Thank you Iarnród Éireann

December 7, 2006

I’m sitting on the 7.30am train to Waterford this morning. It’s 7.10am and I’m wondering why the train I’m on is pulling out of the station 20 minutes early. I ask the guard what’s happening and he confirms that this is the 7.10 train to Galway, the first stop is Portarlington which is nowhere near Carlow which is where I need to be for 5 back to back meetings. I utter a minor expletive and begin strategising as to how I am going to get from Portarlington to Carlow before 10am. Nothing springs to mind…major hassle for my client and monster embarrassment for me seems the only way out. Resisting the temptation to mutter more expletives out loud I’m met by the guard on his way back down the carriage. He’s using a walkie talkie and comes over to tell me that they will stop the train for me in Kildare so I can catch the 7.30 train from Dublin to Carlow.
In an age where good natured and effective customer service is as rare as hen’s teeth may I take the opportunity to thank the staff of Iarnród Éireann for their intervention this morning? This dim witted and distracted traveller showed up on time and unembarrassed all thanks to the kindness of strangers.

4 People reacted on this

  1. Heart-warming stuff indeed!
    I see you haven’t lost your touch…
    Did they prevent further misguided souls boarding the wrong train when you stopped off in Kildare? I imagine a porter running up and down saying ‘NO – don’t get on, yez’ll end up in the wrong place like yer wan getting off now’.

  2. This is the thing I really like about Ireland. That we’re not so big that sometimes we can make accommodations for individuals in times of distress. It is the one thing that stops me ever complaining about CIE etc. I still remember dashing into the Dart station in my best interview suit realising to my horror that I’d no change. The wee gem of a station master gave me a return ticket on the understanding that if I got the job that I’d come back and tell him my good news. That was worth more that a million “Station of the Year” plagues.
    When he passed away last year, I had to go to the removal, just to tell his family that he was the reason that I have a career.

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