Thursday, February 28, 2013

Terry my ex-buddy Flight Attendant, a sad story

The phone on the side table next to my bed rang! It was 2 am. "Damn it!" I cursed silently. Who could it be? Each time the phone rang in the middle of the night when you are in a hotel somewhere in another country, it would make you wonder why the urgency.
Usually, your colleagues would not call you at such unearthly hour. They knew you need the sleep because you might be flying off the next morning.
However,if you pick up the receiver and the operator told you it was an overseas call, it will get you worried. Something could have happened back home would be the first thing that comes to your mind.

I picked up the receiver and answered the call. " Sorry to disturb at this hour.." came the soft voice of Terry the steward working with me on the flight from Singapore. He told me he was scared and couldn't sleep. He felt the hotel room he was in, was haunted. Terry pleaded with me to let him share my room with him. Since, I had two beds, I invited him over.

It was in Hong Kong that night, 45 years ago Terry and I shared a hotel room at The Miramar Hotel ( the old building was since demolished).We were young newbie stewards then, in our early 20s. Terry was not only scared of haunted hotel rooms but the senior crew he worked with. Poor Terry, he was timid and frighten all the time. It wasn't that he was not good at his work but the seniors like to bully him. Terry wasn't sociable and that was a disadvantage in the airline.
As newbies, we should be outgoing and mixed with fellow crew but not Terry.

We slept very late because of the story Terry told me regarding how scary he felt in his room. I was also affected by the story too and couldn't have a good night rest.

The next day, we had to work from HK to Singapore. The aircraft was full to the brim and we had to work very hard.

Again, on this flight Terry got into trouble with the seniors. They accused him of being a snail (slow in his work) and he got a bad appraisal. Poor Terry!

After the flight, Terry and I went separate ways. It was a few months later that I heard Terry had quit his job. He couldn't handled the stress of the job as well as the seniors.

Terry was out of job for a long time. He was in and out of the Mental Hospital a few times. Apparently, I was told Terry had a mental breakdown after leaving the airline.

Not long after, Terry committed suicide. I felt terribly sad. I wish I could have helped him challenge those seniors. But Terry was such a nice and meek person who won't even hurt a fly let alone fight with people.

BT: In the old days, the junior crew had to be "guided" by the senior crew. They were like "gods" and infallible. If a newbie complain against a senior, the whole department of senior crew will make life unbearable for the complainant.

Today, it's a different story. The juniors are holding the "upper hand". The company would encourage the juniors to spy on the seniors and give feedback to the office. Also, the juniors these days are better educated and not "hungry" and would quit the job if they do not like it.


Stories said...

Was it the one who was working in Control for some time around the year 1976?

Boh Tong said...

nope Terry left in 1969

Anonymous said...

You are right,BT.I did a flight with "T" in 1972 to HKG via BKK.T was working in F/c on B707 and I was working in EY.
30 mins after take off, the poor guy was kicked out of F/c by C/S and I was told to work in F/c(that time, I was in my 5th solo flight).Luckily everything went on smoothly,all the way to HKG and back to SIN, and I had to work in F/c.Poor T.