Dear Mr McBride Part One
edited: Wednesday, July 10, 2002
By Allen Murray (AKA Allen Hall)
Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2002
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E.mails to the boss
To: Mr T E McBride C.E.O. April 7 2002
From: Capt. A Hall
Dear Mr McBride,
Ref: Your telephone call of April 7.
I regret that I was unable to take your call personally. As you will be aware, I was, at the time of your call, some 400 miles away, over the Atlantic Ocean. Miss Jennifer Thomlinson apprised me of the content of your message and I feel that it is appropriate to answer you by e-mail.
May I state quite firmly that the circumstances and the ensuing complaints have been greatly overstated. The allegations made by the manager of the Athens Hilton are almost without foundation. I believe that he referred to an unprovoked attack on the piano player in the Residents’ Lounge. I concede that there were a few cross words over his reluctance to play Zorba the Greek more than once, but perhaps he should have realised that we had practiced the dance in the bar for several hours and were eager to demonstrate to our Greek hosts that we were all part of a big global community and that their culture was our culture and so on. I am still convinced that the lid of the piano simply fell on his fingers and I believe he hopes to be able to play again by mid September.
The misunderstanding with the chef was due entirely to his lack of Basic English. At no time did I accuse him of having dubious sexual habits. The gesture that I made was meant to convey a suggestion that he shake the ketchup bottle more vigorously before serving.
I turn now to the regrettable incident concerning the dead rat. As you are doubtless aware, it is incumbent on a crew commander to ensure the safety of all food served to any crewmember. The rodent in question had expired on the road leading to the hotel. It had been my intention to advise the hotel management at the earliest opportunity for reasons of food safety. It was not my intention to infer that it had been served up as a constituent of the Moussaka and I regret any confusion that may have arisen from its discovery on my plate.
Neither my crew nor I was aware that the gentleman who objected to the Traditional Greek Dancer’s presence in my room was the British Ambassador. His accusation that I referred to him as a “bloody chinless wonder” is completely without foundation. I did not, at any time assault him, but I remember seeing him trip and fall as he left my room. I did not offer to staunch the bleeding as I am not qualified in First Aid and the words “public schoolboy woose” were never uttered.
With reference to the discovery of washing-up liquid in the ornamental fountain in the hotel lobby, I can only imagine that the bottle that my First Officer had purchased to take home must have fallen into the water. The damage caused to the carpet was not as serious as alleged, and I very much doubt that it was worth the amount of money stated. I feel that the bottle should have carried a warning about the bleach content in any case.
I trust that these notes will clear up any misunderstanding.
Jenny, can you please send this to McBride as soon as I have left for Malaga. I don’t want the old buzzard hounding me on the phone.
To: Mr T E McBride C.E.O. April 8 2002
From: Capt. A Hall
Dear Mr McBride.
Your phone message, received when I was in Malaga has been passed to me by Jennifer.
It was an unfortunate slip on my part to fail to clarify to Jennifer that the last few lines of my previous e-mail were not part of my message to you. I can well understand your indignation, but I hasten to explain that the ‘Old Buzzard’ referred to was not your good self but the Operations Secretary who is affectionately known by that nickname.
I accept without question that a captain is responsible for the actions of his crew, but I feel it unjust to hold me responsible for a paternity suit brought against my First Officer. I have taken the matter up with him and he assures me that no promises of matrimony were made and that the lady in question was already showing signs of intoxication prior to the visit to his room.
I agree wholeheartedly that the matter of crew discipline needs to be addressed at the earliest opportunity.