Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Am I missing Connex...?

I'm back in Melbourne this week. I've caught four trains and each of them was at least 5 minutes late, tonight's was over 10... good job I'm not doing stats at the moment!

As is often the case, we're all standing there at 17:49 looking up and down the line like we're at a tennis match. At 17:55 they tell us the train's 6-7 minutes late. Since it's already six minutes after the scheduled departure time, I think you've got that wrong again. The train had come in from Sandy, so why oh why couldn't they have told us earlier? It was a pleasant surprise when the train driver actually apologised for the lateness over the PA system!

I miss my family and I miss Melbourne while I'm away, but I don't miss these cretins that are charged with providing a public transport system.


Anonymous connex the (non) communicator said...

welcome back. short as it is.

The epping/hurstbridge line was chaos. CHAOS! All trains cancelled due to power outage (or somthing like that). Sometimes things happen, and yes while it was inconvienient and annoying I accepted it. However, SMS? No. Check the connex website for updates, no info! struggled home with a million other people on the tram... didn't have confidence in connex's ability to organise buses considering they can't orgainse a simple sms! The worst thing is, I have a new job that does not require public transport (which was one of the positive benefits about accepting the position) but it starts next MONDAY.

05 July, 2006 08:41  
Anonymous Dutchboy5988 said...

According to the idiot weasel, the updating of metrol and addtional staff should fix everything. Dream on.


Batchelor: -99
Connex: filth -999999
PTUA: 90

Phil, have you considered joining the PTUA. I have, and u get cheap metcards too!

05 July, 2006 16:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not missing Connex. I'm on of those people who bring you to work and take you hame again. Although having done this job for over two decades I’ve only worked for these people for a few years as I swapped driving interstate trains for these little toys for lifestyle issues.

I won’t go over all the issues because they’ve all been done to death before: poor infrastructure, political interference, industrial agendas bla, bla, bla. However, I will say that this organization is about the most inept bunch of twonks I have worked for in my 22 year working life. Daily, defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory by an organization where the top management drive their company cars to work (and park in the basement of Shell House) rather than use the service which merely forms a distant image out the office tower windows.

Essentially you’ve got the Victorian Railways operating down there with a token foreigner at the top and a few ring-ins from the Portsea Hotel and Ansett Airlines slotted in to make the picture seem balanced. The organization is unable to “evolve” or progress with new ideas because of the inertia of the business which is carrying a full deck of lifetime stalwarts, employed by the place for time eternal, who’ve never seen how thing are done outside in the real world.

Like many large organizations they’re heavy on rhetoric, spin and glossy brochures drafted in the bowls of fantasyland, and small on meaningful outcomes on the ground that actually make a real difference to what we deliver……..i.e. what our customers want. They just keep essentially doing the “same thing” day after day and I suppose I’ve always believed that if something isn’t working (i.e. it’s that dysfunctional that the system, service or policy is held in complete ridicule and clearly failing in it’s objectives - such as indigenous welfare; drug use in the community or the sloppy transit system) then there’s not much harm in throwing the whole deck of cards up in the air and trying something completely new and radically different. I mean, it can’t possibly be any worse than what we’re doing now? However, the problem of course with out transit system being inertia and sectional interests will never allow the kind of reforms necessary to make any real difference. Well, I’m personally hopeful that it will happen eventually, but don’t expect the big bang and clean sheet of paper approach anytime soon.

And why am I not missing Connex? Well the last straw was operating a peak hour train on time for five days straight, That’s right, five days straight! And the scenario was entirely of my own making as I ensured I was on the same job five days in a row. Well, not only (as I expected) didn’t the company appreciate what I thought I’d done, but to top matters off my manager called me at home with a complaint about how I’d done it!!!!!! (Yes I’d massaged a few rules, but Connex service dies every morning and afternoon on people enforcing bloody-minded rules who’s purpose became extinct with the dinosaurs). In commercial railways outside Connex, flexible rule interpretation is an operation and financial necessity.

So here I sit on what Sir Humprey Appleby would call “unpaid gardening leave”. Eventually I will have to return to the place due to my arrangements with the bank, however, I sit here looking at the forest and wondering what I’m going to do with the second two decades of my working life? I wonder if I can stay sane any longer and regain some scrap of job satisfaction remaining in rail, but I know for certain that I can’t put in twenty more years subservience to these Transit System Twonks!

Enjoy the cancellations and late running,

Bernard Wooley ;-)

10 July, 2006 16:52  

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