My Treatment at British Virtual Airways ROUND 2
Some of you will recall that recently, I posted a message here about my treatment at BA Virtual. Some flightsim and avsim.com members and a member of the BA Board of Directors asked me to reapply to BA, assuring me that my first experience was a simple misunderstanding. Others mistakenly thought I was queue jumping, which is hard for me to comprehend, because I just wanted to keep my place in line. Because I wanted to fly David Maltby’s BAC 111 so badly, and no other VA flies her, and I had been working with a graphic artist to redevelop her paintkit, I thought I’d give it another go.
On my second attempt to join BA Virtual, my treatment from HR Representative Antony McGarr and HR Director Tom Mosely was beyond appalling. Here are the email chains for you to see. I’ve edited little bits to protect the graphic artist’s privacy and for length, but nothing of any consequence. I am hoping the viewership here admonishes these people for their outrageous conduct, and I am somehow allowed to join due to public pressure. If I showed contempt, as they accuse, surely a little distain for their conduct is justified? If I am wrong, I welcome thoughtful criticism of how I have handled this debacle. However, I truly believe people who are willing to understand the details will see that the staff at BA are the ones who demonstrated completely unwarranted contempt and rudeness for an applicant whose only mistake was challenging them on lying to me, and getting the facts wrong. If I'm wrong, I'll send a note of apology. If I'm right, I'll complain to vatsim. You decide.
The Executive Summary:-
After waiting 3 weeks, I was told to correct a minor, fixable error on my app. When I contacted HR as instructed, I was informed that my application was deleted! I would have to re-apply and wait again.
-When I appealed to the CEO, I was again told to re-apply, and made fun of me for my “presumed sense of influence.” He instructed me to go to the end of 137 person long list (when I was at #41, which meant several more weeks of waiting). I thought this unfair, contrary to what I was originally told, and just plain rude.
-When I posted my original story on avsim and flightsim, members privately encouraged me to re-apply, including a BA Board Member. So, wanting to fly David Maltby’s BAC 111, which only BA allows, I thought surely we could resolve our differences. Based on their encouragement, I decided to give it another go.
-When I re-applied, as per HR staffer and CEO instructions, the very same HR staffer immediately terminated my app because he didn't like my avsim post!!! When I appealed to the HR Dir., he wrote an appallingly rude confirmation of my termination, and obviously got a lot of facts wrong as well.
The Detailed Summary:
HR Staff Antony McGarr wrote:
We regret to inform you that your request to join British Airways Virtual was rejected at the application stage for the following reason: I am unsure why you now wish to apply again, especially after your posting in AVSIM. I tried to explain last time that had you just sent me another application, then I was fully prepared to respect your place in the queue but you did not seem prepared to listen to me. You then wrote to the CEO as someone with "more common sense", and decided to go off on one again. I find that quite offensive to be honest; I am a health care professional in my real life and consider myself to have integrity and common sense. I think taking into consideration your dissatisfaction with British Airways Virtual, then it would be best for all parties if you found a VA more able to satisfy your requirements. I am sure you will perceive this as being treated "shabbily" again, as you put it, but I think we are clearly just falling short of your expectations. For that I can only apologise and wish you luck in finding a VA that you are happy with.
Antony McGarr British Airways Virtual HR Team www.bavirtual.co.uk
So, you have rather prejudically terminated my app again. You indicated you were prepared to respect my place in the queue. When? You informed me that you had deleted my app., sir, before I even emailed you to voice my concern. Thus, either former statement is a lie, or the latter one is. Integrity and common sense has nothing to do with being a health care professional. Do we have to have credentials to fly with BA? I am a former ambulance paramedic, soldier with the Canadian Armed Forces, and I am currently a health inspector. I have degrees in law and education, and I am a teacher in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers. Does this make me a better person? I should hope not. I'm just a person who wants to fly a BAC-1-11 I've spent hundreds of hours on with a little structure and fellowship.
I'm going to ask you to reconsider your decision. Let us put the past in the past. My post on avsim (and there is another on flightsim.com with many more responders) is completely factual. 100% of the comments on flightsim.com were very supportive. A member of your Board has even privately contacted me to ask me to re-apply, and is looking into the details of why I was treated like crap. He told me that if BA wouldn't make things right, I should take my grievance to VATSIM, as they track this sort of thing with VAs that want to partner with them. I am prepared to do that and a lot more if you want to continue with this arrogant attitude. If I am to be denied, surely it must be because I failed your entrance exam, or some section of your code of conduct, which would require membership in the first place. I cannot see any reason why, as mature adults, you and I cannot put our differences of perspective behind us and allow my application to go forward, without prejudice. I ask for fair treatment, for my place in the queue to be respected, and for a little dignity. If you ignore me, then be prepared for a battle. I didn't make any errors in the app THIS time, and was invited to re-apply by the CEO and a Board member. So, what will it be?
Mr. McGarr replies by informing me he will forward the matter to Tom Mosely, HR Director, for a final decision. Thus, here is the email I sent to Mr. Mosely:
To: Tom Moseley
I understand that Antony McGarr has referred my case to you for a final say. I would just like to summarize my position: About a month ago, I applied to BA, made an error on the ivao box, and after 3 weeks of waiting, got an email informing me of the error. I was told it was correctable if I got in touch right away, which I did. The response was shocking: It was a fatal error and my app. was already deleted, I would have to re-apply. The waiting list was twice as long as when I started at that point, making for a 6 to 8 week wait. This seemed quite unfair and totally unnecessary. So, I appealed to keep my app. position to Mr. McGarr and the CEO. The CEO replied (in a very mocking tone) that with my "presumed" influence, I should have no trouble flying elsewhere, etc., and completely ignored every point I tried to make. Neither one of them cared about a BAC-111 I had worked on for the site, and their tone was unmistakably rude and dismissive. They seemed to think I wanted to jump the line and be treated differently. I did not. I just wanted to join without having to wait another 2 months because of a simple error, especially one that I was told was entirely correctable. So, in my frustration, I posted an article on Avsim and Flightsim about this experience, which I did not embellish one iota. 80% of the respondents on Avsim and 100% of the respondents on Flightsim were very supportive. I was told to complain to Vatsim, which I have not yet done. More importantly, a Board member from BA very courteously told me he would look into the matter, AND he strongly encouraged me to re-apply!!! I took this advice to heart, and re-applied, because a few other posts also re-assured me that BA was actually not at all like what I had experienced to-date. When I did so, Mr. McGarr promptly terminated my application with extreme prejudice, a move which I found profoundly outrageous, as both him and the CEO had just finished telling me that this was precisely what I had to do to get things going again. He mentioned the Avsim post, which he found offensive. I replied to him that everything in that post was factual, that (most of) the respondents were very supportive, and that a Board member asked me to reapply. I suspect he then realized he was quite out of order, as his final response was to put my fate in your hands for a final decision. All I ask is to have my position in line respected (this time), and be treated with a bit of fairness and dignity. I spend a lot of time flying this BAC, as it is real world certified and a lot of fun to fly because of the lack of automation, and would like to do so with a bit of structure and comradery that only BA offers (because only you let members fly her). In exchange, you get a real world pilot, a fantastic new version of the BAC-111, and someone who will re-post a fabulous ending to an awkward start on Avsim and Flightsim. What say you sir? Will BA give me a chance and let bygones be bygones, or am I to be treated like a pyriah, terminated before even having a chance to join because of a misunderstanding that snowballed into this rather sad story? You have to admire my persistence, if nothing else... Believe me, you won't be sorry for letting me in. I would like to start a fresh page with Mr. McGarr and your CEO... I await your decision. Regards,
Tom Mosely’s response:
Hello Lorne, I have seen all of your emails to both the HR department and the CEO and I can say all I have seen nothing but contempt for the management team here at British Airways Virtual. As has already been said by much of the team here, any further applications will be refused. Someone with the kind of attitude that you have shown on several occasions is not welcome here at British Airways Virtual. I wish you luck with your search for another VA. Please note that we have sent you several emails explaining the situation to you and any further emails from you will now be ignored.
Kind Regards, Tom Moseley Director of Human Resources
British Airways Virtual http://www.bavirtual.co.uk
My final response, edited for length:
You wrote: "Contempt for the management team... As has already been said by much of the mgmt. team here, further applications will be refused." You obviously cannot think or read with any degree of accuity, sadly. The only person there who has denied my application is Antony McGarr. That is 1 (one) person... The only people I have expressed anything close to contempt for is Antony, for obvious reasons, and perhaps your CEO, who ignored much of the content of my letter to him. When the CEO did reply, he mocked me with my "presumed influence" which was entirely outrageous, completely uncalled for, beyond rude, and just plain odd.