Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tue 12 April - Pack your bags Bruce...

For the second day in a row the 07:14 is on time.

And Eric at the Stationmaster's office tells me I'm OK to keep using the forms with my propaganda on the back until I receive an official response to my query.

Go for it or wait? That's the dilemma at 17:33 on platform 9. "It" in this case is the 17:27 that's already six minutes late. Instinct takes over and we jump on board along with 57,341 other passengers in the end carriage. Somehow we squeeze in. Why wouldn't we just wait for the 17:38 and avoid the crowds? Because we have no confidence whatsoever that it will show, that's why. Another sardine imitation like last night and eventually it's all over.

As I get into my car at the station, the 17:38 pulls in to Ripponlea, barely two minutes after the 17:27 did. Three passengers get off! So we made the wrong call tonight, but you just know if we'd let the earlier train go it would've worked out differently, don't you?

I think I might have taken things a bit too far this morning! You know how it is? You start writing an email and before you know it, it's out there. And once you've written it, it's kinda hard to hit that delete key.

In this instance, it was the call for a public apology and/or the resignation of Connex COO, Bruce Hughes.

Let me explain.

There's a very helpful guy in Connex who knows all about how the SMS system works. We exchange emails on occasion - sometimes when SMS is working well I'll tell him so, also when it's not I'll do so. Well I started innocently enough but before I knew it I was telling him about this blog. One thing led to another and before you know it I'm suggesting Bruce Hughes is overdue for another public apology. Bruce doesn't like me because quite a while ago he said the following in an email to me

"We hope to implement these initiatives in the near future. We trust these changes will bring back some certainty into our service, and so increase customer confidence.

As soon as these options have been finalised, we will be advising all Connex Plus members of the changes."

and now when I ask for an update he avoids replying, since there is no update! No material changes have been made to the service, there is no certainty, there is no customer confidence and we have not been advised of any changes.

So I suggested in my email that it would be better if Bruce were to stand down and let somebody else sort this mess out. OK, I know it was a little over the top, but if he'd seen the mood of passengers on the 17:38 Sandringham train yesterday, I think he'd be agreeing that it's time to give somebody else a shot. So what about it - anybody else agree it's time for Bruce to pack his bags and move on? Should we make this our campaign strategy?


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