If you were wealthy enough to afford your own private jet, probably the last thing you would want to do is stock it with things that reminded you of Abercrombie & Fitch, right?
The 40+ page "Aircraft Standards" manual used by employees working aboard the company's corporate jet was introduced as evidence in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by one of Jeffries former pilots (now 55) who claimed he was fired on the basis of age discrimination and replaced by a younger man.
The environment described in the manual is the stuff of micromanaging urban legend. Here are some of its finer points:
- Flight attendants are hired by a New York-based company called Cosmopolitan Management that provides models and actors "with just the right look and personality [because] appearances do make a difference," to work as event staff, trade show hosts, and personal assistants. The same company also provides staff for Jeffries' home.
- While flying the frantic skies, flight attendants are instructed not to use the phrases "sure" or "just a minute" when addressing either Jeffries or his partner Matthew Smith. Instead, they are instructed to respond to requests by saying "no problem." Problems are not permitted.
Dressing for Excess
- Crew members are provided with the standard uniform of the guy with rage issues questioning his sexuality on every season of The Real World: boxer briefs, jeans, polo shirts, flip flops (to be worn in flight and when greeting passengers), a belt, a winter coat, a hat, gloves, sunglasses, and sweatshirts.
- They are instructed to spritz these items with Abercrombie & Fitch 41 cologne "throughout the duration" of their shifts.
- Winter is when things get complicated. Staff members are only permitted to wear their coats when it is 50 degrees or colder, and collar popping is mandatory (come correct). Buttons and zippers might as well have their own manual:
"Zip the jacket up to the fourth button from the bottom. The lowest button should be left undone, but the next three buttons up should be fastened."
- Hats and gloves are permitted when the temperature is below 40 degrees. Hat brims should be two inches thick and pulled "so that it is approximately in the middle of the forehead," which is to say EXACTLY in the middle of the forehead.
- "All staff must coordinate wearing the sunglasses."
Soundtrack of Adventure
- Crew are required to play Phil Collins' "Take Me Home" over the jets intercom whenever the jet takes off on return flights home.
99 Problems, incl. Bitches
- A five point plan details what to do in the event Jeffries' dogs, Ruby, Trouble, and Sammy are scheduled to fly with their owners. Set aside an hour or so to familiarize yourself with the following seating arrangement:
"When Ruby and Trouble travel, Ruby will sit opposite Michael in the cabin, in Sammy's seat. When Sammy travels, Ruby will sit in Trouble's seat."
- "Matthew's Tea Service" (as it is called in the manual) consists of Assam tea served in the morning and Darjeeling served after 2 p.m. When serving tea, a crew member should lay out one spoon that is 5 ¼ inches long. All silver is to be polished before use and once monthly.
- Before guests go to sleep, flight attendants are instructed to "spray the bedding with sleep spray."
- The Abercrombie & Fitch jet, like the headquarters of Men in Black, is a 100% fingerprint-free zone. Finger prints must not be visible on seat belts, "the credenza, cabin door, galley door, [or] the cabinet doors in the lavatory."
Respectable Standards of Neatness
- Vacuuming of the aircraft must be performed in "smooth, even lines." Wire hangers are not permitted, ever (probably).
Rules for the Shitter
- Toilet paper must not have its end square folded, on pain of death.
Got an Abercrombie & Fitch employment horror story you'd like to share? (The time you put Trouble in Sammy's plane seat, perhaps?) Please do so below.