Poorly performing railway companies and a poor experience at M&S Warrington.

Last Saturday Sheila said let’s go to that huge M&S next to IKEA so off we went. It was of course heaving but we wanted a coffee and a bite to eat.

In that particular M&S there are two cafes, one of the usual type which had a queue longer than you could shake a stick at, so that was a non-runner. The other named ‘Food on the Move’ was what must be the most inappropriately named café facility you could dream up. No big queue but the order took for ever and the staff looked very stressed to me – not a ‘food on the move’ experience more a ‘stay and wait a good while’. And this takes me to my related story about railway companies.

You see the wait was so long I went to buy a newspaper for something to do. It was the ‘I’ and because I am nuts about railways I found the Simon Calder article on page 41 very interesting if rather frustrating. Suffice to say it was all about a First Great Western service that got stuck going nowhere for a very long time with passengers (note I do not call them customers as they probably had little choice but to use the service) being seemingly treated poorly – lack of information and a far too slow reaction to the broken down train.

And the point of this little rant? Well in M&S you only have to be in the queue to pay for something for a couple of minutes and the person serving you will apologise to you for your wait (they must be told to be this) even if you have not noticeably had one! But no one apologised for our long wait in their café and I wonder if management realised that their staff seemed very stretched indeed. With railway companies, some have got quite good these days in explaining delays, break-downs etc. but others, it seems, just can’t get their heads around why keeping folks informed is so important. What a way to run a railway as someone once said.