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Blaming the carried is one big Con(nex)

posted 9/22/2007 12:56:09 AM |
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  HER_NIGHTMARE

Not for the first time you get the impression our train service would be far more efficient without all those passengers clambering on and off, cluttering up the carriages, opening and shutting doors, hanging about station platforms and just generally getting in the way...
A Connex advertising blitz first identified an increase in commuters as the perhaps surprising cause of the railway system's malaise about this time, last year.
"Growing patronage" they called it, something you might naively imagine would have company bigwigs throwing their collective hats in the air, toasting to their good fortune in French champagne and loudly shouting "hurrah".
Not so, apparently. Mounting an "It's not our fault, it's yours" propaganda drive that would have brought tears to the eyes of Dr Goebbels, Conex listed crowding around carriage doors, holding doors open for latecomers and running for trains among the reasons trains were so late, and they were having to pay carriage-loads of dollars in lateness fines to the State Government.
It was a clever campaign. Didn't make a scrap of difference to anyone's chances of getting a seat on the 7.15am - if it actually showed up - but it was a smart move trying to deflect the blame from the carrier on to the carried.
Now another spring has brought forth another Connex campaign. And this one is a gem.
Pocket-sized self-help books have been distributed at city stations recently, purporting to have been written by one Martin Merton PhD, and internationally acclaimed expert on commuter psychology who looks a bit like Danny Frawley in a cheap suit wearing a Bob Downe wig...
The book is called There's No "I" In Carriage and the fact there actually is one gives you some idea of what level the contents have been pitched.
Inside are 12 ways commuters can make life easier for each other with poorly drawn illustrations of people taking their rubbish with them, rather than chucking it on the floor; keeping their newspaper out of other travellers' faces; keeping their legs together; stowing their bag carefully; not putting on make-up; and not bellowing into a mobile phone...
There is even a photo of a chivalrous chap offering his seat to an unseen wrinkly.
Which is surprising, really, because none of the photographs suggests anyone ever has to stand on a Connex train unless they choose to or they are just about to get off.
All of those examples of commuting good manners make perfect sense if we are all to travel to work in some reasonable semblance of harmony, rather than attempting to tear each other's throats out as the Siemens limited-stop Sardine Express comes rattling into Caufield.
On the other side of the ledger, however, this little "how to be a passenger" book appears to provide more ammunition for those from other parts of the world who have come to regard Australia as "Nannyland" - over-regulated, over-legislated, over-protected, and just about over everything else, too.
As for Connex, this seems nothing more than another attempt to deflect attention away from its own shortcomings by highlighting the perceived bad manners of its customers.
It might be considered foolish to say the money poured into the production of There's No "I" In Carriage would have been much better employed elsewhere.
But then it wouldn't be the first time I've stood waiting for the next train to Foolish Central.
Won't be the last, either.

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Comments:

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NachoBaby

Sep 22 @ 9:46AM  
Holy sheep shit, Batman.. you writed this? You write very well sunshine. Nannyland, fits right along perfectly with Oregon the Nanny State!
str8ngr84u2

Sep 22 @ 10:30AM  
Wow, again! You should contemplate taking up writing, if nothing else for a hobby!!
Pudge2you

Sep 24 @ 3:34PM  
Another witty bloggy thingy. I'm sorry I miss these directly and have to catch them late.

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Blaming the carried is one big Con(nex)