Rude Employees

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Everydaymatters

Engineer
Joined
May 15, 2006
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3,292
Location
Just North of Normal, Illinois
I just can't understand why Amtrak continues to put up with rude personnel.

Last night my neighbor was over and told me about a bad experience she had. This was on top of having heard another comment from another acquaintence.

Anyone who has traveled in coach has experienced it or witnessed it at one time or another and we keep telling people to "get their name and complain to Amtrak".

The complaint of sleeper passengers is usually about the absentee attendants and that's not what I'm talking about. Passengers riding coach, especially long distance, have a completely different experience. You wouldn't know you were on the same train as those in sleepers.

I know..there are some truly terrific employees. However, those bad employees leave a much stronger impression and they have the power to make or break what should be a pleasant experience.

Can't Amtrak get a handle on this?
 
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Ryan

Court Jester
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Apr 14, 2008
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Off looking for his sense of humor
Not if they don't know about the problem. Until management gets out of their office and onto the trains, I wouldn't look for much improvement.

The only thing that we can do is to continue to report the bad apples - each complaints adds to the paper trail and helps get rid of the dead weight.
 
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none

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
1,046
Plus, it is an increasingly rude world. Everywhere you go - not just on Amtrak trains - people serving the public are more and more often rude. It comes down to this: people don't teach their kids manners as much as they used to. Television teaches rudeness. We live in a rude culture.

This does not excuse the inexcusable. It is merely reality (as I see it).
 

sttsxm

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
123
Location
PJC
I'v e sent mulit-page letters to Mr Boardman's office about rude AND wonderful employees...

I too have experienced lousy coach service...on several occasions...including the mysterious, disappearing Coach attendant.....

OTOH there have been a handful of outstanding OBS crew, some of whom have gone above and WAY beyond to assist me
....and i was REALLY sick too.....
 

librarian

Train Attendant
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
66
As an administrator at my place of work, I see two issues relating to "rude employees." First, it seems that younger staff are not developing human interaction skills, which leads to poor human communication skills. Many times, the problem is simply the "way" a staff person phrases things to customers, combined with "listening" skills. Is social networking doing this to society?

Secondly, the ultimate problem is how difficult it is for an employer to terminate rude staff. I had a staff member whose attitude deteriorated as years passed, and I worked with her several times to improve her work attitude, to no avail. Everything was documented, she was finally terminated, and now, 3 YEARS LATER, I am still paying Unemployment Compensation for her. Monthly, I receive the paperwork saying that she is "unable to find employment." Financially speaking, there is no reason to terminate such staff.
 

none

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
1,046
Trogdor: agreed. It's everywhere.

Librarian: I don't think it is social networking, or at least not all. I have been noticing a deterioration of common decent behavior for longer than the networks have been up. I think of the media, TV has a lot more to do with it. And a culture of "us against them."
 

OlympianHiawatha

Engineer
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,340
Location
Norman, OK
I can only imagine Labor Unions have a lot to do with employees being able to get away with rude and unacceptable behavior. No sooner than an employee is disciplined by management, he or she will run right to their union representative and file a grievance resulting in the union complaining to management about abusive behavior.
 

bobnabq

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
360
Location
New Mexico
Plus, it is an increasingly rude world. Everywhere you go - not just on Amtrak trains - people serving the public are more and more often rude.
I've just recently encountered rude employees; one a postal carrier and one a woman who works for the company that ships me my diabetic testing equipment.

It's as if they have no 'social skills' and don't know how to relate to the public.

As a kid, if I acted like that, all my parents had to do was give me "that look" and I straightened out quickly.
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Norman, OK
A friend of mine who has a lot of pre-Amtrak and pre-Deregulation airline travel experience has told me several times if an employee displayed rude behavior he or she would quickly find out what termination is all about, often even before the trip was over.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,661
Location
Austin Texas
With so many excellent people looking for work it's a shame that jerks with poor people skills have jobs in service industries! Unions have no choice but to represent any member brought up on disciplinary charges, but Management is to blame, they do not document, follow procedures etc! Basically as others have said ,they sit in their offices collecting the big bucks and are Shocked! Shocked! when a bad apple causes problems!

We can all do our part to help in this area by reporting such unacceptable behaviour by employees to management! If you get the brush off by say the Store Manager, write/call Customer Relations and cc the CEO in his palacial offices in Corporate Headquarters! (In Amtraks case thats Joe Boardman, 60 Mass, Washington, D.C.)

Im really surprised that someone who was dismissed for Cause is still drawing unemployment three years later?? :eek: Most states have procedures for challenging inelgible ex-employees, and I thought Congress had cut off UE extension after 2 years! If its California that might explain it, but most places they wouldnt have gotten a Dime if they were fired for cause! Shouldnt it be that way?? :help:
 

sttsxm

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
123
Location
PJC
Plus, it is an increasingly rude world. Everywhere you go - not just on Amtrak trains - people serving the public are more and more often rude.
I've just recently encountered rude employees; one a postal carrier and one a woman who works for the company that ships me my diabetic testing equipment.

It's as if they have no 'social skills' and don't know how to relate to the public.

As a kid, if I acted like that, all my parents had to do was give me "that look" and I straightened out quickly.
you got that look too huh??
 
A

anonymous

Guest
I can only imagine Labor Unions have a lot to do with employees being able to get away with rude and unacceptable behavior. No sooner than an employee is disciplined by management, he or she will run right to their union representative and file a grievance resulting in the union complaining to management about abusive behavior.
Labor unions have been around for over a century. Have rude employees been a problem for that long? I think not.
 

me_little_me

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,637
After writing Amtrak twice about wonderful employees on our last trips, I once again contacted them - this time about the useless SCAs on our round-trip to NOL. I always tip anyway but n the future, those that do not provide service will get nothing even though I sympathize with the employees as they will never get rich on their salaries even with tips. However, I did miss an opportunity. On our outgoing trip, the SCA from the other car helped us board but was obviously miffed that our (useless) SCA wasn't there to help her customers. When I got off, I tipped her anyway but I should have given her half the tip and given him the other half as he was so nice, cheerful, and helpful.
 
G

George B

Guest
I can only imagine Labor Unions have a lot to do with employees being able to get away with rude and unacceptable behavior. No sooner than an employee is disciplined by management, he or she will run right to their union representative and file a grievance resulting in the union complaining to management about abusive behavior.
I am not a big fan of unions, as they often serve the union bosses more than they serve the actual workers, but blanket statements blaming unions reflect very poorly upon the person making them. Unions do not mold the modern work force…society does.

A previous poster hit the nail right on the head……all an employees has to do these days is hire a lawyer and threaten legal action against an employer, and suddenly management gives in. It is very difficult to dismiss an employee without a long, well-documented history of poor performance. If they are in a protected class such as being a woman, minority, over 40, veteran, or disabled, then forget it. You will never get rid of them because it is too easy for them to win any lawsuit. That is due to people abusing the legal system. Then again, who isn’t abusing the legal system these days?

So, union-bashing, while fun, doesn’t serve you well in a fact-based discussion.
 

ColdRain&Snow

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
445
Location
Playa Del Rey, CA
One of my biggest concerns right now about the prevalence of rude Amtrak employees is their apparent failure to draw the connection between their behavior and its complicity to the endangerment of Amtrak's future. With every incident of rude and/or apathetic treatment of passengers, Amtrak's employees are playing directly into the stereotypes that miscreants like Congressman Mica are so vociferously trying to establish in the national perception about Amtrak (such as his recent "Soviet-style railroad" line of attacks).

It's frustrating to be such an ardent supporter of Amtrak yet board a train and observe an employee who appears to be content with delivering an unpleasant experience to his/her passengers. Though they may resent the implication, these employees are undermining Amtrak's future survivability every bit as much as Congressman Mica, Shuster, et al. They're actually doing part of their dirty work by reinforcing certain tenets of the congressmen's argument that dismantling Amtrak is good for America. I imagine this must profoundly frustrate all of the great employees working at Amtrak who are dedicated to elevating the railroad on a daily basis.
 
G

George B

Guest
I just can't understand why Amtrak continues to put up with rude personnel.

Last night my neighbor was over and told me about a bad experience she had. This was on top of having heard another comment from another acquaintence.

Anyone who has traveled in coach has experienced it or witnessed it at one time or another and we keep telling people to "get their name and complain to Amtrak".

The complaint of sleeper passengers is usually about the absentee attendants and that's not what I'm talking about. Passengers riding coach, especially long distance, have a completely different experience. You wouldn't know you were on the same train as those in sleepers.

I know..there are some truly terrific employees. However, those bad employees leave a much stronger impression and they have the power to make or break what should be a pleasant experience.

Can't Amtrak get a handle on this?
This is all wonderful and interesting, but you never state what the specific complaints were from your neighbor…………………………..
 
G

guest

Guest
Not if they don't know about the problem. Until management gets out of their office and onto the trains, I wouldn't look for much improvement.

The only thing that we can do is to continue to report the bad apples - each complaints adds to the paper trail and helps get rid of the dead weight.
How about getting rid of poor management?
 

OlympianHiawatha

Engineer
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,340
Location
Norman, OK
One way to deal with this type of situation is to have uniformed Supervisors show up and ride unannounced from time to time and discuss and work with employees who exhibit poor behavior. And along with this, undercover "agents" can be used periodically to ride and report. They would book their tickets and ride and behave like any other passenger, having been trained on how to maintain cover and not do anything to reveal their identity while being able to accurately report on the conduct and performance of employees they interact with.
 

Everydaymatters

Engineer
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
3,292
Location
Just North of Normal, Illinois
I just can't understand why Amtrak continues to put up with rude personnel.

Last night my neighbor was over and told me about a bad experience she had. This was on top of having heard another comment from another acquaintence.

Anyone who has traveled in coach has experienced it or witnessed it at one time or another and we keep telling people to "get their name and complain to Amtrak".

The complaint of sleeper passengers is usually about the absentee attendants and that's not what I'm talking about. Passengers riding coach, especially long distance, have a completely different experience. You wouldn't know you were on the same train as those in sleepers.

I know..there are some truly terrific employees. However, those bad employees leave a much stronger impression and they have the power to make or break what should be a pleasant experience.

Can't Amtrak get a handle on this?
This is all wonderful and interesting, but you never state what the specific complaints were from your neighbor…………………………..
I had replied with what the situation was and then backspaced to delete it because it really doesn't matter what the "complaint" was. Rude employees are rude employees, whether it is to my neighbor or yours. Just read the discussions and the travelogues, there are plenty of examples. My neighbor's experience probably isn't the same as someone else's and it wouldn't serve any useful purpose for you (or anyone else) to pick apart her experience. The fact remains that rudeness exists now and has existed for too long.
 
G

George B

Guest
I had replied with what the situation was and then backspaced to delete it because it really doesn't matter what the "complaint" was. Rude employees are rude employees, whether it is to my neighbor or yours. Just read the discussions and the travelogues, there are plenty of examples. My neighbor's experience probably isn't the same as someone else's and it wouldn't serve any useful purpose for you (or anyone else) to pick apart her experience. The fact remains that rudeness exists now and has existed for too long.
Yes, but coming on here and just saying someone told you they had a bad experience is on par with the people who post topics like “Amtrak sucks” and never explain what the problem is.

It does, indeed, matter what the complaint was. Your second, third, and fourth sentence all refer to “bad experiences”, but never say what they are. I’m not asking for pages of explanation, but if you bring it up, you should at least describe it to some extent. Just a sentence or two. I can read travel reports from other people until the cows come home. It doesn’t explain your situation any more than someone else’s trip report explains my last trip.
 

going to the sun sue

Train Attendant
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Western Wisconsin
Oh..I'vd got one for you...we had a attendant in May when my husband and I went to Maricopa...when the train arrived and all of us left our rooms to disembark...our lady was no where to be found...one man went looking for her..and came back to no avail..our daughter was standing on the platform..wondering why we weren't getting off...WELL..a fellow passenger opened the door himself..I know this is a no no....when we were getting off..the conductor came running down the platform..wanting to know where she was...lucky we opened the door or else the train would have had to go back...at least I hope it would...When we returned home..we talked about it to our attendant..and he said he did hear about that incident..we didn't make a fuss...but I betcha the other couple did...I was just thankful that we got off :mellow: Most of our attendants have been good...don't remember many names..but 2 that stand out are Reggie and Michael
 

amtrakwolverine

Engineer
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
4,002
Location
Warren MI
I had replied with what the situation was and then backspaced to delete it because it really doesn't matter what the "complaint" was. Rude employees are rude employees, whether it is to my neighbor or yours. Just read the discussions and the travelogues, there are plenty of examples. My neighbor's experience probably isn't the same as someone else's and it wouldn't serve any useful purpose for you (or anyone else) to pick apart her experience. The fact remains that rudeness exists now and has existed for too long.
Yes, but coming on here and just saying someone told you they had a bad experience is on par with the people who post topics like “Amtrak sucks” and never explain what the problem is.

It does, indeed, matter what the complaint was. Your second, third, and fourth sentence all refer to “bad experiences”, but never say what they are. I’m not asking for pages of explanation, but if you bring it up, you should at least describe it to some extent. Just a sentence or two. I can read travel reports from other people until the cows come home. It doesn’t explain your situation any more than someone else’s trip report explains my last trip.
We get allot of amtrak sucks I will never take a train again blah blah but they don't say what the issue was and more often then not they post under a guest account and never return with a follow up to our questions. About the supervisers riding trains. That didn't work out. They would stay in there sleeper not venture out to see what issues there were and just have there meals delivered to there room. They were useless.
 
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