me a ticket for the Lionel Ritchie concert.

BT: Don't get me wrong cos there are also good ex colleagues too.

Below are 2 videos of our gatherings recently uploaded by me.

Ain't it funny how time slips away by Elio Pace

Elio Pace is one of my favourite singers in this generation. He is simply brilliant. Ain't it funny not many people in this part of the world knew him. He was born in 1968 (the year I started flying for MSA,the predecessor of SIA) in Surrey, England of Italian parents. He showed early signs of natural musical talent when he started to sing and play the piano at the age of four.

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