[Updated] Well Excuse Me For Caring About My Trams

Update: As promised, the response from Yarra Trams, which was a phone call this morning (12 December):

  • Mr. G has had a flawless record with no complaints prior to this one.
  • Because of his ethnicity and accent, he is often misunderstood (which he is aware of). He did not say “Yes, Mam.”
  • In regards to the case of the phone left on the tram, the trams are fined heavily for being late by PTV, which is why he was concerned about making up the lost time, rather than the phone. That has now been corrected.
  • He is (supposedly) actually friendly and would not attempt to deliberately hit me with the tram.

Bleh. This is going to be two negative posts in a row. Trust me, I’m not thrilled about that, but there is something I’d like to talk about, and yes, it again concerns my experience with Yarra Trams.

At this point, I don’t think there’s any doubt that I love the E-Class trams. Nor do I think it’s any secret that I’ll ride one literally for the sake of riding it. I pay AUD$133 a month for my Myki, and I intend to get my money’s worth of it. This past Thursday (5 December) saw the launch of the third of the E-Class trams, tram 6003. When 6001 and 6002 launched, only eight drivers passed the test to drive the E-Class (actually, it may have been less, I can’t remember now). Last I heard, that number is now sixteen. However, I do tend to get the same drivers when I’m on board one. Two of them I know by name and they don’t seem mind that I like the new trams (those two know who they are). Another driver, finds it – or so I think – funny that I’ll ride one just to ride it. A new driver I had last night (6 December) also didn’t seem to mind I was enjoying my rides on 6003 (I managed to get four in, with the fourth being coincidence with timings). However, on the fourth ride tonight, we changed drivers to another driver I’ve had a couple times. I don’t know his name, and I doubt he’d willingly provide it, so I’ll have to refer to him as Mr. G (short for Grumpy). Distinguishing features are a hat and glasses. Yes, great description, I know.

Nonetheless, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mr. G probably hates my guts for enjoying the new trams (rather ironic for a company who used to have the slogan “Love Your Trams”). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he’d try to run me over with the tram if he could get away with it. Luckily for me, the E-Class has plenty of cameras that would record that. Now, I will admit that I have the bad habit of noticing little details that yes, usually don’t matter. I think in my case it may be a bit hard to “Think Like A Passenger”. But, when I point out things on the tram, I don’t appreciate a sarcastic response to them, which in some cases was simply a grunt.

Yes, vandals are “bastards”, but I don’t think that’s something you should announce to the tram when I point out a scratched up window. Nor Myki reader. And while (I hope) a grease pen taken to one of the doors on the outside would be easier to clean that some other forms of vandalism, I don’t consider a grunt to be a valid acknowledgment.

Now for the reason I am writing this out. Last night (6 December), on the 11.55p arrival of 6003 at St. Kilda Beach, I pointed out that the Accessible Areas were missing the “Driver Intercom” sticker at both ends on the intercom. The response to that was (read: sounded like) “Yes, Mam.” Again, that’s what it sounded like, as Mr. G is quite good at mumbling his sarcastic responses. I realize my hair is getting long, but I don’t think it’s gotten that long. I’d also like to point out my beard has grown considerably thanks to not shaving in a week (note to self: shave this weekend). So I honestly don’t see how you could come up with “Yes, Mam.” If you don’t give two shits about the trams you drive, so be it. I’d rather hear the truth than a sarcastic response.

I am aware I can be quite critical of things (yes, another bad habit), but I truly dislike having to lodge a formal complaint against drivers, let alone Yarra Trams. However, I feel that this situation has gotten to the point where it is time to raise my concerns somewhere other than Twitter after hours. As such, a modified version of this blog post was also sent to Yarra Trams.

So yes, I’m calling out Mr. G. I’d rather not have to, but this behavio[u]r looks quite bad for a city that depends a bit on tourism. Now that I think about it, Mr. G also didn’t give two shits when someone tried to hand in a mobile phone they found on the tram (not today, a couple weeks ago). Instead, he was more concerned about making up lost time. The would-be good Samaritan walked off the tram with the lost phone still in-hand.

I’ll update this post with what, if anything, I hear back from Yarra Trams.