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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Promoted to leading steward in 1969

Two years after flying as a galley steward (lowest rank)I was appointed as an LS (leading steward)I was not paid much more except I was given a $75 monthly responsibility allowance for having 3 subordinates working under me on each flight(B707)plus looking after the bar sales and consumption items like whisky,brandy,perfumes,colognes etc...

Life as an LS was hectic. Besides serving paxs,I have to make sure the inflight service in the EY (economy class)which was under my charge ran smoothly and completed on time. I was also in charge of crew welfare and answerable to my CS (chief steward).
Selling of bar items was also a killer. Of the liquor for sales we only carried 3 bottles of Black Label whisky and 3 bottles of Remy Martin Brandy for sales.The demand for these 2 items were very strong. On flights into Japan,each pax was allowed a max of 3 bots of liquor by the custom authorities.Black Label was expensive in Japan. The cost of a bot of BL was 3 times more than the duty free ones we sold on board. Naturally the Japanese paxs would want to buy all the BL from us. We only had 3 bots and this caused us alot of headaches for we had to face the wrath fo these paxs. We were chided and scolded by the demanding Japanese paxs for not carrying more BL.
I remember on a flight where one of our Japanese stewardesses was abused by a Japanese pax not able to sell him even a bot of BL. In their own language,he abused her until she broke down and cried. I was so damn furious with that pax that I almost had a fight with him on the plane if not for a caucasian pax who stopped me. I was mad with the Japanese pax because the stewardess was bowing and kowtowing and at the same time apologising profusely in between sobs and he shouted at her.
I lost 5 kilograms in weight in the first week I was made an LS.

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