Safety Warning: Don’t read this while driving a train
Dear Queensland Rail,
May 1000 syphilitic, diarrhoeaic camels trample through your offices, dripping green pus and yellow poop over your pathetic paperwork. Or, worse, may you be consigned to an eternity of riding your own pathetic excuse for a public transport network. That’ll learn you! Or at least, it would if there were anything remotely capable of ‘learning’ in those empty spaces between your ears.
Yes, I am a tad disappointed in your service. It’s not the actual breakdowns. These things happen – even if it takes a klutzoid QR-approved contractor to break QR lines twice in as many weeks. But still, they happen. And most organisations of your type, recognising this simple fact, put Plans into place for dealing with possible issues. Like, cut power lines and live electrical wires falling on the track. Most organisations learn from experience and plan for fast-as-possible recovery. And hey, maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe there’s a Plan in your offices that says, “In case of service breakdown, dither. In case of major problems, organise buses, then stick head up arse”. Is there?
Let me be more specific. In the first incident two weeks ago, QR repeatedly assured me that a train would be along in 30-40 minutes. Three and a half hours after my train was due, I got to work. In the second incident less than a week later, to be fair, I didn’t stick around after I heard, “at least an hour delay” and “organising buses”. Fuck, I thought, QR would have trouble organising an arse-wiping. So I hitched a lift with a complete stranger. Yes, that’s right. I have more trust in a complete stranger than in QR to get me home unharmed. The third incident? Boy am I glad you asked. Last night I heard before leaving the office that the trains were out but buses had been organised. Right, I planned ahead (food, extra clothes, pillow). I arrived at Milton station at least an hour after the first warning went out. No signage informing potential passengers of a) any problem with the trains or b) where the hell to catch a rail bus. Sigh. So I went to what I considered the most likely location for a rail bus to turn up. Was I correct? No idea. A 470 came along and I leapt at the chance to get to Toowong, where I wouldn’t need signage to know where the rail buses would be (and no, there wasn’t any) and also had businesses open in case I needed to spend the night. I got to Toowong and lo and behold, found a rail bus. Eventually. Hopped on. We trundled along, stopping at Sherwood to ponder how the hell to get to Ipswich when the boom gates at Sherwood were stuck in the ‘down’ position. That small, completely unforeseeable (*cough*) problem eventually navigated, we trundled to Darra. Where we were informed that a train for Ipswich had just left. Dear God, what person in their right mind would expect QR to use the ‘connecting service’ concept for its rail buses??? With many cries of “You’re kidding me!” and “QR are a pack of incompetent dickheads!”, we sat down to wait. And wait. And… you guessed it, wait some more. The news that a train for us had just left Ipswich did not, believe it or not, fill us with joy or gratitude. Especially when the statement ‘stopping at the platform over there to drop off passengers’ was mentioned. WHAT? You sent the effing thing all stations??? You utter, utter bastards. That surely takes incompetence into ‘malevolent’ territory. Let me summarise the rest of the misery by saying that three and a half hours after arriving at Milton station, I finally got home.
In closing, may I just reiterate how much I appreciate QR’s willingness to stick its collective head up its collective arse and scream, “I don’t see how it’s my fault!”? Not at all, that is. In fact, I’m a little fucking annoyed.
Feel free to copy this and post it on your own blog, website, newspaper article, email it to all your associates, whatever.
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