Things Passengers Wish OBS WOULD Do

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by tommylicious, Oct 8, 2016.

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  1. Oct 8, 2016 #1

    tommylicious

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    tommylicious

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    I thought I would create this thread as a revolutionary response to the "Things OBS would wish you would stop doing" thread. You may wonder why it is revolutionary. The revolution lies in upturning ingrained Amtrak culture of regarding passengers as nuisances to be suffered and instead actually treating them as PAYING GUESTS.

    "
     
  2. Oct 8, 2016 #2

    Ryan

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    Lose the s*itty attitude and provide something other than snarky one liners?

    No, wait, that's what I want *you* do do.
     
  3. Oct 8, 2016 #3

    neroden

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    neroden

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    When you say you're going to put the beds down at a particular time, DO IT. Not an hour later, not two hours later.

    It's fine if you tell me you can only put them down at particular times because you have breaks or other duties or whatever. What's not OK is *saying* you're going to put them down at a particular time and then not doing so. I need to go to bed.

    This has happened more than once with slacker sleeper attendants.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2016
  4. Oct 8, 2016 #4

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    1)Greet you at the door when you board, and disappear until your arrival at your destination where they stand there with their hand out expecting a tip!

    2)Clean the Bathrooms and the Shower!
     
  5. Oct 8, 2016 #5

    FormerOBS

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    FormerOBS

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    !. The things mentioned are simply part of the job description, and should be expected. They should not be unusual. Bob, the attendant shouldn't disappear, but neither should he be constantly underfoot and intrusive.

    2. I always considered my passengers to be paying guests and fellow travelers, and I believe most Amtrak employees feel the same. We get tired, but the only time I've ever considered a passenger a nuisance is on those rare occasion when they WERE a nuisance. (It happens)

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2016
  6. Oct 8, 2016 #6

    railiner

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    I believe the OP has stated a valid complaint in too many cases. However it is unfair to describe all the OBS employees that way. There are many hard-working employees out there striving to deliver superior customer service. In another thread, one of them was highly praised by many on this board who were fortunate enough to have her as an attendant. One pundit pointed out that some of her co-workers would ostracize her for making them look bad in comparison.

    That is the "ingrained culture" that must somehow be overcome, so that instead of looking at Amtrak employment as another form of government "entitlement"; rather they should be inspired at her outstanding performance to elevate their own...

    Perhaps they should hire someone like Singapore Airlines to recruit, train, and motivate new hires... :)
     
  7. Oct 8, 2016 #7

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    Or Disney's Trainers!
     
  8. Oct 8, 2016 #8

    Chessie

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    Not a wish per se but I would like to be taught how to make and unmake the bed so I can do it myself. Easier for me and for the OBS.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2016 #9

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    They won't do that.. The sheets have to come off after every trip.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2016 #10

    neroden

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    neroden

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    I have had many excellent sleeper attendants (and a few excellent coach attendants; most of them seemed so harried I never saw them and couldn't find them). I've had some who were making mistakes but were clearly trying, which is fine. But then I've had the slackers. And it doesn't seem to have any effect to report the slackers to management, though I do.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2016 #11

    Sauve850

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    I wish they would take notes in a little notebook when they ask or you ask them to make bed at a certain time. The few that do that are always good with putting the bed down.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2016 #12

    Chessie

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    How about on a LD trip? For example the TE has 3 nights from end to end and I can do two and the attendant does the first one or last one. And once I know how I can do it on all future trips.

    There might be a liability issue though.
     
  13. Oct 9, 2016 #13

    OlympianHiawatha

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    OlympianHiawatha

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    Clean the toilets at regular intervals, especially in Coach. And not just give them a flush but spray some foam in there and swirl it with the brush. Then clean the lav counter and floor, touch up the mirror if needed and take out the trash. That will go a long way in reducing stinky cars, especially Coaches. Now if we could only do something about stinky pax.....
     
  14. Oct 9, 2016 #14

    pksundevil

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    1) on a crowded afternoon NE Regional train out of Phillly, ensure that the multitude of people traveling on employee passes let paying customers sit first. It's absolutely unreal how many people with visible lanyards and passes rush onto the train, grab a seat, and watch families try to find seats together.

    2) remind newly boarded passengers that they are in the quiet car.

    3) understand that infrequent riders aren't going to know anything about the seat checks unless you tell them. In more than 10 straight years of monthly pass travel, I've seen countless passengers reprimanded for not moving their seat check when they changed seats.

    4) be more consistent on updating passengers on delays. Some crews are good, many are not.
     
  15. Oct 9, 2016 #15

    Thirdrail7

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    Thirdrail7

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    Nothing you mentioned has anything to do with OBS. The only OBS employee on a regional is the the cafe car and they rarely make announcements, are not positioned in the quiet car nor they check ids or enforce seating policies.

    T&E employees would be responsible for those duties on a regional.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2016 #16

    unitedstatesfan

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    unitedstatesfan

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    As an Australian (non tipping country) I am in two minds about this, but having recently travelled on 'Coast Starlight' where the dining car attendants (whom I tipped) and the parlour car substitute sightseer lounge attendant (whom I did not tip) were excellent but the sleeping car attendant (whom I tipped) was only so-so, and given that Amtrak staff are not on minimum wages, perhaps refusing gratuities would be a good way to bring Amtrak staff into line with most of the rest of the world.

    The only country with a more obnoxious tipping culture is Canada!
     
  17. Oct 9, 2016 #17

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    I mean you can ask the OBS member in the cafe. But they'll look at you like you've lost your mind. ;) I mean the conductor might be able to help you out. :)

    As for employees sitting in the coaches. I heard a while ago that employees were no longer allowed to sit in the cafe for their trip. Meaning they need to use the coaches. Also keep in mind that many monthly pass holders use the train on the NEC. They can board any train with some exceptions and not have a reservation.

    As for your reminder of the quiet car. Every time I'm on the train after every station there is an announcement about the quiet car and it's location etc.

    Most Conductors will include the seat check info in there announcements.

    Your last one happens. Keep in mind that some crews have the mentality of if they don't know anything they won't make an announcement. But some will say hey we don't know anything. Sorry.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2016 #18

    Everydaymatters

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    In the morning, sometimes I can figure out how to make a chair out of half of the bed so I can sit up until the SA comes along. But if there is a long enough span between trips, I can't remember how I did it the last time. It would be nice if there were instructions. Being an early-riser, it is often a couple of hours before the SA comes along.
     
  19. Oct 9, 2016 #19

    FormerOBS

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    FormerOBS

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    Instructions used to be posted in each room, and I thought they still were. They were on a decal. I never liked them because

    1. They encouraged the passenger to do my job for me

    2. The diagrams were easy to misinterpret & misunderstand, but I never figured out a better way to explain it.

    3. Misunderstanding can lead to a passenger injury.

    4. They referred to the berths as bunks. To me, that's a lot like hearing somebody scraping their nails across a chalkboard.

    Tom

    (edited to add no. 4)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2016
  20. Oct 9, 2016 #20

    Palmland

    Palmland

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    I wonder why sleeping car attendants don't ask if you need help getting luggage to your room. In the old days, they didn't ask, it was just part of the job - guess that was when you still had Pullman porters working for Amtrak. Same for arrival. The SCA collected all the luggage (except for stuff you wanted to carry) and put it in the vestibule. It was offloaded first and waiting for you on the ground.

    We usually carry a couple small wheelie bags into our bedroom. After sorting and getting stuff out, one of them usually goes downstairs. But navigating the winding steps in a superliner with luggage isn't easy. Occasionally a SCA will offer to help upon arrival, but don't recall the last time anyone offered to help when boarding. At larger stations, a redcap usually does that if you have one but that's certainly the exception for us.
     
  21. Oct 10, 2016 #21

    Sauve850

    Sauve850

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    Agree that SCA's should offer to help with luggage up the superliner stairs. I have noticed an almost total decline over the last few years of SCA's asking if I need any help. Instead its "up the stairs and turn left" which cuts their tip by 50%.
     
  22. Oct 10, 2016 #22

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    Now here is a follow up to your luggage point.. Why do you need luggage in your room? Sure a back pack and a tote bag is understandable. But all of your luggage?
     
  23. Oct 10, 2016 #23

    Palmland

    Palmland

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    As my post said, we usually take two small airline type roller bags into the bedroom. Sort our stuff, take out essentials, usually including a bottle of wine, and stow one below before for the balance of the trip. My wife also has one carry on shoulder bag. No coolers, bags of food, backpacks, camera bags etc. Doesn't seem excessive to me for what is usally a two or three week journey. Certainly the airlines are ok with it.

    We have no need to check bags and it seems to me Amtrak should try to accommodate the passenger, not the other way around. Wouldn't it be nice if Amtrak was like our trip on the Canadian. When we checked in, we turned our luggage over to the agent. They were in our room when we boarded a couple hours later. Our attendant made sure he took our bags upon arrival and put them on the ground - and it's a lot easier to negotiate a heritage sleeper than a superliner.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2016
  24. Oct 10, 2016 #24

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

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    I gotta be honest. I find my travel briefcase (iPad, keyboard, chargers, headphones, pen, ink, notebook, travel documents) to be inconvenient to stow in a Superliner Roomette. I wouldn't store anything so important in a public place for both theft and misadventure, but shuffling it around the room is a hassle.

    The one thing I really universally wish Amtrak employees, on a large scale, would learn how to say "no" better. I also wish more of them would say yes when they can with more consistently.

    But even some of the better ones seem to need more training in how to say "no". It is almost always a little gruff, frequently a little acrimonious (Soft or worse implication of either how dare you ask or why are you so dumb as to ask), and rarely comes with explanation or appology.

    Example: Can I have more water?

    Wrong: No, passengers are only allowed two bottles per room!

    Right: I'm sorry, but there's a new rule, which I personally think is foolish, that limits us to giving you two bottles, and I have to inventory it. I wish I could, and you might want to write customer relations to complain.

    One leaves a much better taste than the other.
     
  25. Oct 11, 2016 #25

    Bjartmarr

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    Bjartmarr

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    Unlock the empty baggage compartment in the Superliner coach/baggage cars. Because it's SO nice to have a little extra space to stretch my legs.

    Also, +1 for cleaning the bathrooms in coach. I know it's gross, but it's your job, so please?
     

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