Thursday, 21 July 2011
This one is even more influential.
It was quite frequent to have dignitaries,politicians, movie stars and famous people flying with us but it's rare to have one chatting with the crew.
On one of my non stop London/S'pore flights of 14 hours I had the honour to be able to sit down and chatted with a distinguished passenger by the name of Mr. K (not his real name). He was feeling bored and unable to sleep half way through the flight and beckoned me to his seat (first class ok). Before we started our conversation, I got my crew to serve him a cup of coffee.
During our conversation of about an hour, I discovered Mr K was a hired consultant to the Singapore government. He was flying down to Singapore to advise the government on how to invest it's vast wealth.
At the same time, he was to be in Singapore to play golf with the late Dr Goh Keng Swee as well as to have a meeting with the then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Had I knew who Mr K was from the beginning, I would not have talked with him for that long and that much. We talked and discussed about politics,economics and even religion ( those subjects were taboo on the flight).
Mr K was a British of Jewish descent. He was amazed at how much I knew about the Old Testament Jewish stories.
After our long talk and noticing that Mr. K was getting sleepy, I excused myself and let him rest.
A week later, to my surprise, my SVP showed me a copy of a letter written by Mr. K to our company Chairman. In it, he praised me for keeping him occupied through part of his flight. He also stated that I was knowledgeable about many things and that it was good to have employees like myself.
My SVP never liked me personally because I was frank and outspoken in my views toward work. I was rather critical of certain cabin crew policy and that earned me as a the title of "arrogant and rude" staff.
I was never rewarded for any effort that I had put in towards work be it how constructive they may be.
This time round with Mr. K's compliment of me to such a high level of the management, my SVP had not much of a choice but rewarded me with a double increment in my salary for that year.
After that flight, I have never met Mr. K again.
Thank you very much Mr. K!