It’s not part of my job spec

You’ve gotta love the rail companies… in this case East Coast Trains.

Or more specifically the staff on East Coast Trains.

Let me explain why you’ve gotta love them.  I’m sat sitting in my seat on the train right now and the guy with the refreshment trolley has just gone past.  Nothing exciting about that, I hear you say and you’d be right.

But I’m in the last row of seats before the vestibule and the guy has parked his trolley so he can have a telephone conversation with, I assume, his union rep.  Here’s what I heard (word for word) (by the way, it was said in a relatively aggressive tone of voice):

‘Hello Brian…

‘Yes, you’ve gotta do something about this.  They put an announcement out on the tannoy that said ‘if you need any help, just ask a member of staff.’  They can’t be saying things like that… well, passengers are asking me things.

‘I know but they’re asking me about wi-fi and I’ve never been told anything about wi-fi and I’m fed up with passengers having a go at me because I can’t help them.’

(At this point I could just imagine what the trolley guy was saying to passengers to get their backs’ up.)

Let’s re-join the conversation – and by now the volume has gone up a notch.

‘Well, you’re going to have to have a word with him… I don’t know anything about wi-fi.  It’s not part of my job description to know anything about it…

‘No, you have to have a word.  It’s not part of my job description, it never has been and it never will be.  I don’t get paid to know anything about wi-fi.  If I’m to know more I should be paid more.

‘Sort it out Brian and when you’ve had a word with him, let me know what he says

Because he’ll try to fob you off… okay then, bye bye.’

Hmmm… pretty unbelievable in 2013 don’t you think?

I guess I just don’t understand the mentality.  To me if my job description says ‘…deliver fantastic passenger service…’ then I’d want to do just that.  I’d actively go and learn about wi-fi so I could pass on that information and not have passengers getting annoyed with me.

You see, I think the guy is looking at things from the wrong end of the scale – he’s looking at inputs not outputs.

Never mind… leopards, spots and all that.

It did make me smile, though.

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