Friday, May 23, 2008

Irish Rail - let's sack everyone!

I've been personally of the view for many years now that Irish Rail is simply unrecoverable as a company. This from someone who is a big believer in trains and public transport in general. The only sensible solution is to sack everyone from the CEO down and do a complete rehire, with all of them sign up to a clearly stated policy that it is the mission of the company to transport people and goods, safely and reliably within a predictable timetable to and from the destinations of their choice.

Too many people have had too many poor experiences with Irish Rail in terms of how it does business as a company and sadly how many of its customer facing (hate the expression but it seems apt here) employees treat people. Bear in mind that most people when asking for assistance from Irish Rail employees are away from home, and if stranded will have to go to considerable personal expense and suffer a great deal of inconvenience to make it to their destination by other means. Frankly for many of them it is a stressful enough experience and if they had another choice they would have made. The company and many of its employees continue to behave as if the company exists to provide them with a living and not to provide a service to the travelling public. This attitude perpetuates itself by infecting new employees as they learn from the existing staff what it is you can get away with. Hence my idea for the need for a mass clear out.

Sure, some of the trains are nicer now, but remember we the travelling public and taxpayers paid for that nice new shininess by means of Transport 90210 and other PR efforts such as "We're not there yet, and frankly we're not sure where there is". It isn't like the employees built the new trains as a favour to us crafted out of the goodness of their hearts on their own time while taking breaks from feeding orphans and widows.

Every little change in their work situation they want to be paid for. The time table changes, pay me more, time table changes back to what it was, pay me more again. New trains, pay me to learn how to drive them, and then pay me more to actually drive them. And if you hire someone to drive them but I don't drive them, pay me more to let them drive them instead.

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