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Heated exchange with Ticket Collector


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I had just travelled 1st class for station A to Station B and had come off the train and was waiting in a fairly long queue to hand my ticket to the ticket collector at the exit.

 

When I was about 10 from the front I could detect from the TC's body language that he wasn't in a good mood but hayho we all have bad days.

 

When the guy in front of me handed over his ticket he was sarcastically chastised by the TC that this wasn't his train ticket it was just his seat reservation ticket but he was allowed through.

 

Next up was me and guess what I too had given him my

seat reservation ticket in error and got the same treatment as the guy in front, however I stopped and got the correct ticket out my pocket and tried to give him it.

 

He refused to take it, saying he didn't want it, I was getting a bit annoyed now as he was embarassing me so I asked him again to take it as he had made a big deal of the issue in the first place.

He took it and then started ranting (loudly) that I wouldn't get into the pictures without a ticket blah blah blah.

I didn't see the relevance of this as I had just handed him the correct ticket so by this stage I had enough, shook my head at him and told him in the same tone of voice that he used to 'get away and don't bother me' and then walked away to which he shouted for me to 'go away and stop embarracing yourself' !

 

Great customer service !

 

Ah, feel better after getting that off my chest :)

 

Anyone else had a similar problem ?

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I had just travelled 1st class for station A to Station B and had come off the train and was waiting in a fairly long queue to hand my ticket to the ticket collector at the exit.

 

When I was about 10 from the front I could detect from the TC's body language that he wasn't in a good mood but hayho we all have bad days.

 

When the guy in front of me handed over his ticket he was sarcastically chastised by the TC that this wasn't his train ticket it was just his seat reservation ticket but he was allowed through.

 

Next up was me and guess what I too had given him my

seat reservation ticket in error and got the same treatment as the guy in front, however I stopped and got the correct ticket out my pocket and tried to give him it.

 

He refused to take it, saying he didn't want it, I was getting a bit annoyed now as he was embarassing me so I asked him again to take it as he had made a big deal of the issue in the first place.

He took it and then started ranting (loudly) that I wouldn't get into the pictures without a ticket blah blah blah.

I didn't see the relevance of this as I had just handed him the correct ticket so by this stage I had enough, shook my head at him and told him in the same tone of voice that he used to 'get away and don't bother me' and then walked away to which he shouted for me to 'go away and stop embarracing yourself' !

 

Great customer service !

 

Ah, feel better after getting that off my chest :)

 

Anyone else had a similar problem ?

 

There are a couple of ticket inspectors or revenue protection officers or whatever they like to be called who post on here and are very helpfull and give useful advice, having said that, I agree that on the whole they do seem to be a moody and unhelpful bunch, the term 'little hitler' springs to mind, maybe if you are the sort of person who accepts a job like that then you are already a miserable sod, who knows, its certainly not a job I'd enjoy doing, all you seem to do is face the wrath of the public and see the worst in people, I guess they are a peg above bailiffs, traffic wardens and debt collectors though. I suppose they hear so many exuses from people who are travelling without tickets that they lose any compassion and their hearts slowly turn black :)

 

Andy

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I do wish that we could all avoid generalisations, but it seems that we can't.

 

I honestly think that to state that 'on the whole they (Ticket Inspectors) seem to be a moody & unhelpful bunch' is just as accurate as saying 'all commuters are an arrogant and excessively rude collection of fare evaders'.

 

In my experience, neither statement is true by the way, but both are equally valid in some cases.

 

I often think that it isn't the fact that such staff always try to see the worst in people, but the very nature of the job means that you inevitably catch a few actual fiddlers out and that frequently brings out the worst in some people.

 

Having to deal with that several times a day, week in week out can be wearing even for the most placid amongst us.

 

Yes, the ticket collector in your case might have had a bad day, but there is no excuse for rudeness by anyone, whether traveller or staff.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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I do wish that we could all avoid generalisations, but it seems that we can't.

 

I honestly think that to state that 'on the whole they (Ticket Inspectors) seem to be a moody & unhelpful bunch' is just as accurate as saying 'all commuters are an arrogant and excessively rude collection of fare evaders'.

 

In my experience, neither statement is true by the way, but both are equally valid in some cases.

 

I often think that it isn't the fact that such staff always try to see the worst in people, but the very nature of the job means that you inevitably catch a few actual fiddlers out and that frequently brings out the worst in some people.

 

Having to deal with that several times a day, week in week out can be wearing even for the most placid amongst us.

 

Yes, the ticket collector in your case might have had a bad day, but there is no excuse for rudeness by anyone, whether traveller or staff.

 

Old-CodJA,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I had a really smooth and relaxed journey on the train and the staff on the train were great but this guy got right under my skin :mad:

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The comment about generalisation is of course true, but my opinion of 'ticket collectors' isn't something I've just plucked out of the air, it is an opinion I have arrived at after about 20 years of commuting, commuters pay a (high) premium for train travel and are under no obligation to be happy, helpful and not rude, but the opposite applies to ticket inspetors, they are often the only contact the traveller has with train staff therefore the onus is on them to provide the best service possible but in my opinion this is often lacking, if they have had a hard day and take it out on the travellers then perhaps a job that doesn't involve contact with the public would be better ?

 

Andy

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The comment about generalisation is of course true, but my opinion of 'ticket collectors' isn't something I've just plucked out of the air, it is an opinion I have arrived at after about 20 years of commuting, commuters pay a (high) premium for train travel and are under no obligation to be happy, helpful and not rude, but the opposite applies to ticket inspetors, they are often the only contact the traveller has with train staff therefore the onus is on them to provide the best service possible but in my opinion this is often lacking, if they have had a hard day and take it out on the travellers then perhaps a job that doesn't involve contact with the public would be better ?

 

Andy

 

In the main I agree with much of what you say Andy, but ALL decent human beings have an obligation not to be rude and far from paying a (high) premium for season tickets, commuters actually get the benefit of some of the highest discounts per route mile travelled.

 

I agree that is still far too high in respect of actual fares paid, but that can be said of virtually all fares for public transportin the UK.

 

There are no jobs in a decent society that are a legitimate target for rudeness and arrogance from anyone.

 

You reap what you sow in this world, like it or not and that certainly doesn't suggest that City Boy deserved to be treated badly. I'm sure he met a bad one, there are bad apples in every barrel. Commuters are no exception.

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''commuters are under no obligation to be happy, helpful and not rude,''

1st two I agree with last one 'not rude' er NO.

It's against the railway byelaws I'm afraid.

 

If anyone starts swearing and acting in a rude manner then not only have they lost the 'argument' per se but they are liable to be prosecuted at worst and ignored and/or have their tickets cancelled at best.

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The comment about generalisation is of course true, but my opinion of 'ticket collectors' isn't something I've just plucked out of the air, it is an opinion I have arrived at after about 20 years of commuting, commuters pay a (high) premium for train travel and are under no obligation to be happy, helpful and not rude...Andy

 

Its exactly this attitude that causes staff to 'switch off' and appear rude and unhelpful.

Treat people like **** and they will do the same to you.

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''commuters are under no obligation to be happy, helpful and not rude,''

1st two I agree with last one 'not rude' er NO.

It's against the railway byelaws I'm afraid.

 

If anyone starts swearing and acting in a rude manner then not only have they lost the 'argument' per se but they are liable to be prosecuted at worst and ignored and/or have their tickets cancelled at best.

 

Ok..Fair point...I perhaps shouldnt of put 'not rude', I meant under no obligation to be a happy cheery person first thing in the morning, you seem to forget that very often us poor commuters are treated quite badly at times, endless fare increases, packed onto trains like cattle, late trains, lack of communication, etc...and also as the OP pointed out staff who are sometimes far from friendly and helpful.

 

Andy

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Its exactly this attitude that causes staff to 'switch off' and appear rude and unhelpful.

Treat people like **** and they will do the same to you.

 

As I pointed out above, if they can't deal with it then perhaps they should seek different employment, in my job as IT Support I am often in contact with angry staff and clients but not once have I got angry back, I still try and be helpful, calm them down and hopefully solve their problem as quick as possible.

 

Again I re-iiterate that my opinion is something i have arrived at through many years of commuting, and I should also like to point out that personally I am not rude or aggressive to staff but i can count many occasions where the opposite is true, I have even gone so far as to make official complaints against staff, this was in the case of unhelpfull ticket barrier staff as opposed to ticket inspectors though.

 

I also like to point out that in my first post I did in fact praise the work of people who post advice in this forum, namely Old-Codja and SRPO.

 

Andy

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As I pointed out above, if they can't deal with it then perhaps they should seek different employment, in my job as IT Support I am often in contact with angry staff and clients but not once have I got angry back, I still try and be helpful, calm them down and hopefully solve their problem as quick as possible.

 

Again I re-iiterate that my opinion is something i have arrived at through many years of commuting, and I should also like to point out that personally I am not rude or aggressive to staff but i can count many occasions where the opposite is true, I have even gone so far as to make official complaints against staff, this was in the case of unhelpfull ticket barrier staff as opposed to ticket inspectors though.

 

I also like to point out that in my first post I did in fact praise the work of people who post advice in this forum, namely Old-Codja and SRPO.

 

Andy

 

That praise was appreciated Andy and I thank you for it

 

I simply do not pre-judge nor assume that because anyone does any particular job that they are more likely to be rude or unhelpful than any other.

 

We all recognise that there are trends. I have come to notice that during the 30 years I've been doing this work that younger IT professionals and those employed in the banking & finance sector, form a disproportionately large number of the offenders prosecuted for fare evasion in London & the south-east.

 

That's my experience and the data records held by the various prosecution agencies involved will bear it out, but that isn't the point.

 

It is still wrong for anyone to suggest that because someone is employed in a particular job, they are likely to be rude and unhelpful.

 

Some are, some aren't, I'm sure that you are a reasonable and rational individual and deserve to be treated as such.

 

I like to assume the same of everyone until they prove me wrong.

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Care to mention the station concerned?

 

Revenue Protection staff do a fantastic job in often difficult circumstasnces they take the most abuse often bordering on violence.

 

If you have a valid ticket you have nothing to worry about. I have to tell you a seat reservation is NOT a valid ticket.

 

Ok perhaps he could have handled you more sympathetically but hey you don't think he hasn't seen or heard the "I've only got my seat reservation part" trick before? :rolleyes:

“I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

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If I had a penny for every person who's handed me a seat reservation when asking for tickets then I could retire! It's one of those trivial things that really get on my nerves, surely the big letters across the bottom that say SEAT RESERVATION give it away..... I'm not having a go at the OP here just pointing out why the member of staff had little patience!

Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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lol "If I had a penny for every person who's handed me a seat reservation when asking for tickets then I could retire!"

 

I will join you in some exotic location :D:D:D:D:D

“I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

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lol "If I had a penny for every person who's handed me a seat reservation when asking for tickets then I could retire!"

 

I will join you in some exotic location :D:D:D:D:D

Hayes & Harlington? hehe

Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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  • 1 month later...
Ok..Fair point...I perhaps shouldnt of put 'not rude', I meant under no obligation to be a happy cheery person first thing in the morning, you seem to forget that very often us poor commuters are treated quite badly at times, endless fare increases, packed onto trains like cattle, late trains, lack of communication, etc...and also as the OP pointed out staff who are sometimes far from friendly and helpful.

 

Andy

 

I'd like to meet anyone who is happy and cheery first thing. Especially on a Monday.

I am a bus driver and I see the same sort of thing all the time. Although to be fair many passengers here are OK there are the odd one or two. And as for the trains, when I use my pass anywhere on Southern the gateline staff see "Go-Ahead" on the ticket and are usually fairly polite to me. I've never had a problem with them.

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Hi!

 

My only experience dates with Ticket Barrier Staff dates back a long time to the BR days (about 1988) when I often went many places by train and bike!

 

To give you an idea how long ago it was, the Stockport-Stalybridge services was regular every 2-3 hours Monday-Saturday in both directions then!!!)

 

I'd been staying at a Friend's overnight in the Denton area, and decided to have a day out on Crewe the next morning, so got a train from Denton about 10.15 to Stockport and bought a single ticket from the Guard of the PORTIS orange/yellow type, and as Stockport had barriers at the time, I decided to have a coffee in the station buffet there and as it was a freezing cold morning there, I put the ticket down on the station's heater on the buffet-room wall to warm my hands, not realising at the time PORTIS ticket-paper was heat-sensitive and the thing had gone nearly all black!!!

 

When I got to the barrier with it naturally all hell broke loose with an extremely *not-pleased* ticket inspector giving me some of BR's best swear-words!!! All I could offer was "I'm really sorry, I didn't realise these tickets were affected by heat!" - which was true in those days as I didn't recognise thermal-printing technology!!!

 

Anyway the inspector commanded me to "Wait there!!!" in no uncertain terms, which I did, and ten minutes later he came back to me with a ticket-machine and a colleague, asked me if I was travelling any further, I said "Crewe" so he issued me a Day Return ticket for the usual off-peak fare, together with a growled "I managed to get my colleague to read what was on your ticket that you'd buggered up and we've decided to accept it as valid, but don't do it again or you'll not get away with it next time - you'll be charged double!!!"

 

As I said, typical rough and gruff BR at its best, but it showed even they had discretion in those days, also this was of course long before today's penalty fares, UPFNs, etc., etc., and as I'm sure Old CodJA'll say BR ticket-inspectors had just as much right to prosecute and/or call the police in suspicious cases as today's on-train and barrier staff!!!

 

Anyone got any other happy memories from BR staff to add?

 

Chris Williams

Edited by Chris56000
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Care to mention the station concerned?

 

Revenue Protection staff do a fantastic job in often difficult circumstasnces they take the most abuse often bordering on violence.

 

If you have a valid ticket you have nothing to worry about. I have to tell you a seat reservation is NOT a valid ticket.

 

Ok perhaps he could have handled you more sympathetically but hey you don't think he hasn't seen or heard the "I've only got my seat reservation part" trick before? :rolleyes:

 

Arrival at Edinburgh (from Preston).

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  • 2 weeks later...

TBH for all the years I have travelled on the rail, I cannot once remember staff being rude to me. However those East coasters are a dour bunch so not surprised this happened in Edinburger;)

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