Friday, 16 October 2009

Broken Britain - 9: Transport for London Bully.

I feared the Broken Britain strand in this blog might become redundant. How wrong could I be?

You think everything is fine in London? this. you may not be able to hear him but the TfL employeee tells the elderly passenger he "should be slung under a train".

This is typical of the culture of Transport for London - throwing their weight around, bullying their “customers“… This is what we Londoners have to put up with these days.

The TfL chap – Ian – referred to the grey-haired passenger as a "jumped up little git" and a "little girl", in a torrent of abuse filmed by another commuter.

Here’s the extract from the blog by Jonathan MacDonald, the man who filmed it all:-

“Today [Friday 16th October], just after 2.30pm, I saw an elderly man with his arm trapped in the closing door of a faulty train at Holborn Station.

“We all thought the train was heading further east but actually, for reasons we shall never know, the train was terminating at Holborn and we were ushered out onto the platform by two (shouting) staff in Underground uniforms.

“The elderly man was slow to get off in the mad rush, hence the entrapment.
A few people around called to staff to open the door again so he could be released.
About 30 seconds later the doors opened again and he removed his arm.

“I watched as he calmly relayed his experience to the staff member (who was called Ian by the way). Ian didn’t think it was a problem – in fact, he was furious that the guy had mentioned it at all, especially as the guy was standing close to the track.
After a while, Ian started shouting at the guy to “stand back there is a fucking train approaching“.

“The elderly guy quietly questioned why Ian had to swear (as did several other passengers). Ian literally screamed in this guys face (and I quote): “because there is a fucking train approaching and I need to make sure nobody is over the fucking yellow line“.

“The elderly guy stood his ground – admittedly the wrong side of the yellow line (which was hard to see as there were hundreds of stranded people on the platform).
Ian then told the guy that he wasn’t allowed to get on the next train and had to “come upstairs to speak to the police“.

“That was when I pulled out my video camera. The below clip is taken immediately after Ian’s initial outburst and you can hear him repeat the police part too.
All seems fine until the incoming train arrives and the elderly guy tries to get on it – although watch how twitchy Ian is during the train arrival..

“You will hear Ian telling him not to get on and then threatening a halted service until he gets off again. Listen to what Ian says. Watch the reaction of the other passengers.
But then – right at the end of the clip (at exactly 50 seconds), you will hear Ian exclaim (again, I quote): “sling him under a train“.”

Initially, MacDonald was filming a little before this clip started but decided to stop filming. Then the woman employee came over to him and ordered him (!) to “stop filming”. MacDonald said “you know he could lose his job because of this?” and she just shrugged her shoulders and said “Huh!”.

At which point the brave Mr. MacDonald started filming again, and this is what we see.

Believe me, this is NOT an isolated case.

I hope my friends abroad take note of this, because sadly This is the kind of welcome you can expect from London these days.

Postscript: Within hours of this film appearing on YouTube the employee was suspended, pending investigation.


Haamu said...

Ray, I have to say... It's like that in every country. You can't expect any friendliness or politeness from "such" employees anymore. It seems like they weren't educated well enough to realize they've got to respect their customers.
Here in Brussels the same thing happens every day too.

Dwight J. Dutton said...

After I retired from the U.S. Army I worked for a couple of years with the newly formed "Department of Homeland Security" at Los Angeles Airport. The initial batch of screeners were high quality people, retired military, police and so forth, as we thought we would be on the same level as US Customs. Wrong.

Within about a year it was evident that it was all just a show and we were just security guards in different uniforms. All the good people left - and what you have to deal with when you fly at any US Airport is people who behave exactly like this, just with different accents.