Friday, August 25, 2006

Stupidity - Day Two!

I’m still on my current passionate bandwagon of questioning what I see as plain stupidity in management.

Today I want to get another one off my chest.

How many times do you sit on a train as a paying passenger and an announcement comes across the very poor quality speaker system that is not comprehensible due to the equipment or the clarity of the speakers voice or both?

My simple point is;

Why doesn’t the manager responsible for this shambles simply sit in the train as 'customer' for a few minutes and listen to such rubbish and then do something about it? Surely it is not beyond the wit of man (sorry … person) to do that as a manager and then arrange for the speakers to be replaced with some that actually work so that the clear speaking announcers can be heard. If it is the problem of the annoucers voice and not the speakers then arrange for that person to be either re-trained or moved to another job. Not rocket science is it?

The way I think about this is:

Do we really think the great Shakespeare plays performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford would ever have a lead actor who could not speak clearly or the technology be so inefficient that the paying audience could not hear?

So why do we tolerate it as paying customers in public services such as trains?

I'm enjoying rattling a few cages ..... hope it does not come over as negative .... it is meant to be constructive! As the old saying goes - If the cap fits :-)


Steve Sherlock said...

Hear! Hear! no pun intended, the commuter rail management would get that one. Even if they could hear it.

Yes, I agree Trevor as a regular rider of the commuter rail, it is amazing how poor the sound quality is.

Another in the information category has occured recently. They just instituted a new information system to let us know when the trains are late. A digital screen with a scrolling message. The message is normally "date/time - all trains are running on or near schedule" means they don't need to change it often.

Oh, and the font setting for the scrolling text sometimes comes out in the default setting which means you can't read the sign unless you are within six meters from it. Further than that and you would need high powered binoculars.

Surely they don't read the signs so they don't know.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Steve

Like you I am sure, nothing surprises me any more! Great story from you about the digital screen designed only for those within 6 feet! - They just could not write comedy scripts to beat that :-)

I am on a bit of a roll about what I see as simply stupid and the more I look around the more I find!

I like this thread of 'stupidity' and hope you like today's offering on 'customer care' :-)

Mike Gardner said...

There you go with yet another great reason socialism fails! Try the US free-enterprise model wherein we have made the unompetetive passenger rail services almost extinct except for within a few (a very few) major cities. Boost the economy and buy a car!

Trevor Gay said...

You make a great car salesman Mike :-) But then, I would expect that.

The problem exists whether it is private sector trains or public service in England in my experience. The one exception is Virgin Trains (Richard Branson) and they are superb for customer care on trains

Interesting that in the States where you say you have it cracked that Steve's experience in America is much the same as mine in England.

I don’t think it is about free enterprise – it is about how customers are valued

Dmitry Linkov said...

That is a real problem! The same situation in the Moscow underground! And it's awful I think!

Great topic Trevor!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Dmitry - it seems like this is a problem all over the world - and yet it is so simple to resolve! Amazing.

Steve Gray said...

Hi guys, I have also marvelled at the "inept" sounds generated at train stations (and even airports) and to top it all off at one train station they used a person with an accent (indian) to make the announcements... caused a great deal of confusion on the platform at the time and also a few good laughs (at the person more than with them!)


Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Steve - I think the thing that amazes me most is that no managers obviously ever listen to these announcements because if they did they would obviously make some changes. If they don’t listen then they should….. But then I am but a simple soul ...