Sunday, February 7, 2010

The TTC's First Correct Step..

It's been so long since I've been able to say anything positive about the TTC. So this entry is even surprising to myself!

You see, I will always be the harshest critic, but, I will also always give credit where credit is due.

Now, before I start, you all must know how I feel about the TTC and their incompetence, so you have to know that though I believe they've made their first correct step, they are far from being anywhere close to having really started on their quest to improve the TTC.

And given their track history, this may go down again under the "talks a good talk" file, of which they never follow through on. But, after hearing their constant political-jargon path-of-least-resistance talk, this email statement was a refreshing change.

TTC Management to All Employees: "Our Customers Deserve Better"


The entire email is definitely worth a read, and can be found at the link above.

"I don't know about you, but I am becoming increasingly tired of defending the reputation of the TTC; tired of explaining what is acceptable and what is not; and tired of stating the obvious: that much of the behaviour being reported is, indeed, unacceptable." TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster said in his email. "Two weeks ago I said that the vast majority of TTC employees care about the organization and do a good job, but we can all do better. I asked everyone to respond well. Some of you did. Clearly, some of you did not."
Ok, so at least he first acknowledges that he and the other TTC Spokespeople have been looking like idiots in the press, because they constantly defend these "mis-behaving" TTC Employees, and also claim to be working with them to fix that mis-guided attitude that they have. And then the next day the same thing happens and they have to say it again. Finally acknowledging that the TTC Employees are not listening is the first real step to recovery (Acceptance).

"We all have to accept responsibility for allowing the TTC to drift into a culture of unacceptable operating discipline. In other words, we have deemed it acceptable for some employees to not do all aspects of their jobs."
Next, acknowledging and admitting that the TTC does have a "culture of unacceptable operating discipline" was another key fact that needed to be accepted. For a while there, they were definitely in denial about that. At least now it's out in the open (aside from just the public pointing it out).

"Expectations need to be clear, especially for frontline employees. And employees need to be held accountable for their poor performance."
Yes yes, REAL accountibility from the TTC Employees for their "poor performance" is the next critical step. And at least they acknowledge and admit that they haven't been holding the TTC employees accoutable for their uselessness up until this point. Because had they truly been doing as they said they were, it would only go further to show that they truly have no control. Now at least we can still have hope that they can enforce their employee policies.

"We are in the customer service business, but some of the behaviour our customers have encountered recently would suggest otherwise. Our customers pay a fare and the City provides hundreds of millions of dollars every year to the TTC. This public transit agency belongs to the very people we serve."
Yes, acknowledge that the Customers are the true Owners of the TTC, and that the TTC Employees better start treating them like that (and not like they are just a nuisance to have to deal with as a part of their jobs). Another forward step I would say.

"The culture of complacency and malaise that has seeped into our organization will end."
Yes, there is exactly that, a "culture of complacency and malaise" and acknowledging and admitting that it exists is a forward step as well. It definitely does need to end, and nothing will improve until they start with that.

Now, the following statement was the only part of the email that really bothered me. It just had the foul stench of Adam Giambrone manipulation all over it. Maybe I'm wrong... You tell me what you think.

"As Chief General Manager, I am ultimately accountable to our customers. As employees, you - and you alone - are accountable for your actions."
A simple enough statement, but riddled with subliminal Giambroneisms whose sole purpose is to remove all blame for the TTCs issues from him.

I mean, isn't it a bit convenient that suddely Webster, the Chief General Manager, is "ultimately responsible to [the] customers". Yes yes, it's not Adam Giambrone, the Chair of the TTC who is...right? Thanks for clearing that up.. (...Yeah!!) And then the employees, who "[they] - and they alone are accountable for [their] actions". Again, it's not Adam Giambrone's lack of leadership that's responsible...right?

I don't know, that's what I get from it...

Anyway, overall, a good first step in their supposed quest to improve customer service, and employee effectiveness and efficiency at the TTC. But like I said before, the TTC can "talk a good talk", but can they "walk a good walk"?? That remains to be seen..

We'll be watching!


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