Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tube Companies and their management

Its seems from the commnets I have been getting lately that its time to re-direct my ire at the Tube companies themselves and the ridiculous management that run them and subsequently are the invisible faces responsible for such shit service and high prices.

It is obvious that the customer is the very last person considered when it comes to service, ocnsideration, timeliness and any kind of courtesy or professionalism involved in provision of transporting us long suffering souls around subterranean London.

If any of my readers can advise me of companies, name names , examples of bad management nedlect and nepotism then I will publish and be damned.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Clueless and couldnt care less

Oh dear and I was enjoying the staff, service and fequency of trains at Barons court.

So I arrive there yesterday at 7:40 am to find a large queue. I see that the problem is that the ONE oyster card machine is down. Hence the large queue. But they only had ONE window open for ticket sales. I began to moan not too loudly but obviously loudly enough to get all the others in the queue shuffling nervously and looking at their feet. They must like being inconvenienced as I didnt hear anyone else complaining or more likely they were horrified that they had "a nutter" in Barons court.

When I finally got to the window I made my views known to the chap behind the window (no swearing or shouting) pointing out the fact that there was a large queue of incovenienced people and only one window open but that 3 yards away 2 jolly (and fat) LU staff were having a whale of a time drinking their steaming cappucinos and having a no doubt fascinating discussion with the newspaper seller (who by the way leans on the post at a 45 degree angle with his other hand out not looking at those that drop their change into his mitt or greeting them with a hearty good morning). No doubt they were analysing the budget presented by the nosepicker and eaterer (see todays metro). Anyway I digress. So I realised as I was berating the chap that he was behaving as though I was just asking for ticket and acting normally. He then told me the card machine at the window wasnt working either. At this point of course I looked like that angry little bloke in those cartoons - Yosemite Sam.

Luckily I had some cash. and they did actually open another window. Good old Barons Court

My wife had the same problem later at West Ken and was told to go and get some money out and it wasnt their fault as she should have renewed the night before!!!!!!!!!!! what??

She bunked on instead and she is a really nice chick and not in her nature to do that normally.

Nothing like a bit of customer service eh?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tube Night on BBC4

BBC 4 had a "Tube Night" last night with an evening of programmes about the tube. It was very interesting to see how the attitudes and workforce have changed over the years. In the golden era during the 30's - 50's the workforce was large necessary (as it turns out), polite, well trained and supervised with a marvellous sense that what they were doing was important to them and the public. And they all seemed to speak such good crisp english not the slack jawed estuary version we have grown used to. In other words a service. It seems that lack of investment started really in the 50's when public money used for the tube was dfiverted to rebuidling London and the economy after the war. Maintenance was not what is was, staff were laid off and rolling stock not updated. This resulted in several incidents up to and including the Kings Cross fire in 1987 caused by a stray match setting light to the dust and deritus that had previously been kepy out by "the fluffers" , cleaners responsible for keeping the system clean removing 100 tons of dust a year.

Inspections and maintenance was carried out through the night.

Contrast that with now. The network is filthy, signals always failing and staff with no real leadership in terms of morale pride or sense of duty.

Its a pity it has been allowed to deteriorate to this degree as London deserves a good tube netwrok. Interestingly there was a soundbite of that fat useless wanker prescott making a vociferous 1997 statement to the effect that Lononders expected a good efficient tube and he was going to make sure we damn well got one. Well we arer still waiting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Foxtons - Crafty as Foxes

Something slightly different for you this week.

I am currently between properties and have registered with all estate agents in the areas I am looking in (Chelsea, Earls Court, South Ken etc).

Foxtons bombarded me with properties and tel calls mostly with stuff that didnt relate to my requirements. They then tried to tell me I needed to raise my budget. Then they sent me some good looking properties that were part of their "Sunday Market Scheme". This is where they get lots of viewing on a single Sunday and obviously hope to create an auction type scenario where people start bidding over the price to secure a property as they see how many people they are competing with.

Now I have found thenm out in another underhand manouvre and suddenly a light goes on in ones head. I was negitiating for a property through the sole agent. The property was priced at 586k 4 months ago then reduced to 569k I offered 549k which would have been accepted but the estate agent then said that Foxtons had appeared on the scene and told the owner it was worth 650k so being greedy as we alkl are she declined my offer.

Later that afternoon Foxtons contacted me with a "development opportunity" (its not its 4 studios than need a lot of work to convert and no developer wants to pay more than 500k). It was the same property. I told them to remove me from their books as they couldnt be trusted and that they were underhand. How can I trust any of their valuations now?. However since they have so many offices in London and have all the best properties on their books they virtually control the prices.

I will never deal with them at any price now. Spread the word

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mind the Gap !!

I find that I need a correspondent to report the performance of the Wimbledon spur of the district line as I never have reason to travel on it anymore. So anyone out there that can keep me informed I will post your comments here.

MY latest gripe is mainly the passengers. I change from the picadilly to the Central line at Holborn in order to get into the city. When the train doors open one could be forgiven for thinking the train was packed... but no. A quick peek past the selfish bastards crowding the doors shows there is oceans of room beyond. I now just hunker down and shove in and when they look in dismay I point out the amount of room. The is that taken up by rucksacks, broadshhet newspaper readers and........ the english gap. When they say mind the gap I think they mean the 1 inch or more that each person feels they must have around them in order not to make any physical contact with their fellow passengers. Anal in the extreme and prevents more people getting into a carriage. Not me though I dont mind standing next to fat, ugly or lumpen miseries when I am in a hurry. Of course its a bonus when one is next to a fragrant beauty but there arent many of those at 7:30 in the morning.