Avid readers of On The Move will have noticed that the latest trick up management's sleeve for pressuring ticket office staff is a range of attractive posters. Each shows a scenario, with a customer asking a question and the member of staff giving an answer together with a further suggestion that will keep the customer well away in future. You know the sort of thing: "Can I top up my Oyster on this machine?" "Yes, I'll show you how. But next time, you can do it online." Possibilities that never saw the light of day include: "Can I buy a ticket?" "Alright, just this once if you really insist. But if I see your mug around here again, I won't be best pleased."
Alarmingly, one of the posters illustrating the OTM article shows the ticket-seller telling the customer that the miimum Oyster top-up is £5. Funny, we thought that £5 minimum was a trial at just five stations. Even though management's own stats show that the minimum has rightly been ignored in 65% of cases, it seems that they have already decided to roll it out across the system - otherwise, why go to the trouble of producing the posters?! Obviously we can look forward to an honest, objective assessment of the trial. Or not.