Saturday, August 27, 2011

Message to @Yarratrams

Dear Yarra,
                  I just want to make it crystal clear why I'm doing this blog. 

If I hated you so much, I wouldn't work for you. I'd find work elsewhere. I enjoy my job.

If I hated passengers so much, I wouldn't treat them with respect and intelligence by using social media to communicate with them (cop that @yarratrams!). I'd also find a job where I don't have to deal with them.

If I sound like I dislike you, that's because sometimes you do things that irritate me. You treat me as if I don't exist until there's a problem and you rarely seek me out for consultation. When you need me, I'm there. However when I need you it's not quite the same.

The reason I started this blog and my twitter account is because there was a rather massive gap between us   and our passengers that you have failed to bridge for so long. I'm talking years. When you do communicate with them, you are robotic and it never seems genuine. There are plenty of people out there who are curious about how and why stuff happens and I've found that if you explain things, they're usually more understanding and accommodating. I try this on angry passengers and it seems to work out very well. I'm not about to reveal any eleven secret herbs and spices about our relationship as company and employee, but if this blog results in one person pausing and considering the situation instead of abusing the driver our of ignorance, then the job here is done. I often get the distinct feeling that some of the people working for you don't even know what we really do or where the eight depots are located. I'd like to be convinced that we're all on the same team, but you need to put in some more effort there I'm afraid.

Unless I'm talking about serious issues such as accidents, please don't expect me to be too formal or serious and I'm not always going to be able to pick the side I want to in certain situations and discussions (including lengthy monologues regarding the use of sand as an adhesive)

I do keep an eye out for things that you do well, such as the Good Friday Appeal and other things. I hate being overly critical without providing anything constructive, but sometimes I have no choice when it comes to some of the things you do. This isn't some sort of blackmail or hateblog - I'm just one driver trying to let people know that we're not all arseholes and many drivers understand that the system can be shit. I know having someone else talk about you might raise your hackles, but I'm on your side. I wear your name on my uniform. I'm not about to shit all over the hand that feeds me, but I will fart at you now and then. My fear is that there is so much opportunity to tackle important issues and deal with real and ongoing problems, but this is pissed away on things like a brand new uniform. The public also tend see it this way and while they often don't understand the complex contracts between you and the state, they aren't all idiots. After all, without them, both you and I wouldn't even be here. They often think that because you don't post anything on @yarratrams, you don't care or are somehow afraid to get in amongst it all. I know that's not true, but truth and perception are two very different things as you can read here.

In all honesty, if I write something that's grossly incorrect, downright false or misleading, please feel free to add a comment and correct me. This goes for both Yarra Trams and other readers. I will make every effort to sort out my facts before hand, but sometimes I don't have all the fact and I'll go with what I've got. I don't claim to speak on your behalf, nor do I claim that you endorse or condone my work. I'm just someone who likes their job enough to do this.

Tram drivers need a bit of a face and a bit of representation out there, especially when it comes to some of the things people say about you on the internet. If you thought Andy Blume's comments about passengers and accidents were rough, I'd suggest not reading anything in #yarratrams. Some people hate you! And while I don't try to convert everyone out there with a beef, I do try to explain things from a driver's perspective. I try to be reasonable about it and I even suggest passengers report bad drivers instead of complaining to twitter.

Finally, more often than not I'll write my posts for both here and Twitter in a draft format. That way I can hold on to them until I feel like publishing them and within a few seconds of deciding, they're up. Don't bother trying to match up my post times with my hours of duty, because they won't correlate and I'm sure you have better things to do. In fact I know you have better things to do. I can post at home, changing ends of the tram or whenever. Oh, and apparently you do have a social media policy. That's one publication that might be worth putting around the depots, especially in light of recent events. Some of us are interested.

I DON'T TWEET OR USE MY PHONE WHILE I'M DRIVING.

Your humble and loyal employee,

@MelbTramDriver

PS I am open to bribery. 

3 comments:

  1. I used to care. I used to get involved. I wanted to change things for the better. It is hopeless. I go to work, do my job as best as I can and collect my pay. Sorry for sounding so negative. Go on you for trying. They key is to not bring your employer into disrepute. It is a fine line indeed and don't think they can't find out who you are.

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  2. Don't worry - it's slowly drained my "care" away as well. I think the system's set up to be like that unfortunately. I'll try not to bring YT into disrepute as they are the hand that feeds me. However, I've found that even constructive criticism falls on deaf ears. I've had some ripper ideas in the past, but after submitting them without reply, I, too, have stopped giving a shit. I don't care much for those sort of manners.

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  3. Hi Melbourne Tram Driver,

    I just stumbled across your blog by some harmonious internet accident, and have been compulsively reading all your posts. My name is Beth, I am a student at RMIT university, and I make audio pieces (like a radio documentary). I find the premise for your blog so interesting - that there is gap between the general public and those who run Melbourne's public transport, and that there is much work to be done to fill this gap. I think your story would make a really wonderful, interesting (and important) radio documentary, and I was wondering if you would do an interview with me. You would be anonymous, and I could even distort your voice a little if you're worried about being identified. Here is a link to my soundcloud, where you can see some of the work I've made in the past: https://soundcloud.com/beth_audio/love-and-hate-on-the-train

    And I promise I'm not a troll, just a young Melbournian with a passion for stories that aren't being told. Let me know if you're interested, and thanks gain for the great blog.

    Beth

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