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BBC News - Disabled sailor Geoff Holt MBE barred from train

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SS4

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Here we go again. Didn't take long for the wagons to be circled this time. Why would anyone disagree with the guy, who obviously wasn't treated well, as freely admitted by the TOC, who have quite rightly apologised.

But heaven forbid that any member of rail staff, on any occasion, should be held have acted wrongly in any way. In the real world, one guy acting wrongly doesn't subtract anything from the excellent service provided by the majority of staff - so why the knee-jerk defence every time?

Because the passenger would never make up information to cast himself in a better light would he? :roll:
Passengers can be arseholes just as much, if not more, than staff.

The TOC has not apologised for the incident (my bold).
A Stagecoach Group spokesperson said: "We are absolutely horrified at the events Mr Holt has described.

"We welcome electric wheelchairs on our services and it is very important to us that all of our passengers feel welcome on our network.

"We are taking this matter very seriously and have already launched an investigation."

As usual there is no effort taken by the media to ascertain the facts as it looks like they've rewritten his blog. Do you deny that it's plausible that the accuser is blowing all things out of proportion?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's like Senator McCarthy writing about communism, ludicrously one sided yet people swallow it as truth because, well, pick your reason:

  • He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass
  • He has an MBE
  • Reinforcing stereotypes about poor TOCs
  • And their staff by extension
 
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Greenback

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Because the passenger would never make up information to cast himself in a better light would he? :roll:

I don't think I have ever seen an internet rant, sorry, blog, where the writer has even mentioned the possibility that they may have contributed, even in a small way, to whatever they are complaining about.

This reinforces my opinion that blogs are used as an extension of people's thoughts, so that they can let off steam about soemthing. Which is fine, until you get others jumping in to criticise or support actions and situations that they know nothing about. People need to be more objective when reading anything, sadly it appears that many people simply absorb whatever is written without questioning or thinking too much about what may have happened.
 

SS4

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I've posted a comment which is awaiting moderation (my neurology is not great so if it's wrong fair enough)
There are two sides to every story – except this one it would appear. Anger does strange things to people, it blocks out the rational part of the brain. If what you say is verifiable the guard did treat you badly. I hope you’re happy that you’re unverifiable rant made national news who have taken no rescourse to check whether or not this is the truth.

Blogs are people's thoughts undoubtedly but once a blog is made public it's as though you'd published it in a magazine so you have to be careful what you say. From reading blogs you'd be able to drain the dead sea of salt
 

Greenback

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Blogs are people's thoughts undoubtedly but once a blog is made public it's as though you'd published it in a magazine so you have to be careful what you say. From reading blogs you'd be able to drain the dead sea of salt

Indeed. I fully agree with that. Blogs are more like a private diary, but they are a private diary that is put into a public arena. Some bloggers need to remind themselves of this and think more carefully before publishing their innermost thoughts.

It is much the same with Twitter, as at least one person has found out to their cost recently.
 

EM2

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The railway companies may have one as well - to treat people with different abilities as inconveniences rather than human beings and fare-paying passengers who pay their wages.
If that were true, how do you explain that we have completed over 10,000 assistances over the last year where I work, and have had issues in only 0.15% of them? And that 0.15% are not all customer complaints, these include issues that staff have raised (such as poor information passed) where no inconvenience has been caused to the customer.
 

Class377/5

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Here we go again. Didn't take long for the wagons to be circled this time. Why would anyone disagree with the guy, who obviously wasn't treated well, as freely admitted by the TOC, who have quite rightly apologised.

But heaven forbid that any member of rail staff, on any occasion, should be held have acted wrongly in any way. In the real world, one guy acting wrongly doesn't subtract anything from the excellent service provided by the majority of staff - so why the knee-jerk defence every time?

They apologised because that what companies do. No way have they done a full investigation before they offered an apology. So it was offered without knowing the full situation.

How do we know that this guy didn't have an attitude which set the guard off? If he was aggressive towards the guard, he could have provoked. But this is all hear say. We do not know the full story and properly never will.

I also doubt that the guard cut his leg on purpose. After all even he stated that he didn't feel it because he was that wound up. He hear a lot of what the guard said but other than admitting being abusive he says nothing about what he was.

It's easy to blame others but giving an angry account does him and other disabled user bad.
 

jopsuk

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He didn't feel the cut because he doesn't have any feeling in his legs.

I do feel that, much as half the internet seems to be rushing to try to have the guard hung from a flagpole at the pier head, that there's a fair number on here seem to be rushing to assume that geoff's an angry, abusive, awkward trouble maker and paint a narrative based on this creation.
 

SS4

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He didn't feel the cut because he doesn't have any feeling in his legs.

I do feel that, much as half the internet seems to be rushing to try to have the guard hung from a flagpole at the pier head, that there's a fair number on here seem to be rushing to assume that geoff's an angry, abusive, awkward trouble maker and paint a narrative based on this creation.

Half the internet? Way to underestimate. I'd be thinking more like 90% are on Geoff's side which is hardly surprising since most (all?) of the reports are in his favour.
Geoff admitted he was angry and by swearing at the guard abusive - he admits both these things. His blog needs to be taken with a pinch of salt since it's quite common to blame someone else even if oneself is partly to blame.

Why would he name the ticket office clerk in a public blog? I hope that the clerk's and his family can still live in peace, ditto for the guard.
 

GadgetMan

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He didn't feel the cut because he doesn't have any feeling in his legs.

I do feel that, much as half the internet seems to be rushing to try to have the guard hung from a flagpole at the pier head, that there's a fair number on here seem to be rushing to assume that geoff's an angry, abusive, awkward trouble maker and paint a narrative based on this creation.

One view feeds the other. You get people attacking the member of staff without having any knowledge of what actually went on. This winds us railway employees up and we feel the need to balance the arguments by mentioning the opposite end of extreme possibilities.

A major reason for the above defending is that we have all been on the receiving end of passenger complaints that get us tugged into the office. I can only speak for myself, but every complaint I have HAD to discuss with my manager ended with the manager satisfied the matter was dealt with correctly. However when you read the content of the complaints, it is often laughable at how much bull**** passengers add to their account to portray themselves as victims.

As another member mentioned above, the response to the passenger goes along the lines of; "the matter has been dealt with.....". I on the other hand always insist on seeing the response from our customer service department before it gets sent, and insist on it being factual and informing the passenger that they had no reason to complain in the first place.
 

Greenback

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One view feeds the other. You get people attacking the member of staff without having any knowledge of what actually went on.

Correct. And people get more and more wound up as the opposing responses continue to be posted!

It's worth pointing out as well that it's not only rail staff that have unjustified and soemtimes ludicrous complaints made against them. I have suffered from this myself, both on and off the railway, but fortunately none of these incidents have been played out in the public domain. I don;t know I might have been affected if they had been.
 

jopsuk

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I appreciate one feeds the other. I've been making attempts to try and defuse both sides (elsewhere). Of course, being reasonable gets you ignored.
 

GadgetMan

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I appreciate one feeds the other. I've been making attempts to try and defuse both sides (elsewhere). Of course, being reasonable gets you ignored.

Sometimes it's best to bite your tongue and not get involved. There does not seem to be much hunger out there for reasoned debate in situations like this. As Greenback says, the arguments just get more and more heated.
 

khib70

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Because the passenger would never make up information to cast himself in a better light would he? :roll:
Passengers can be arseholes just as much, if not more, than staff.

The TOC has not apologised for the incident (my bold).


As usual there is no effort taken by the media to ascertain the facts as it looks like they've rewritten his blog. Do you deny that it's plausible that the accuser is blowing all things out of proportion?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's like Senator McCarthy writing about communism, ludicrously one sided yet people swallow it as truth because, well, pick your reason:

  • He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass
  • He has an MBE
  • Reinforcing stereotypes about poor TOCs
  • And their staff by extension

I've posted a comment which is awaiting moderation (my neurology is not great so if it's wrong fair enough)


Blogs are people's thoughts undoubtedly but once a blog is made public it's as though you'd published it in a magazine so you have to be careful what you say. From reading blogs you'd be able to drain the dead sea of salt

I give up. I've sussed out the rules on this forum now. Even the slightest suggestion that a member of staff might have treated a passenger badly (even a non-disabled one who doesn't think the "sun shines out of his ass" which is in itself a pathetic and contemptible comment which devalues everything else you say) leads to the usual gang showing up to point out that passenger complaints are never ever justified, especially if they use a blog (the devious swine!), and why don't they all just shut up and do what they're told.

Rather than continue to feed rail staff paranoia, I'll just leave you all to congratulate yourselves on your own infallibility, and muse on how much better the railway would be without these pesky passengers.

Bit of a rant I know, but this happens on every thread on a similar topic, and there only seem to be one or two posters who dare to challenge it.
 

jopsuk

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Why would he name the ticket office clerk in a public blog? I hope that the clerk's and his family can still live in peace, ditto for the guard.

He only uses the clerk's first name, and says nothing negative about him at all. In fact, putting his name in quote marks makes me wonder if that's hhis real name.

Anyway, if you're Dave Smith, your comment passed through moderation.
 

Mutant Lemming

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There are some good rail staff and there are some bad rail staff, there are some good people in wheelchairs and there are some bad ones. I do not know which is which in this incident as I have only heard one side of the story. Our media constantly lie to us and distort the truth to make a more 'viable' story so isn't it best to wait and discover the truth before deciding who is the demon, if indeed there is one, in this case ?
 

SS4

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There are some good rail staff and there are some bad rail staff, there are some good people in wheelchairs and there are some bad ones. I do not know which is which in this incident as I have only heard one side of the story. Our media constantly lie to us and distort the truth to make a more 'viable' story so isn't it best to wait and discover the truth before deciding who is the demon, if indeed there is one, in this case ?

Well said. Unfortunately the truth will never come out unless it reinforces the story
 

Greenback

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There are some good rail staff and there are some bad rail staff, there are some good people in wheelchairs and there are some bad ones. I do not know which is which in this incident as I have only heard one side of the story. Our media constantly lie to us and distort the truth to make a more 'viable' story so isn't it best to wait and discover the truth before deciding who is the demon, if indeed there is one, in this case ?

I couldn't agree more. All I ask is that those who are not in possession of any of the facts (apart from the blog and the articles based on it) keep an open mind.
 

Ferret

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I couldn't agree more. All I ask is that those who are not in possession of any of the facts (apart from the blog and the articles based on it) keep an open mind.

That would seem to be the sensible approach. Alas those of us taking it will be in the minority.
 

Flamingo

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Here we go again. Didn't take long for the wagons to be circled this time. Why would anyone disagree with the guy, who obviously wasn't treated well, as freely admitted by the TOC, who have quite rightly apologised.

But heaven forbid that any member of rail staff, on any occasion, should be held have acted wrongly in any way. In the real world, one guy acting wrongly doesn't subtract anything from the excellent service provided by the majority of staff - so why the knee-jerk defence every time?

The thing that non-rail staff have to remember is that rail staff in customer facing roles get to see the complaints that passengers send in about them, and how these complaints usually have very little relationship to the events as remembered by the rail staff.

A colleague of mine recently was accused by a fare evader of "running down the platform after him and rugby-tackling him from behind". My colleague had indeed grabbed the male's legs - after the male had already knocked him to the floor, and kicked him. My colleague is still waiting to hear from BTP if he is to be charged with assault! (The Fare Evader has already been told NFA by BTP, as "it's one word against another".) Just to add my colleague is middle-aged, overweight, and had recently had surgery - not exactly the type to chase an abusive 20something along a platform and rugby-tackle them! Doubtless at some stage an apology will be written to the fare evader, along with scratch-cards for his "inconvenience".

I'm saying this to demonstrate that passengers can twist what occurred to suit their agenda, and why rail-staff are inclined to be cynical when they hear just one side of the story. Tonyaryan was the classic example of people assuming that "the customer is always right", and "The camera never lies".

But hey, if people like KHIB70 want to interpret anybody saying there are two sides to every story as rail-staff circling the wagons, well, he might be right - but it's only because rail staff know that there are enough people out there (like him) who are quick enough to jump to conclusions that suit their own agenda, not the facts.
 

D1009

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But hey, if people like KHIB70 want to interpret anybody saying there are two sides to every story as rail-staff circling the wagons, well, he might be right - but it's only because rail staff know that there are enough people out there (like him) who are quick enough to jump to conclusions that suit their own agenda, not the facts.

Except that in this case we don't know the facts so it's pointless to speculate, and that's what winds people up.
 

Flamingo

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Except that in this case we don't know the facts so it's pointless to speculate, and that's what winds people up.

Which if you look back, is exactly what the rail-staff are saying.
 

bluenoxid

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As another member mentioned above, the response to the passenger goes along the lines of; "the matter has been dealt with.....". I on the other hand always insist on seeing the response from our customer service department before it gets sent, and insist on it being factual and informing the passenger that they had no reason to complain in the first place.

Exactly, it is this form of customer service that is more likely to get respect. Honesty is better than template fob offs.

It is better that it is handled appropriately and that can involve some friendly PR that is not in possession of the facts.
 

90019

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Rather than continue to feed rail staff paranoia, I'll just leave you all to congratulate yourselves on your own infallibility, and muse on how much better the railway would be without these pesky passengers.

It's curious, you are in fact doing the exact thing you are telling others off for doing - you assume that the passenger in this case must be right and is obviously telling the truth in his blog, and clearly the guard must have been in the wrong.
It's all very well trotting out the usual line that everyone here says staff can never be wrong (yawn), but if you actually bother to get off your high horse and read the responses from everyone, rather than the select few that conform to your stereotype, you'll see plenty are refraining from blaming either side until they know the full story.
You're just as bad as those you criticise.

Here's an idea for you though - why don't you try not being such a hypocrite and actually keeping an open mind about the story?
Since that's somewhat unlikely, you could just tell us that we all think rail staff can never be wrong, say you never liked the forum in the first place and that you're leaving and then log out feeling smug about how you've 'won'.



It's pretty unlikely we'll ever hear the full story of this incident, and personally, I think either could have been in the wrong, or both of them.
 
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Captain Chaos

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Not to mention sometimes down-right lying!

Recently had a complaint that we never stopped at a station, during the morning rush hour. Clearly the 100 odd people who got on and off were a figment of my imagination. Regardless though, OTMR downloaded and report required.

Apparently the person would probably recieve an apology and maybe some vouchers despite the fact we all know the incident never occured. All in the name of PR. What a joke. (BTW, I don't know what happened as I haven't heard anything else about it).
 

bluenoxid

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I know that there will be odd instances of vouchers being incorrectly supplied to passengers who are in the wrong but it may help some of your points if you laid off bashing your customer services departments.
 

Flamingo

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I know that there will be odd instances of vouchers being incorrectly supplied to passengers who are in the wrong but it may help some of your points if you laid off bashing your customer services departments.

We're just pointing out to the people who are saying "An apology was issued therefore what the customer said was right" that quite often an apology will be issued as it is the easiest course of action. It can bear little or no relevance to what actually happened.

Mind you, I have to say that the railway is not unique in this.
 

Ferret

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...it may help some of your points if you laid off bashing your customer services departments.

It's what traincrew do - goes with the territory! All customer relations employees should have to spend 4 days per year out on trains to see what *really* goes on in my opinion!
 

Greenback

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Mind you, I have to say that the railway is not unique in this.

Very true, Mr Flamingo, very true!

When I worked in customer services (not railway) I made a point of informing customers when their complaint was not justified. Some did not like this approach, but as I always provided a comprehensive and clear explanation of what had happened, and why the complaint was not justified, they usually accepted it without further ado. I wish that this approach was more prevalent.

Back on topic, and I am pleased to see that the majority of contributors to this thread recognise that a balanced approach is required to this story, at least until further details emerge (if they ever do).
 

richw

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There are some good rail staff and there are some bad rail staff, there are some good people in wheelchairs and there are some bad ones. I do not know which is which in this incident as I have only heard one side of the story. Our media constantly lie to us and distort the truth to make a more 'viable' story so isn't it best to wait and discover the truth before deciding who is the demon, if indeed there is one, in this case ?

You've got to remember that there is probably only 1 complaint for every 100000 passengers if not more.
yet for every 1 compliment sent to most companies (non railway) there are 10 complaints. People complain at anything yet rarely send in letters of praise.
 
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