Monday, 10 September 2007

To the gate staff at London Bridge

This is some guidance to the staff who look after the main gateline for platforms 1-6 at London Bridge railway station. If a passenger is pulling a case that he says won't fit through the electronic barriers, let him through the 'with luggage' gate. He is not of the devil. He just wants to get home. And when he lets himself through the open gate, don't shout at him. He isn't doing anything wrong. He doesn't understand why it is such a key battle for you to stop people going through the gate, he just wants to make his journey a little easier. Try helping him, and maybe the world will be a better place.

If you are Ali from the gateline, then when (in response to you shouting at him) he asks you to remember customer service, try to remember that he is your customer, you are not his customer. This means that shouting back 'You remember your customer service' to him is in its essence a toothless and unnecessary exclamation that doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.

If you are Brian from the gateline, try not to threaten the passenger with the words "I'll knock your f***ing block off, you f***ing c**t". Also try not to threaten that the next time you'll check his ticket, because he has a ticket - a valid ticket - and therefore does not fear your threat.

If you are Southeastern Rail and you run the station that the gateline is part of, then please have a look at the situation. If the battle that the staff want to fight in not letting anyone with luggage through the 'with luggage' gate is a valid one, then please explain to your customers why this is - it isn't clear to us why these individuals want to argue. If you agree with the customers that there is no reason for them to fight the battle with such determination, then try to stop them doing it. Your posters telling your passengers that you do not tolerate abuse of your staff have much less credibility when your staff shout and swear at your passengers, and even threaten them with violence.

Let's see if we can bring some civility and service ethos back to your railway system.

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