Thursday 12 May 2022

Surely A Big Mistake?

 Policy Gone Wrong?

fbb has received (in plain brown envelope) a transcript of a First Bus staff meeting of some importance. A summary of the contents is reproduced below.

Three senior staff from First Wessex (based in Weymouth) have been summoned to a meeting with First Bus CEO, Penelope Pinscher, in offices of First Great Western at Paddington.

The persons concerned are Bill Portland (left), in charge of painting buses in pretty colours ...
... Dora Chester (right) in charge of timetable planning ...
... and Os Mington (centre) with an oversight of publicity.
Penelope (call me Miss Penny) begins the meeting in an accusatory tone.

"Are YOU concerned about the planet?"

There is an embarrassed silence. 

"What are YOU doing at Weybourne depot to contribute to the elimination of global warming by 2050?"

"Erm ..." says Dora, confused; "we all do our bit!"

"So why are you encouraging your customers to DOWNLOAD the summer timetable?"
"Download on to what?" she expostulates, but takes one of her pills before it gets too bad.

Oz tentatively suggests, "We thought people might like to print their own copies, Miss Penny."

"PRINT - ON PAPER? Are you aware of how many trees it takes to make one page of A4?"

"Please remind us," interjects Bill, somewhat tired of the onslaught.

"I do not know the exact figure," Penny Pinscher avers with pointed vehemence, "but it will be quite a lot of trees. Think of the rain forests."

The three have little experience of rain forests as there aren't many in Dorset.

"I thought it was only to save money; to keep the profit margins high!" proffers Bill truculently.

"Don't you EVER say that in public," the Pinscher snarls ominously, "or your next job will be cleaning bus chassis in your depot at Weybridge!"

Bill quakes with fear.

"And it gets MUCH WORSE," explodes the boss, her face achieving the pink colour of First Leicester's buses!
"What do you think these are?" as she scatters timetable booklets across the table with a threatening gesture.
Oz, hardly able to speak, stutters, "W-w-we thought it would be good to tell folk w-when and w-where our buses ran. If the customers have a booklet they might make more journeys."

Miss Penny's eyes gazed heavenwards. "Have you not heard of the IN - TER - NET," each syllable spat venomously at the sad and sorry three. "Have you forgotten that it is ...


... who needs printed timetables?"

"And what," her quizzing continues, " is this?"
She dangles a Jurassic Coaster leaflet right in the noses of the three apprehensive faces.

Oz, shaking with unease, replied with a whimper. "It's a leaflet for the Jurassic Coaster routes, our most popular services."

"If it is POP - U - LAR" (another syllabic burst of vehemence) "Then why do you need a booklet, a leaflet AND the internet?"

By now the only thing that the interrogated threesome can do is to whimper their apologies for the heinous crime of trying to encourage more passengers.

"Please understand," growls the Pinscher, "First Bus makes its information available on line, easy to access and well designed ..."
"... and if the public doesn't like it, they can buy a car and we'll close the business down." 

"Yes, Miss Penny." Is all that they can weakly chorus.

"And finally; is someone playing a pathetic joke on me?" asks the boss with genuine disbelief. "Where is stop K7 at Wolverhampton?"
"Is someone SERIOUSLY proposing to erect an ENQUIRY OFFICE there? With real people helping the public to understand our buses?"
"This will not do!"

"OK, you three, I can take a joke as well as the next man, But I DO NOT expect to see a Kiosk if I pay a visit to Wallington after May 29th. We must stop pandering to the customers; let them travel, let them pay and let us make a profit."

"Now before you go, and while you are considering your position, I want you to learn the latest First Bus management mantra that I have recently written. Learn it and apply it. WITHOUT FAIL"

Don't waste our money on wood
Printed publicity is not good.
Don't pay for staff to give advice
No revenue - so just not nice.
Repeat the mantra; all will be fine
Do nothing because ...

With that, Penelope Pinscher sets off for an afternoon of meetings with her advisors and highly paid consultants. She is confident that, as a result of her management skills, there will be an outbreak of paper-less and people-lessness common sense at the Weston super Mare depot of First Wessex - or the heads of Bill Portland, Dora Chester and Oz Mington will roll.

Job done!
We will look at the unusual provision of First Bus printed material at Weymouth tomorrow.

Take Two Hornby Dublo Tank Wagons ...
... and a chassis from a Brick Wagon ...
... or a bogie bolster ...
... and join them all together.
They don't quite fit ...
... the "stays" are at an unrealistically shallow angle and wouldn't work in practice.

And you CAN see the join!
The result is really silly, but makes an intriguing "never existed" (either in reality or as a model) talking point for fbb's extended tank wagon collection. So fbb bought it.

And various similar oddities are available on line.

More unreal realism to come!

 Next NOT A mistake blog : Fri 13th May 


  1. The CEOs office produce a transcript in a brown envelope... on paper, surely not! And the CE summons people to and goes to meetings! Surely not! And people are expected to travel on the company's buses. Surely not! Hasn't she heard. It's all on line. Save the planet. Close the business down.

  2. Andrew Kleissner12 May 2022 at 11:55

    I didn't know that Wolverhampton had an Esplanade (or, indeed, a Coast). The things you learn from this blog!