Tricky this – one person’s funny, is another’s irritation. I think passengers like staff to be individual, human and warm. While, if you are waiting in the rain not much is funny, many people value relief from corporate speak – being ‘authentic’ in modern management jargon.

On the train to Manchester earlier this week the guard was priceless. As expected he reeled off the usual information about tickets that are not valid on that service (why don’t they start on a positive note with the tickets that are valid?) and warnings about the dire consequences of having the ‘wrong’ ticket. But at the end, he said: “… sorry to sound like the prophet of doom but the ticket system is complicated.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

One comment

  1. Dave H says:

    Aside from the pre-recorded stuff variously referred to as Mary Poppins (ordering passengers around like a super-nanny) or Sonya (gets onya nerves) there are some excellent staff using a far wider knowledge of their train service than any online guide to assist the passenger.

    On a Saturday night coming in to Newcastle the guard was priceless – reminding incoming passengers that it was a Saturday and the last train back to Durham left much earlier – so they had to be sure to catch it or have enough money for their taxi home.

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