Now without doubt one of the things that helps to make a nice weekend working at the station are nice visitors.
These visitors can be paying passengers or just people passing who stop to look at the trains and hopefully buy something from the station shop.
Now some weekends you can get a run of visitors that given half the chance you would happily throttle until they go a delicate shade of blue. You know those visitors who love to find something to have a moan at no matter how trivial, and generally speaking the less they end up spending the more they like to moan. I mean over the years some of the trivial junk that people have moaned about include, in no special order.
The price of something… Funnily enough the lower the price the more they tend to moan.
The time of the next train… As if they think we should bend over so a train can magically appear.
The type of traction we are running that day… People moan there is not steam or they moan there is no diesel, and to top it all they can moan if we run mixed traction because it’s either not all steam or it’s not all diesel. In other words we can’t win.
The dog bowl is not out… Why is it that the majority of dog owners don’t know please and thank you, I have yet to find the reason.
That’s just a small selection.
Then some weekends you can have a constant stream of customers who are a pure pleasure to deal with, they are friendly, nice, pleasant and like to chat.
We have just had that sort of weekend, both days we have had some really nice people in both adults and children. All in all it’s been one of the best weekends this year for dealing with the general public. Not one moan even when the train was 52 minutes late, they just sat there and we chatted some more.
This year I have had some really frustrating weekends, where support from those who should have supported has been lacking and when many of the visitors left their basic manners and tolerance at home. But this weekend was a pleasure, I met some really nice people, and for a change I came home relaxed and in a good mood. Not frustrated and wondering why some people bothered to turn up either visiting or volunteering across the railway.
It is often said that the best asset the railway has are the working members, during an average year I will hear countless positive comments about those working at the stations and on the trains, be they engine crew or working in a customer facing job. That’s excellent to hear, but I just wish that sometimes somebody who matters on the railway, (And this is not aimed at any specific person.) could just be bothered to just say thank you and well done, a couple of words of thanks go a long way. Some people do, and after special events they send out a note saying thank you, and certainly myself and my staff appreciate them. But it should be done more often, it’s not as though cost can be used as an excuse.
Then again there is a rumour that one day hell may freeze over.