Superman Nasi Lemak ..... here

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Chief steward Jon was fired for ....

I met Jon at a wedding dinner few years ago. In fact,we haven't met since he was sacked from the airline. To be honest we weren't the best of friends but we were invited by an ex inflight supervisor for his son's wedding.
Jon is completely bald,still skinny like he was many years ago. He hasn't changed a bit all these years,at least not in appearance. However, his behaviour has changed for the worst. Jon was boisterous and under the influence of a few glasses of beer became loud and offensive. He used vulgarities in the presence of his wife and other women without thinking twice. He became crude and unpolished since he left SQ.....he wasn't like that when he was still flying.
You may asked me why was Jon sacked from the airline? Below is the story:

The flight landed at Bangkok Don Muang International Airport in the late evening.The crew would night stop for a day at Bangkok,Thailand.
After the passengers had disembarked,Fatty the ifs (inflight supervisor)waited until the last cabin crew left the aircraft before he too left the aircraft and headed for the arrival area. It was a long walk to the arrival terminal and custom area.
About 2 months before Fatty's flight,cabin crew management had a meeting with the security department and enlist their help to nap Fatty whom they suspected of stealing duty free liquor and Dom Perignon Champagne. Cabin crew management had inside information that Fatty had stolen dozens of bottles of liquor and sold them to his pub connection in Bangkok. Off course,this was illegal and any crew caught stealing liquor or any company stuff would be sacked instantly.
That night in BKK (Bangkok)2 plainclothes security men from S'pore had stationed themselves just after the custom clearance area,waiting for Fatty.They flew into BKK a day before Fatty's flight.
Jon the chief steward (2nd highest ranking cc)was the first to arrive at the custom check area. The Thai custom officers cleared him and let him through without a search.However,immediately after the custom area at the arrival hall,the 2 security men came up to Jon and flashed their i/ds and searched Jon's hand carried luggage. In it,they found a few bottles of the airline's Dom Perignon,Black Label Whisky and Brandy. They apprehended Jon but before that Jon created such a big commotion that Fatty from distance (before custom check) knew that there was something was not right.
Fatty hurriedly went to the toilet and threw his bottles of liquors into the large waste bins. He then cleared custom and the 2 security men approached him.They did not find any stolen things in his bags.
Just to enlighten you,these crew made hundreds by selling the stolen liquor in BKK and other places.
Stealing liquor from the airlines by crew is not an uncommon thing. It happens to many airlines,not just SQ. Some stole to sell and make a profit while others drank or gave them to their friends. There is nothing much the airlines could do except to discourage the cc from stealing by firing them if they are caught.
In the above case,Fatty was the target but Jon who helped carried the contraband for Fatty, was made to pay. Jon was a nice and obliging colleague whom Fatty made use of.
Fatty was always lucky to avoid being caught red handed. There was nothing SIA security people could do to Fatty. He retired "gracefully". They even awarded him a handsome retirement gratuity. Today, Fatty drives a taxi and who knows what other illegal things he is doing?

Friday, 2 December 2016

People ought to know that upgrading is discouraged

As far as SIA is concerned, the cabin crew as well as the captains should not upgrade any passenger unless in an emergency situation whereby an economy passenger is so sick that he or she is in a critical condition and need more space. In such a situation, the economy class cabin must first be full.
Upgrading to the business/first class, the crew must ensure the upgraded passenger must not be seated next to the business/first class passenger.
For each case of upgrading, the cabin crew-in-charge and the captain will have to write a report to their respective head of division.
As for this particular case, there was definitely no justification for an upgrade.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Bosses who should've been fired!

Having good bosses or seniors is an important aspect of working life.It either kills your motivation to work harder or makes you look forward to going to work everyday.
Over a long period of time working for SQ,I have worked under more lousy bosses than good ones. Over here I am going to talk about the lousy ones.
The managers were the worst lot. Most were back-boneless creatures who would sucked up to their svps or seniors. They were indecisive and adopted the "don't rock the boat" attitude. Working under such bosses was very discomforting,demotivating and frustrating.
Just to illustrate what I meant, was a case whereby one of my colleagues, a trainer CCE was shouted at and scolded by a TRAINEE stewardess in the presence of the whole class was told by his training manager to give the rude trainee a second chance. The CCE recommended the girl be sacked.
Another case was a TRAINEE steward who defied and challenged the trainer to sack him was let off the hook by the training manager. Fortunately for the division,the svp overruled and sacked that gangster-like trainee.
The main reason for not wanting to dismissed those rude and arrogant trainees was "too much admin work would be involved and have to answer to many questions etc..."
Crew who had strong link with the union (not referring to the current union) were also let off the hook even though they had committed serious offences ....reason? management want to maintain good relations with the union. Other crew were sacked and some was even referred to the police eg. chief steward Jim W's case. Worst still would be those who openly opposed the union.
Well well,I hope the current managers and senior staff aren't like those during my time.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Going that extra mile wasn't a big deal for me

As a cabin crew of SIA, I had given some of my passengers services that were considered as extraordinary which to me wasn't a big deal. Many if not all of these passengers did not even write to the company to compliment me.
Here were some of the extra services I've rendered :

  • A pregnant lady travelling from TYO to LAX was upgraded by me to the first class section because the economy class was full and she was seated in a most uncomfortable position. She did not even write in to SIA to compliment me and my crew.
  • An Australian passenger travelling from SIN to SYD was down with a bad flu with a high temperature was given the permission to sleep/lay down in the horizontal position in the crew bunk.
  • A couple was upgraded to the business class because the husband was beaten up by another passenger in the economy class which was chock-a-block.
  • A couple was given a tour of Singapore by yours truly free of charge.
  • Another passenger who was badly injured in a car accident was spoon fed by me as he could not help himself.
To be honest there were other cases which I could not recall at this point of time.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Passenger Audrey Morris remembered me

Janey said...

Hi Luke. Thus far you have wrote about meeting and remembering ex/ current crew. Just an idea, maybe you can also write about Passengers who remember you?Has this happened before? Will be interesting to hear from you / a crew

Thank you and I always enjoy reading your blog.

Hi Janey....Below was a passenger who remembered me

Polly, on behalf of my grandmother, Audrey Morris said...

Mr. Boh Tong, I am not sure if you still remember me. I flew from Singapore to London about 25 - 30 years ago with you at the helm. I was with my husband. I have always been afraid of flying and was so panicky throughout the entire flight.
I still remember you as the steward that was so patient with me during the flight, assuring me that everything was alright. You took so much care of me and husband.

My husband passed away about 5 years ago, and he still talks about you when I refused to take any flights and what a darling you are. Do you remember me? You delivered champagne to my frustrated husband and specially served me ice cream even after meal times when you found out that was my comfort food.

We took a picture when we landed. I will try to find the picture we took together and post it here if that is okay.

 Audrey Morris

 I am typing this on behalf of my grandmother who has showed me the picture you took onboard the plane. I recognized you from your picture and she is so excited you are writing a blog. She's 73 this year!

We will continue to be readers. Stay healthy and continue writing!

Thank you.

Friday, 25 November 2016

SIA's share price isn't attractive anymore

SIA share price is now hovering around $9 plus. Today, it closed at $9.80c up 5 cents. It isn't doing as well as say during my time when it was about $15 to $18. Of course, it has something to do with profitability. For the price to be around $15 to $18, I remembered that SIA's yearly profit was around the region of $1 billion and more. It was the world's most profitable airline but not anymore.
With the introduction of budget carriers and the fierce competition from Middle Eastern airlines, SIA's yearly profits is somewhere from $300 million to $800 million.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The year end school holiday in Singapore and a tribute to our station manager

With the start of the year end school holiday, many staff including cabin and technical crew are on annual leave. The airline will function with skeletal staff and crew. Many will bring their families for vacations.
All flights leaving Singapore will be full during this period (from 19 Nov 2016 till 2 Jan 2017). Not only revenue passengers will be flying by the hundreds, SIA staff and their families too.
As far as I know, the airline will reserve 8 free firm seats in the economy class for its staff on each flight except the ULR (Ultra Long Range) flights like the SIN/SFO/SIN flights. The staff will have to ballot for the firm seats. The rest who are unsuccessful in the balloting may travel if there are seats available (sub-load basis).
The worry of the staff who travel on sub-load basis is that they are not assured of a seat on the flight back to SIN after their vacation. Some who were stuck at outstation would run out of money and would also not be back to work on time. Their children would also miss attending schools.
At the airports one may witness our staff literary begging the station managers to help them secure seats back to SIN. In most overbooked cases, the station managers are unable to help as revenue passengers come first before sub-load staff.
When talking about our staff being left stranded at outstations, the following incident always come to my mind. The place was Melbourne 40 years ago and to cut a long story short, the station manager using his own initiative and risked being punished by his bosses put a dozen of our staff in the upper deck of the first class section (B747) and flew them back to SIN. The flight was chock-a-block and I was an operating crew on that flight. .
Often, this particular station manager, would upgrade our staff when they travel out of Melbourne. He has retired and I think probably has passed away. I would usually prefer not to mention names in my blog but I will make this an exception. This is a tribute I would like to pay to our most helpful and kind Mr Alex Grech (not sure if I spelled it correctly). He once told me "if we could not look after own our staff, how could we look after our revenue passengers?"

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Complained of "criminal intimidation" by an IFS

A complaint of "criminal intimidation" was sent to the NTUC General Secretary and the SVP of Human Resource  by one IFS against another recently. Both IFS are unionists and belong to the opposite camps*. It was rumoured that a police report was also made but could not verify it.

* The 2 camps are the Heart Party and Choice Party. In the cabin crew union election of 2015, Hearty Party handed a huge defeat to the Choice Party, winning all the 22 contested seats.

The complaint was about one IFS threatening to punch the other in his face after latter made a rude remark against the former.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Video interview for cabin crew

The concept of video interview is a new thing in SIA's drive to recruit cabin crew or flight attendants. Video interview was recently introduced for Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.
The first video interview in Singapore was on 13 November this year.
The process of the video interview is explained below:
  • Applicants are invited  to apply online at SIA's website
  • Applicants will be asked to submit a video of themselves doing the self-introduction etc.
  • If selected, applicants will be shortlisted and asked to present themselves at STC for a face to face interview.
  • If the applicants are approved by SIA, they will be asked to go for a medical check-up.
  • On passing the medical and after signing the bond etc, they will start training.
With this new concept of interview, SIA is able to conduct the interview in one day instead of two. It will also do away with renting a hotel area and instead conduct the interview at STC (SIA Training Center). The video interview will reduced cost and manpower usage for SIA.  It will also give SIA an opportunity to select the best people for the job.

Please note that the "Walk-in" interview is still ongoing in Singapore. The next one will be on 26 November.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

What a coincidence!

Leading stewardess Janice and I were working on a flight to London. During the lull period, I visited her galley and chatted with her for a while. I was surprised to find out that she was living in the private apartment which I had sold off a few years earlier. She wasn't the owner but a tenant of the apartment. The rent was $2,500 a month which was more than half of her monthly salary. How could she afford to pay the rent?
"Oh Mr Tan, my boy friend pays the rent" Janice told me with a cheeky smile. In the course of our conversation, I found out that her boy friend lived in Europe and occasionally visited her in Singapore. She would visit her boy friend whenever she stopped in Europe.
I thought to myself most men who could afford would pay for Janice's rent and be her boy friend for she was a lovely, sweet and voluptuous lady.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

My first student to pass the SIA cabin crew video interview

She was the only one at my "Talks" last Friday shortlisted to attend the SIA cabin crew video interview today. In fact, today's interview at STC was the first SIA cabin crew video interview in Singapore. The next is the usual walk-in interview at Pan Pacific Hotel (26 Nov).

I am happy to announce that the girl at my Talks passed today's interview. Below is the message from her after her successful interview (some parts are edited to protect her privacy)

"Good afternoon Mr Tan. Thank God I made it through the interviews.
I followed your advice regarding the smiles, the dressing and grooming just as how you described.

I thought of you and all that you shared. You gave me confidence and comfort.
Will be attending my medical soon and hope I will pass. From the bottom of my heart, no words can describe how thankful I am for you advices and sharings."