Engaging is not about being loved

Thoughts inspired by riding the 73 bus yesterday.

We had a quite bolshie conductor. She loudly instructed passengers not to put bags in the aisles “That’s an emergency escape route!”. She told them to sit down when there were seats (not asked, told). She instructed people to watch out if they were getting on the bus in slow moving traffic instead of at a stop. (Note for non-Brits – some London buses have an open platform at the back). She loudly yelled to a friend that she was longing to get away on holiday.

The more she bossed us about the more I got to enjoy the journey. Why? Because par for the course for bus conductors is for them to do their jobs in a trance. I didn’t need to feel sorry for her, and at least she showed up.

Did she live up to the ideal of customer-service training? No, of course not. But then neither do most bus conductors. And in our spoilt world of Bland Brands, a bit of attitude comes as rather refreshing…

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4 thoughts on “Engaging is not about being loved

  1. Tom Asacker

    Right on Johnnie!

    My father tells the story of a very popular diner in the blue collar town outside of Boston where I grew up. People would stand wait in line to eventually receive a mediocre meal AND to watch my uncle – a short order cook – argue and cuss (and occassionaly jump the counter and come to blows) with customers. That was the Experience Economy in the 50’s. I guess there really IS nothing new under the sun.

    Keep the faith!

    Reply
  2. Tony Goodson

    John, multiply that experience by x7 and I realise that has been my experience over the last 6 months of working with 6 women and having a woman boss!

    You’ve summarised it nicely for me!!

    Reply

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