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Friday, July 25, 2014

Ex chief steward upset with the union not the airline

We came face to face but I couldn't recognise him. It was a blow to his ego. "Come la you are SS Tan and you can't recognise me?" an old guy pointed at himself to me. As soon as I heard that voice, I knew who he was. " Of course you are James (not his real name)...ahh... I am sorry James it's my eyesight which isn't good these days", I blamed myself rather than blaming him for putting on a lot of weight and looking older than his age.

James gestured me to have a seat at his table where he had a bottle of beer and a half filled glass. "Can I get you a drink?" he asked me. " James, you know I don't drink beer " I replied. " I will get you a coffee then", James said to me. " No thanks James, I don't drink in the night or else I can't sleep", I politely declined.

James told me he wasn't working after he left the airlines 13 years ago. He was a chief steward back then. He didn't blame the airline for not being promoted to the ifs position but instead on the union for, in his words " they jammed my promotion". He was visibly upset with a union leader during his time whom he blamed for stopping the company from promoting him. He asked me whether I've met that union leader recently and I said yes. He cursed and swore at the union leader's name.
James pointed to a group of young men who looked like thugs drinking at a table nearby. "Those are my boys", he boasted to me. " One word from me and they will not hesitate to beat up that SOB" he told me as he downed his glass of beer. " I know where that SOB is hanging around", he said angrily.

I calmed him down by reminding him that we are much older now and should forgive one another ( he is 63 years old). Besides, I told him that guy will get his fair share of karma or retribution.

We chatted like in the good old days. James and I did get along well in the airline although it wasn't easy to work with him. He was quite an unenthusiastic fellow when it comes to work.
He also shared with me about ex crew he has met over the years and told me most of them are driving taxis and some are sick and lonely.
James told me he has lost contact with all his ex colleagues. He now spends his time drinking beer at that neighbourhood coffee shop almost everyday. He lives on the rent (2k +) he collects every month from his 5 roomed HDB flat. He lives with his unmarried sister and aged mother.
We exchanged phone numbers and I left after 30 minutes, promising to get in touch with one another.


Anonymous said...

5 years flying junior:
Good morning mr bt,
The alleged ifs that spit into cockpit food I predict
Is another one that will get beaten up outside and I am
Surprised he is still flying. He should be demoted to gs.
Best regards,
5 years flying junior

Boh Tong said...

Good morning "Mr 5 years flying junior"
has he wrong you in any way? Dun think it was true he spat into the cockpit crew's food.

Anonymous said...

5 years flying junior:
Hi mr bt,
He did not wrong me in anyway, but I am sure he is not fit to be even a leader as a leading. I worked with him recently, he doesn't treat us as colleagues but treat us as clowns and I can see he enjoy by stressing colleagues.
The crew list got recycled and recycled crew mc call up and mc. All unnecessary cost and resources wasted .
Those that worked with him will know.

Best regards,
5 years flying junior

Karma said...

Give some respect to the seniors for one day you will be a senior too and that is if you are not sack. Arrogant young man or woman your time will come.

Anonymous said...

5 years flying junior says:
Hi karma,
I think you did not work with him before, try cofing a flt to fly with him before you decide if he deserve respect or the crew are arrogant .
Best regards
5 years flying junior

Anonymous said...

Different superior has different style and I am sure you have own way to do your things or work. How would you like to be criticised by your colleagues on your style or habits? I am sure you won't feel good rite?

My point been, manage your bosses and dun let that ego manage you. Systems are thought up by human and it's never perfect. If the system fails, it's not your fault or end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Long time no chat SS. Hope you're in good health. There are Many such bitter ex CC outside. All are still upset with the short ass, EC. Until they can forgive him, their bitterness will not go away and instead eat them up inside. If its any consolation, shortie has got 3 stents inserted for blockages in his arteries. So like you said karma. For me I wish he had done it to me earlier, then I would be even be doing better now. The best revenge one could get is to be successful especially if shortie was responsible for you leaving CC. When he hears that you're doing well, he'll know he did your a favor and should have instead left you to rot in CC. If you're reading this....THXs Shortie Ch*w!

Anonymous said...

The attitudes of the unionists were cultivated by management themselves.

Allowing them to influence promotions, disciplinary proceedings, as a form of barter trade. It was leverage for management during collective agreements.

In the end, the members, staff were mere pawns in a political game. Eventually how did things turn out?
EH & gang fool around with crabs and seafood... where has it got them in life? Fame? fortune? luxuries?

Its how each of us make our lives meaningful. Being a crew was a wonderfull time for most of us, yet with all the experiences, friendships, hardships, heartaches, gambling, smoking, drinking, backstabbing, gossips, COFs, DI, CI, retrenchments.. we must make meaning of it all.

Spending day after day in coffee shops drinking coffee or beer and feeling bitter is not living.

Meet up with old pals but laugh and tease about days gone by... and say farewell till another time to laugh again.

Me? I was sacked...