Cathay execs pushy for airborne PR exercise

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 December, 1999, 12:00am

You're probably aware that when the clock strikes midnight, China Southern's top executives will be up in the air pushing Y2K safety.

But did you know that Cathay Pacific managers also would be up there pushing drink trolleys? Lai See hears that at least one CX exec will be spending the big night aloft, but the airline won't name names.

We thought the whole thing smacked of copycatting. Wasn't Cathay following in China Southern's PR-stunt footsteps? Absolutely not, says spokesman Levina Chan.

These jaunts are a regular occurrence, and have been for years.

Everyone on the Cathay management team is obliged to go along for the occasional ride.

'We don't see why they should be rostered off,' Ms Chan said. 'If we don't see the need to stop a flight, why should we stop regular activities?' She says the exercise is for managers to 'roll up their sleeves and serve drinks and help with the duty free trolleys, putting themselves in the shoes of the crew'.

It allows managers to 'understand the concerns and frustrations' of their in-flight underlings.

The useful programme has already helped managers discover the No 1 source of crew stress; having people who don't know what they're doing serving drinks and helping with the duty free trolley.

There's always the outside chance that the millennium doom prophecies will come true.

First, a bunch of locusts will flit about. Then the planet will explode in a big ball of apocalyptic flame.

So naturally greeting card makers are hoping to make a few bucks out of it.

This holiday season, American Greetings, the world's largest publicly held greeting card company increased its crop of religious and inspirational offerings by 15 per cent. There are cards for Christians, Jews, and multi-faith friendly cards full of vague references to 'higher beings'.

We're told company research has shown a sudden increase in their popularity.

Lai See knows what that's all about.

With the world's end looming, people are getting in some last-minute brown nosing to their divinity of choice - to ensure something heavenly is on the cards.

We've been passed a list of Reasons To Enjoy the Y2K Problem: You like midnight phone calls from irate chief executives.

You believe crisis is good for organisations. It brings focus to your work and builds good, strong, team spirit.

You'd rather drink coffee than champagne on New Year's Eve.

You enjoyed your grandparent's stories about the Great Depression and would like to experience them for yourself.

The excitement of watching your systems fail is better than bungee jumping.

You bought a magic bullet from a software sales person.

If you go and see the new James Bond film, The World is Not Enough, try analysing it from a 'WWJD perspective'.

We didn't know what that meant either. We stumbled across it in Thomas Carder's movie review.

Apparently, it's Christian lingo for 'What Would Jesus Do?' The movie critic at the 'Christian Analysis of American Culture' Web site asked this question as he reviewed 007's latest antics.

It seems he spotted some 'female anatomy ghosting through thin clothing'.

And Mr Carder is disturbed by the film's focus on such 'gender-specific prominences'.

He also noted that the film didn't feature as many cool gadgets as Bonds of the past.

Said the Baptist: 'I guess the writers replaced the need for ingenuity and creativity required for innovative gadgetry with ignominy.' So there is the WWJD perspective.

You now know what Jesus would have said if he'd ditched his saving-all-humanity job to write Bond movie critiques.