It was announced last night that there is to be (another) major overhaul of the rail system. Whatever our views on how the railways should be run, we probably all have memories and stories of rail journeys, some good, some bad – and in the nature of things, it is the bad ones that tend to be remembered most vividly. Sometimes the reason for delay is entirely outwith the control of anyone associated with the rail network – such as severe weather or vandalism. As in so many areas of life, it is how it is handled that makes all the difference: say nothing, leave people on their own for ages with no information, and they become angry and frustrated. Apologise, keep them informed, ensure that they have something to eat or drink, and they are more likely to appreciate your concern, and realise that the fault isn’t yours. I remember one occasion when I worked in London, when the train came to a grinding halt one sunny Friday evening. We waited, and we waited. Then someone came on the tannoy to say that as we had gone through the last station (at 100mph) someone had jumped in front of the train. The poor driver was in no state to communicate with us. Train staff, like many people who work in many other professions can face danger, and also trauma. As we would urge businesses to treat customers and passengers with respect, let’s encourage people to treat their staff with respect, and not just as objects to be abused
Lord, things go wrong, that are at times outwith anyone’s control, but how such situations are handled is crucial to subsequent attitudes. Help management in businesses and other sectors to realise the importance of respecting customers or passengers, to keep them informed and supported. Help customers and passengers to respect staff, and not subject them to abuse
PS Loch Tummel from Queen’s View
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