AUGUST 7, 2015
To My Friends and Coworkers,
It is with elation and a heavy dose of guilt and shame that I admit that I’ve been typing messages to all of you APFA members from my deluxe cubicle at American Airlines Global Headquarters, located a few blocks away from the APFA’s decoy headquarters building in Euless Texas. Finally admitting to all of you that I have simply been rewording communication from AA employee relations to appear to be from your union gives me great joy. I feel as if I’ve instantly lost about 500 lbs! Why didn’t I do this sooner? Well, collecting two hefty paychecks to support my cat-hoarding disorder which has existed 16 of my 29 years at American was one reason.
Whether my office was in the air or under Doug Parker’s desk, they have both been my home away from home. And, above all, my fellow union reps (only the ones who’ve lapped up what I’ve been pouring like my kitties) the executives at AA HDQ and flight attendants that never questioned what I typed out to you, have sort of been like family. Flying has provided some of the best memories of my life; giving me a chance to artfully tap into the flight attendant psyche, stumbling into the hotel in Paris at 4AM having learned the deepest, darkest secrets of crewmembers that would later become so useful to me. My times partying with Scott Kirby and other AA execs prior to the merger in the homes of well connected political officials is one of the highpoints of my career. Thank you for the opportunity. So treasured by me also are the valuable experiences I charmed my way into like those unforgettable military charters during Desert Storm and of course the lower-lobe galley. [<<please insert item to show you worked trips and can relate to line flight attendants here]
It was my love for the job that kept me doing it for so long. But it was exhausting and when I got the opportunity to take part in the fabulousness that flight attendant concessions had created at AA Headquarters, I just couldn’t turn away from the light. Could you have resisted the temptation? I think not! And you must remember, I have my cats to think of as well. As I meet and fly with the new hires and see their enthusiasm, I know that I and everyone I’ve had the privilege to work with at APFA (who didn’t cross me and Laura Glading) have at least been successful at fooling somebody 🙂
I’ve always had a sweet tooth when it comes to new-hires! I always used the DC-10 lower-lobe as a trap of sorts! That’s where I met Brian, so sweet and innocent, and his girlfriend so unprepared to deal with an experienced cougar like me. LOL. The sweet memories! I feel so close to you and since I don’t have any real friends, this hotline is really the only way I can share. Thank you!
There have been some close calls, and I want to get out before it gets any worse, because APFA is a house-of-cards that is starting to shake as I write this letter and just one sigh could bring it down I fear. I hope Laura Glading is able to hold it together long enough to get to the other side and keep APFA autonomous (in other words, able to do whatever the hell they want). If enough people can just look the other way long enough, some of the other chosen ones will be able to jump ship and join me in the office at AA before it all comes down around the flight attendants we’ve been pretending to represent. I’ll be sure to try to distract all of you with all the literary masterpieces I begin churning out from AA Corporate Communications, so please keep your eyes peeled. Please don’t hate me or talk behind my back oror ask that the APFA lock me out. I promise, I can be trusted!
I view the work ahead of me as a continuation of the deeds I’ve already been doing on behalf of AA and sending out in APFA newsletters. It feels so AAmazing to finally be able to stop the charade and just come clean to all of you who are sweating it out on the line. If you recall, when the merger closed, we took full advantage of any momentum and goodwill that existed. With the majority of management’s focus geared toward completing the integration, the changes over the past year have been incredibly challenging to flight crews. I cringe as I look down from the ivory tower and was so relieved when I was offered a permanent position here at AA headquarters as I would rather kill one of my cats than work the aisle on a Super 80 with you, my dear friends. Besides, Doug and the other executives told me and Laura that we’re smart, special, pretty and important too 🙂 Who doesn’t need to hear that?
I have helped to select an interim replacement for myself at APFA, who I will be sending messages to which he can cut and paste into the APFA newsletter template for distribution to all of you. Hopefully, he will understand that I am the only one who will be using the APFA Communications Chair position as a springboard into a sweetheart deal at the new American. I suggest he gets nice and comfortable and takes on the position permanently. I really am a sweet person. I love animals, doesn’t that make it all ok?
In conclusion, I want to thank each of you for allowing me use all of you, selling you down the river so I can live my best life. It means so much to me and my animals. Whatever nasty emails you sent me or how much smack you talked about me on the internet, you drove me to override my conscience and go for the gusto! Although I think of many of you as dirt under my feet, I know we have a common purpose; improving the lives of our coworkers, so good luck with that! I am gone and am thinking about which luxury automobile and high end condo I’m in the market for now that I’ve crossed over the golden bridge. That is all that matters and all that ever will.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“I’m On My Way”
This above letter is a parody. Below is the actual text.
A special message from Leslie Mayo, National Communications Chair
To my friends and coworkers,
It is with excitement and a healthy dose of sadness that I announce I’ll be leaving union work to take a job with AA corporate communications. While I am truly excited about this new challenge, I am also sad to be leaving the union I love and to which I have dedicated much of the last 16 of my 29 years at American.
Whether my office was in the air or at union headquarters, they have both been my home away from home. And, above all, my fellow union reps, HQ staff and flight attendants have been like family. Flying has provided some of the best memories of my life: from New York all-nighters, to 4-day Paris layovers, to an unforgettable military charter flight to Rome during Desert Storm, and of course the DC-10/ lower-lobe galley. I don’t need to tell you that this job is an incomparable experience and an incredible way of life. For me, it has been an absolute blast.
It was my love for the job that drove me to union work. I wanted to help my coworkers who felt like they didn’t have a voice as well as keep the job great for those who would come after me. As I meet and fly with new hires and see their enthusiasm, I know that I and everyone I’ve had the privilege to work with at APFA have been successful.
There have been some turbulent times, and there will be more ahead, but APFA is strong. I hope that APFA is able to remain autonomous. If everyone pulls together, APFA will continue to prevail and provide the resources and representation that Flight Attendants deserve long after we are gone.
I view the work ahead of me as an extension of the work I have done with APFA. When the merger closed, we had tremendous momentum and goodwill. With the majority of management’s focus geared toward completing the integration, the changes over the past year or so have been incredibly challenging for flight crews. This management team’s decision to bring in a longtime union rep says a lot about its priorities. This is the only management team American has had with whom I would even consider working.
My interim replacement is as dedicated a union rep as I have met. Brian Clark is the former LUS Communications Chair and the current PHX Vice President. He has the credentials, the experience and the ability the Communications Department needs. With any luck, he will agree to take on the job’s responsibilities full-time.
In conclusion, I want to thank each of you for helping bring out the best in me. Whatever your methods, you drove me to strive further. For that, I will be forever grateful. We didn’t always agree, but we always had a common purpose: improving the lives of our coworkers. That is all that matters and the only thing that ever will.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”