On Monday, I wrote about the sorry level of service on New Jersey Transit. But rail transit may not rank (pardon the pun) at the bottom of our nation’s modes of transportation if this year’s Zagat survey on airline travel is anything to go by. Some of the comments voiced by frustrated and angry frequent fliers make my rant seem almost congenial by comparison. ("Economy class is like the Bataan Death March with carry-on luggage," and "Could use economy as torture to get prisoners to talk," and "I’ll start with the good: Web site easy to navigate. That’s the end of the good" are among my favorites.)
The people who work for these outfits could have been trained by the Abu Ghraib guards on customer service. They’re mean, surly, short tempered, and they certainly don’t seem to realize the affect their behavior is having on the reputation of the institutions they serve.
But maybe, as with the guards, we should look at the kind of training and incentives their bosses are providing on how to work with those in their care. I suspect that their own rewards for good — or even lousy — performance are a lot more motivating.
In the meantime, the rest of us poor slobs just sigh in resignation as yet another train is broken down, another flight is endlessly delayed, and another representative tells us with an appalling lack of sincerity to have a nice day.
Hat tip to Ann Barlow for her thoughts.