35. Be nice to transport workers
Tomorrow is Be Nice To Transport Workers Day. This is day that Team Nice created last year, and we’ve decided to make it a bit of an annual thing. Team Nice’s main aim started off as a campaign to try and make commuters lives a bit easier, by the use of niceties tokens, baby on board badges and Be Nice to Transport Workers Day.
Assaults on transport staff are one the British Transport Police’s (BTP) major concerns, as more than 3,000 assault cases were recorded in the BTP annual report for 2006/07 – a rise of 8% on the previous year. The Rail Safety and Standards Board have investigated this too and their research shows that this is an increasing problem with many assaults going unreported. This is also the theme of posters from network rail with a rail worker with a bruised face and the strap line of ‘I am here to help you’.
So this is a big problem and lots is being done about it, but small ‘nice’ efforts from us can make a huge difference.
It can be a difficult job, and if trains are cancelled or buses are late or there are signal failures, then it’s the people who work for public transport who get the brunt of a commuters anger – it’s trivial if one person is complaining about their train being cancelled, but its hundreds of people then it’s going to take its toll.
I have discussed this with a number of transport workers – some of which are empathetic to commuter’s tantrums; some have naturally become hardened and defensive. Staff do go on conflict management courses too but it still must be pretty sh*te having to put up with bad attitudes, aggression and even violence in the first place.
So if you are up for it, be extra nice to transport workers tomorrow, smile, say hello or if your train has problems, then just remember it’s not actually their fault.
By Liz Akers