Rude Amtrak employees

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greatcats

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So now the passengers have to "educate themselves"?
C'mon, this is just another example of the train-riding public, making excuses for Amtrak's shortcomings.
I disagree, I think that it's another example of people expecting others to exercise a little bit of personal responsibility and be aware of their surroundings. Whether I'm on a train, bus cab, I try to remain aware of where I am, and compare it to where I expect to be. It isn't asking the world of someone when taking a train to know what the stop before theirs is, and how long after that stop my stop will be. In the OP's case, it isn't that hard to know that after leaving Baltimore you've got about an hour to go, so when the train comes into a city and slows down after 50 minutes that it's time to get your gear together and be ready to move. Also, since someone usually comes around and collects seat checks 5 or 10 minutes before arriving at a station, that's another "heads up" that doesn't sound like happened (or was heeded), and an opportunity that I always personally take to verify "Is this door going to be opening?".

Thanks, rRan. You elaborated on my point well. I'm not saying the train crew was good or bad or that the OP is a dummy. But, as on all forms of transportation, it pays to be aware of the surroundings. Recently, I travelled by train in Japan, which overall was excellent. But on some trains away from the Shinkansen ( Bullet ) Lines, such as on southern Kyushu, there were no train announcements in English. The Japanese announcement, except for an occasionalo word, is unintelligible. So I had to keep my wits about me and observe the signage entering stations, which if I recall, had small letters in English. ( except some very rural minor stops. ) If I had not been paying attention, I might have been carried past my stop. ( I did manage to get on the Green Yamanoto Line in Tokyo in the wrong direction, and decided to relax and make a loop around the city! )
 

Bob Dylan

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Overall we have experienced decent treatment by Amtrak onboard personnel but once we encountered a sleeping car porter who could care less about being accomodating. He was a lazy disinterested person who just did the bare minimum so after he put the beds down,
They arent called porters anymore, perhaps this person took offense @ that! :rolleyes: There are lazy employees in every field, hope you reported this one to Amtrak CR, and for future reference the correct title is: SCA (Sleeping Car Attendant). Also unless their actual name is George do not call them George! ;)
 
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kyakusan

Guest
So now the passengers have to "educate themselves"?
C'mon, this is just another example of the train-riding public, making excuses for Amtrak's shortcomings.
I disagree, I think that it's another example of people expecting others to exercise a little bit of personal responsibility and be aware of their surroundings. Whether I'm on a train, bus cab, I try to remain aware of where I am, and compare it to where I expect to be. It isn't asking the world of someone when taking a train to know what the stop before theirs is, and how long after that stop my stop will be. In the OP's case, it isn't that hard to know that after leaving Baltimore you've got about an hour to go, so when the train comes into a city and slows down after 50 minutes that it's time to get your gear together and be ready to move. Also, since someone usually comes around and collects seat checks 5 or 10 minutes before arriving at a station, that's another "heads up" that doesn't sound like happened (or was heeded), and an opportunity that I always personally take to verify "Is this door going to be opening?".

Thanks, rRan. You elaborated on my point well. I'm not saying the train crew was good or bad or that the OP is a dummy. But, as on all forms of transportation, it pays to be aware of the surroundings. Recently, I travelled by train in Japan, which overall was excellent. But on some trains away from the Shinkansen ( Bullet ) Lines, such as on southern Kyushu, there were no train announcements in English. The Japanese announcement, except for an occasionalo word, is unintelligible. So I had to keep my wits about me and observe the signage entering stations, which if I recall, had small letters in English. ( except some very rural minor stops. ) If I had not been paying attention, I might have been carried past my stop. ( I did manage to get on the Green Yamanoto Line in Tokyo in the wrong direction, and decided to relax and make a loop around the city! )
Unless of course you speak Nihongo!

As someone who studied and lived in Japan for several years, the railroads there do an outstanding job of posting all station signs with English, even in Southern Kyushu, where I traveled numerous times.

But if you don't understand Japanese, you should never venture beyond the bullet trains or metro subway/commuter rail systems without thorough advance guidance!

On the other hand, imagine a non-English-speaking Japanese trying to navigate Amtrak! Hell, even English-speaking passengers can often fail to understand the train announcements!
 

GG-1

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i wonder if the person who built the car PA also built the ones used at fast food drive up windows. both are hard to understand.
I don't know about who built the PA system, but some times the anouncers remind me of the "singer" Mrs Miller. I suspect anyone under 40 has never heard of her, but the rewiews of her singing suggested she sang with marbles in her mouth. :rolleyes:
 

PetalumaLoco

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i wonder if the person who built the car PA also built the ones used at fast food drive up windows. both are hard to understand.
I don't know about who built the PA system, but some times the anouncers remind me of the "singer" Mrs Miller. I suspect anyone under 40 has never heard of her, but the rewiews of her singing suggested she sang with marbles in her mouth. :rolleyes:
Huh, I don't recall her at all (waaay over 40 here).

 

Ryan

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Off looking for his sense of humor
Overall we have experienced decent treatment by Amtrak onboard personnel but once we encountered a sleeping car porter who could care less about being accomodating. He was a lazy disinterested person who just did the bare minimum so after he put the beds down,
They arent called porters anymore, perhaps this person took offense @ that! :rolleyes: There are lazy employees in every field, hope you reported this one to Amtrak CR, and for future reference the correct title is: SCA (Sleeping Car Attendant). Also unless their actual name is George do not call them George! ;)
I thought that an Amtrak employee posted here that the correct title was Train Attendant Sleeper (TAS) and Train Attendant Coach (TAC) for the folks in coach.
 
Joined
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So now the passengers have to "educate themselves"?
C'mon, this is just another example of the train-riding public, making excuses for Amtrak's shortcomings.
I disagree, I think that it's another example of people expecting others to exercise a little bit of personal responsibility and be aware of their surroundings. Whether I'm on a train, bus cab, I try to remain aware of where I am, and compare it to where I expect to be. It isn't asking the world of someone when taking a train to know what the stop before theirs is, and how long after that stop my stop will be. In the OP's case, it isn't that hard to know that after leaving Baltimore you've got about an hour to go, so when the train comes into a city and slows down after 50 minutes that it's time to get your gear together and be ready to move. Also, since someone usually comes around and collects seat checks 5 or 10 minutes before arriving at a station, that's another "heads up" that doesn't sound like happened (or was heeded), and an opportunity that I always personally take to verify "Is this door going to be opening?".
Ryan, I'm right there with you, do the same things, and as OP said, "....like the intracacies of timetables, knowing where you are, etc., etc.

But IF Amtrak is EVER going to crack the market, and get the general public ENJOYING their ride, looking FORWARD to their trip, and talking POSITIVELY about their experience, things must change.

I'll grant you that John Q. Public, is nominally aware of his next stop, or layover, be it a multi-plane trip, the Dog, or Amtrak. But what about the teenager, the hard of hearing, etc.? I guess I could make exceptions for many more types of travelers, and no carrier is gonna be perfect. But Amtrak can and SHOULD get better, that's my main point.
 
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I am on the other side of this one, sorry. And NO, I am not 'defending AMTRAK' or any of the such.
So brush it off and move on. "Sure, next time they spit in your eye, or call you an a**hole, just "brush that off" too!

C*U*S*T*O*M*E*R* S*E*R*V*I*C*E. You would actually tolerate the type of service the OP had?

 

Maybe the employee could have been nicer. Asking the customer to be familiar with the schedule is asking a lot.
 

Sarcasm. Love it. Passengers should know their stop and time. I can only imagine if this was a 0330 arrival and he had to be awaken from a sleeper because "no one told me we were there" Umm, THAT is THE EMPLOYEES job, to awaken / alert the passenger that their stop is coming up. At least that's how I was trained at Amtrak, many, many moons ago......

 

 

.............. From a passenger standpoint, I would suggest in the future that you make yourself more familiar with the operation of the train and the running times. Study the schedule in advance and that should make you aware that the previous stop was Baltimore and in an hour or so the next station stop would be yours in Wilmington. Happy travels.
 

So now the passengers have to "educate themselves"?

 
 

Uh, YES. I think it is only common sense to (1) know when you train departs, (2) know when you train arrives, and (3) know how to read a watch. Agree, pax SHOULD, but not all DO. And it is the carrier's responsibility to inform them. If after informed they DON'T prepare, or get off, well that's another story.
 
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To be fair to John Q Public, my girl friend once handled a fairly complex connection to get back to Chicago under stressfull situations. Her father lived in NYC and we in Chicago. Her father was diagnosed with lung cancer, and she needed to get to NYC. She had purchased a ticket for her father to come to Chicago. So the first step was to convert that ticket so she could use it. I helped her with that, and booked her in coach on 48. Sleepers were outside the budget.

I printed a list a tips to help her with her trip. She is a fresh air person, and I knew from experience that the air on the train would annoy her. So I printed out a list of the stops f where 48 made smoking stops so she could get off and get fresh air. And printed a yahoo map so she could get to Brooklyn by cab. Subways were out of the question. LOL.

Despite an 8 hour delay, she got to NYP ok, and the cab ride worked fine. Her father was somehwat surprised to see her, and after only a day or so, she had a need to get back to Chicago. For her return trip, i she was again on 49. She did not want to wait that long, so she took the initiative to go to the station early.

I don't think she even looked at my info, but she showed up at NYP around 8 pm. The ticket agent booked her on 67 to PHL, and then on the Pennsylvanian to Chicago. I did not even tell her of this option, but she got the info on her own, and negotiated the change in PHL on her own with no problem. I was surprised to get a call to pick her up almost 24 hours early. So people can use Amtrak, and do complicated connectons when they know absolutely nothing about it. LOL. I told her she was now an honary rail fan after this trip.
 

had8ley

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Even though my suit of armor is melting I'll add but one gallon of hi-test~ This event happened on the NEC; not known for the friendliest crews on the entire Amtrak system. I'll re-tell an incident that I personally witnessed on a NE Regional some time ago. A mugger was taking advantage of a poor gentleman on the platform at Bridgeport, CT I found the conductor and tried to get him to radio for help. His reply? "Hey buddy, I've got a train to run." As far as I know it ended right there. Nice guy ;)
 
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Even though my suit of armor is melting I'll add but one gallon of hi-test~ This event happened on the NEC; not known for the friendliest crews on the entire Amtrak system. I'll re-tell an incident that I personally witnessed on a NE Regional some time ago. A mugger was taking advantage of a poor gentleman on the platform at Bridgeport, CT I found the conductor and tried to get him to radio for help. His reply? "Hey buddy, I've got a train to run." As far as I know it ended right there. Nice guy ;)
Reading something like that makes me sooooooo Pi**ed off, I can't even reply............ :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:
 

daveyb99

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Even though my suit of armor is melting I'll add but one gallon of hi-test~ This event happened on the NEC; not known for the friendliest crews on the entire Amtrak system. I'll re-tell an incident that I personally witnessed on a NE Regional some time ago. A mugger was taking advantage of a poor gentleman on the platform at Bridgeport, CT I found the conductor and tried to get him to radio for help. His reply? "Hey buddy, I've got a train to run." As far as I know it ended right there. Nice guy ;)
Reading something like that makes me sooooooo Pi**ed off, I can't even reply............ :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:
I agree. Why didnt had8ley intervene. I mean, this is a felony in progress.

I wonder if the conductor had radio-ed for help, how long before the dispatcher got ahold of a law enforcement agency (either AMTRAK or local police) and they responded.

All while had8ley stood there and watched, working on a complaint on the NEC, where the crews are not known for being friendly

Too mean? or did I melt the armor......
 
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Probably the fastest way to get a response is to use a cell phone to call 911. Taking a physical action to intervene is a mugging is one of personal choice. It could be potentially fatal if the mugger has a weapon.
 
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:angry: I am writing to express my deep disappointment with the conductors on the March 4th, 2010, 304 Lincoln Service train from St. Louis to Joliet.

I have been riding Amtrak, from Joliet to St. Louis, back and forth, for over six years now and have never been treated so shabbily on one of their trains before.

I should have known my trip back to Joliet wasn't going to be a good one when I arrived on the platform ten minutes before departure and there wasn't a conductor in sight to tell me where to board. This has never happened before. After waiting a couple of minutes on the platform between two trains, an Amtrak employee driving a service cart appeared and I had to ask her which train was my train to Joliet and where to board that train. She indicated which was the Chicago bound train and that I should board at the front of the train, which I did.

The first car was rather full so I moved on to the next car and took a seat. After the train pulled out of the station a conductor finally appeared and asked how I had ended up where I was. I told him no one was around to tell me where to go when I boarded and I gave him my ticket. After looking at my ticket he told me I would have to move two cars back and I told him that would be no problem. He tore the stub off my ticket, handed it back to me and walked away. I shoved my stub back in my purse gathered my belongings and moved back to the last car.

After relocating to the correct car and settling in the conductor returned and asked for my ticket. I told him he had taken my ticket back in the other car. He told me he would never have done that.

So I began to panic. I looked through my purse twice while he stood there reiterating that he would never take a ticket until he was ready to cancel it and he told me if I didn’t believe this, I could just ask the two young passengers who had entered the car at the same time he did that this was the case. This, of course, embarrassed me as these two young men were now drawn into this debate as unwilling spectators.

I told the conductor once again that I was sure he had taken my ticket in the other car and he insisted once more that he had not.

While still looking through my purse, yet again, I told him I did not have the ticket. And he said, "Well you'll just have to buy a ticket." I told him, "Oh, no I will not, Sir!" At which time he said, "Well, you'll be put off the train in Alton, then!"

A second conductor appeared and stood there for the rest of the argument.

I told the original conductor once more that I had already bought my ticket and that he had taken it, during which time I found my stub in my purse. I showed it to him and said, "Look, this is all you gave back to me."

He said, "Oh no, that stub isn't canceled. I would never have given that back to you un-canceled. I will look through the tickets I have here, but I know yours is not here." And so he quickly flipped through the tickets and announced that my ticket wasn't there. I said, "Then how do you explain this stub, Sir?" and he replied, that the stub didn't matter as it wasn't canceled.

I again told him that he had my ticket and he said it wasn't in his stack but I was welcome to look through his stack of tickets if I thought he was wrong. I told him, "I would very much like to do that." I took the stack of tickets from him and in a matter of seconds I had found my ticket and said, "Oh, gee look! Here I am, Sir! I think you owe me an apology!” All he said in return was, "I need your stub." Naturally, I had put the stub back in my purse and had to dig it out yet again. I handed him the stub, he took it, said a curt and insincere, "I apologize", and both conductors walked away without a further word.

I feel I was treated as if the situation had been my fault or as if I had been trying to scam them and that any other kind of apology wasn’t warranted.

My usually pleasant train ride was ruined by conductors who couldn't even admit they had made a mistake and who had no kind of concern for me as a customer or human being.

I rely on Amtrak to get me back and forth from my daughter’s home in the St. Louis area, but I'll think twice about taking the 304 again!

I was extremely embarrassed, frazzled and emotionally distressed. I don't like confrontation, but there was no way I was going to back down when I knew I was right. Intimidation does not rank as good customer service last time I checked!
 

Bob Dylan

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;) Please contact Customer Relations, (1-800-USA-RAIL) ask "Julie" for an agent, when the agent comes on ask for a Customer Relations agent and let them know about this unacceptable behaviour/service by that so called conductor!

Have all the info you can ready (Date/Train #/Tiket or Res z#, if you know the jerks name that too! If not theyll still have the info and will follow up for certain! )As in all businesses and agencies there are orges and power trippers but we all pretty much agree that if we all report these bad apples we can improve Amtrak for everyone and perhaps change the bad actors behaviour or else help them find a new profession, perhaps trash man or sewer plant operator, not customer service and safety! Hope you get a voucher, you deserve one!
 
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:) Thanks Jim, I will do that. I am glad that you agree that this was very bad behavior from someone in the service industry. I was hoping that I wasn't over reacting to what had happened. It's a day and a half after the incident and I'm still very irked about it! Thanks again.

;) Please contact Customer Relations, (1-800-USA-RAIL) ask "Julie" for an agent, when the agent comes on ask for a Customer Relations agent and let them know about this unacceptable behaviour/service by that so called conductor!
Have all the info you can ready (Date/Train #/Tiket or Res z#, if you know the jerks name that too! If not theyll still have the info and will follow up for certain! )As in all businesses and agencies there are orges and power trippers but we all pretty much agree that if we all report these bad apples we can improve Amtrak for everyone and perhaps change the bad actors behaviour or else help them find a new profession, perhaps trash man or sewer plant operator, not customer service and safety! Hope you get a voucher, you deserve one!
 

jmbgeg

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spokane
Hello all
I just completed my first trip on am Amtrak train yesterday. I traveled aboard the Crescent train from Atlanta, GA to Wilmington, DE. While overall it was a very good experience, I did encounter some rude Amtrak employees. Is this common occurrence on Amtrak? While boarding the train, one employee asked where I'd be heading and I got directed to a specific car, where I sat near the front of the car, which was fine.

During other stops, the conductor (or other Amtrak employee), would announce the stop so everyone could clearly hear on the train, even near the front of the car where I was sitting, because it was hard to hear the usual arrival announcements. When we arrived in Wilmington, I couldn't make out the usual announcement over the PA and the conductor did not repeat that we had arrived in Wilmington. I almost missed my stop and I guess the conductor was not pleased that he had to direct me all the way to the back of the train so I that could step off the train. I was not rude, I simply told him that you can not hear the announcement clearly from where I was sitting and that they should somehow fix the problem, so more people don't miss their stops, but it seemed like he didn't care...

Has anyone else had this kind of problem before? Just curious. I'm very unsure if I will be taking Amtrak again in the future. As stated before this was my first Amtrak trip and am not sure if my situation is experienced by more passengers.
Put in in context. I may not have been pleased, but that passes the next day. If the Conductor thought he made a proper announcement and you did not detrain, he was probably frustrated. You might have been in his shoes. In your shoes, he might have been offended. I travel 2-3 times per year Bakersfield-Las Vegas on an Amtrak California bus. Eastbond or westbound, I often get a specific driver who is very abrupt in explaining the bus rules and non-talkative after. I take no offense and until I see him again, forget all about it.
 

had8ley

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Even though my suit of armor is melting I'll add but one gallon of hi-test~ This event happened on the NEC; not known for the friendliest crews on the entire Amtrak system. I'll re-tell an incident that I personally witnessed on a NE Regional some time ago. A mugger was taking advantage of a poor gentleman on the platform at Bridgeport, CT I found the conductor and tried to get him to radio for help. His reply? "Hey buddy, I've got a train to run." As far as I know it ended right there. Nice guy ;)
Reading something like that makes me sooooooo Pi**ed off, I can't even reply............ :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:
I agree. Why didnt had8ley intervene. I mean, this is a felony in progress.

I wonder if the conductor had radio-ed for help, how long before the dispatcher got ahold of a law enforcement agency (either AMTRAK or local police) and they responded.

All while had8ley stood there and watched, working on a complaint on the NEC, where the crews are not known for being friendly

Too mean? or did I melt the armor......
Well there's not a whole lot you can do while pulling out of the station. If I pulled the air and stopped the train I would be in more trouble than the mugger !!! This was before every 6 year old had a cell phone in their back pockets so I was totally at the mercy of a jerk... :angry: :angry: :angry:
 

TheCrescent

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Why does Amtrak seem to have a larger portion of rude employees than (in my experience) American Airlines and (definitely) Brightline?

The Brightline employees I met were very helpful; they even line up and wave to trains as the trains leave stations.

Were pre-Amtrak railroads as rude as Amtrak?

It must be a management issue: if senior management wanted Amtrak employees to be as cheerful and helpful as AA or Brightline, surely that could be done.
 
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Were pre-Amtrak railroads as rude as Amtrak?

I rode on PRR, NYC, and C&NW trains pre-Amtrak and I have nothing but pleasant memories of the personnel whom I met.

Most Amtrak staff whom I have encountered have ranged along a Bell Curve. None have been so unpleasant that I specifically remember them. I recall several who were friendly, helpful, and efficient. I recall a small number who barely did their jobs and nothing else.

Unfortunately, in today's society, some Amtrak employees reflect some members of our society. Why would anyone expect anything different?
 

Sidney

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I rode on PRR, NYC, and C&NW trains pre-Amtrak and I have nothing but pleasant memories of the personnel whom I met.

Most Amtrak staff whom I have encountered have ranged along a Bell Curve. None have been so unpleasant that I specifically remember them. I recall several who were friendly, helpful, and efficient. I recall a small number who barely did their jobs and nothing else.

Unfortunately, in today's society, some Amtrak employees reflect some members of our society. Why would anyone expect anything different?
I had one of the surliest SCA's on the Crescent last November. He reminded me of a drill sargent. He scowled when I asked him to put down the bed and grumbled anytime I would ask him anything. Needless to say,he made the trip I paid quite a bit for uncomfortable. No tip whatsoever.
 

TheCrescent

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Messages
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Unfortunately, in today's society, some Amtrak employees reflect some members of our society. Why would anyone expect anything different?

Well, (1) at work we have to act in ways that we wouldn’t act outside of work (for example, in my job, criticizing a client even to other colleagues is a huge no-no) and (2) I think there are more crabby people among Amtrak staff than there are in society generally.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Why does Amtrak seem to have a larger portion of rude employees than (in my experience) American Airlines and (definitely) Brightline?

The Brightline employees I met were very helpful; they even line up and wave to trains as the trains leave stations.

Were pre-Amtrak railroads as rude as Amtrak?

It must be a management issue: if senior management wanted Amtrak employees to be as cheerful and helpful as AA or Brightline, surely that could be done.
When RRs were attempting their Train offs back in the 60s, the good Ole EssPee was Infamous for their rude OBS, especially on the Sunset Route, as they downgraded the Crack Sunset Ltd. to Greyhound Status before the Feds forced them to return Diners and Sleepers to the Sunsets Consist.

I also ran into lots of rude and uncaring Employess on the PRR when I moved to Washington DC and started riding on the NEC regularly between WAS and NYP.

The Best IMO were The Southern and The Santa Fe, which continued to run their LD Trains with Pride till they joined Amtrak.
 
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