Amtrak employees need an attitude adjustment

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by spinnaker, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. Aug 22, 2019 #76

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gator Country Florida
    One thing I have noticed it that most of the attendants helping you to board are helpful and willing - they even have a somewhat pleasant demeanor. However, many do not like when they have to repeat themselves when they give you your seating instructions when riding in coach. I have had this happen more than once.

    It is not really their fault, per se ... it could be classified as "lack of foresight" in their training. When someone is on crutches or in a wheelchair these attendants go the extra mile to accommodate them - as they should. However, when a person as a "disability" that is not so apparent, they are not so quick to help. Case in point: When boarding, it is quite noisy outside the train and there are often many boarding at a given stop. The attendant asks you your destination and then gives you a seating assignment. They often do this while looking around to "keep order" and make sure no one trips or needs additional assistance. I am hard of hearing. When a person looks away, especially in a noisy environment, I cannot hear what they say ... well, technically, I sometimes can "hear" them - but I cannot understand them ... their words just become part of the "background noise". Then, when I do not respond to them immediately they seem to be "perturbed" that I am still standing there. If I get the chance to tell them I cannot hear them, they get the point ... sometimes.

    It's not really their fault. Most people who can hear just fine never give a second thought that the person they are talking to may not be able to hear and/or understand them. I deal with this often when I eat somewhere and deal with waitstaff or counter help. Even when you tell them you can't hear them unless they look at you and speak a little louder ... most say "OK" and go right back to the way they were talking. I have had to tell some of the counter help in fast food places several times I cannot hear the before they get the point.

    Recently I was approved for a handicapped placard due to a bad hip. I don't always need it, but, sometimes, I need to walk with a cane. I have learned to take the cane with me when I ride the train. I have noticed that I get better attention paid to me when boarding because the attendant can "see" that I have a need. Even though the cane has nothing to do with my hearing, it has helped the attendants to quit looking away while talking with me.

    I have never reported any Amtrak employee because I had trouble hearing them. But, I do wish more businesses would give attention to people with hearing problems.

    On another note:

    We have taken a couple day trips to Tampa on the Star recently. There is one female attendant who looks a little "gruff". When boarding, she is all business. We have been on more than one trip with her. Due to her facial looks and her business manner when directing people to their seats one could easily assume she is "disgruntled" and "short" with people. That couldn't be further from the truth! We sat in the lounge car most of the way home the last trip we took. We had a chance to talk with her. She is an "absolute Sweetie". During the hustle and bustle of the boarding process, her cheeks become quite flushed (reddish more than pinkish - and quite blotched) ... but, as the train gets under way, her cheeks return to normal. This condition is known as Rosacea - and there is not much a person can do about it. She even came and got us when we were nearing our destination and told us which car we would need to move to to get off the train.
     
  2. Aug 23, 2019 #77

    Sauve850

    Sauve850

    Sauve850

    Lead Service Attendant

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    A few days on the website could and usually takes a lot longer for response I believe. I would call but I wouldnt just leave it there. Just making sure mgmt is aware isnt enough in my opinion. Over the last 30 years thankfully Ive had very few instances that warranted a call. When I did I asked for and received followup on steps taken with the employee in question. The last time however was about 4-5 years ago. I was not in search of a voucher. Good luck.
     
    SarahZ likes this.
  3. Aug 23, 2019 #78

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    Conductor

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    I would make a phone call. :)

    In the world of customer service, phone calls are the highest priority, then email, then website feedback. In the case of website feedback, issues are sometimes further triaged to the appropriate departments, who then further assign them by priority.

    So, while your comment may have been received Monday, it may not be seen by the appropriate department until Thursday, and you may not receive a response until Wednesday (because they're dealing with explosive phone issues first).

    If you call, your complaint will be noted and addressed much quicker. I always recommend customers call when they have an urgent issue. Always.

    Source: I've been a Customer Service Manager (in call centers) for 15 years.
     
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  4. Aug 23, 2019 #79

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

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    To add to something earlier the conductor is the main person. The conductor is above the engineer, and all service staff.
     
  5. Aug 23, 2019 #80

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Service Attendant

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    Just curious ... do the Conductors know how to drive the trains?
     
  6. Aug 23, 2019 #81

    OBS

    O

    OBS

    Conductor

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    Not officially....
     
  7. Aug 23, 2019 #82

    anumberone

    anumberone

    anumberone

    OBS Chief

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    I think maybe, just maybe, if Amtrak dining car personal we’re made to work in a fast food establishment, they would learn what pressure is. Dining car servers work in a pretty orderly situation.
     
    Dakota 400 likes this.
  8. Aug 23, 2019 #83

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

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    Have you worked in a dining car? I have and I can tell you it’s pretty stressful.
     
    Sauve850, anumberone and pennyk like this.
  9. Aug 23, 2019 #84

    anumberone

    anumberone

    anumberone

    OBS Chief

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    No I never have. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't stressful. Bu it seems like diners are seated in a orderly fashion and I see no reason for a server to be impolite, it's not like they are waiting on a table of eight longshoreman.
     
  10. Aug 24, 2019 #85

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Conductor

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    Have you ever chastised or berated your customers due to the stress? Have you ever broadcast your admonishment over the public address system for added effect? I don't think stress alone can explain the way some Amtrak dining car staff bark orders and snap at customers who make mistakes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    tricia, Sauve850, Palmetto and 2 others like this.

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