Friday, 24 August 2012

Coming to terms with Rejection, and Idea Piracy

24th August 2012

Dear Marie,

Firstly I must offer my apologies for not being in touch for the last week or so. I have been waiting on tenterhooks for my invitation to interview at Edinburgh Trams to drop through the letterbox. As you apparently were aware all along, this invitation would NOT BE FORTHCOMING.

As stated in the application form, final interviews for the position of TRAM GENERAL MANAGER were to be held this week, with a decision being made shortly afterwards. It is with great sorrow therefore that I have now concluded that my application must have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

I console myself with the thought that you must have identified an individual with even more AWESOME IDEAS than myself, perhaps someone even more dedicated to Edinburgh Trams than I?

So you can imagine my ASTONISHMENT today Marie, when I read in THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS that Edinburgh Trams is to offer tram trips round the tram depot to members of the public! You will undoubtedly recall, that this was MY IDEA, communicated to you in my email of 24th July 2012 – ‘The Edinburgh Festival Tram Experience Mindmap’.  I was under the impression that these ideas would be held IN CONFIDENCE Marie, and today I see Transport Convener Lesley Hinds beaming from the centre pages of the Evening News, passing MY AWESOME IDEA off as one of her own! I would not be surprised if she is taking the cushy £80K EDINBURGH TRAM GENERAL MANAGER job for herself too!

As a long-term supporter of Edinburgh Trams, I am of course happy for my suggestions to be taken ON BOARD, but I do expect some sort of recognition for my contribution, Marie.

While it appears that I have been unsuccessful  in my application for the TRAM GENERAL MANAGER role, for whatever reason, I would like to reassure you that I wish to continue my quest to get ON BOARD the Edinburgh gravy-tram, and secure some sort of employment with EDINBURGH TRAMS in the future.  Perhaps as a consultant or some type of visionary?

In order to reassure you that I bear no ill feelings, I have come up with another GREAT IDEA which Ms Hinds will no doubt pilfer in due course. The aforementioned EVENING NEWS had an article the other day about some guy who had discovered an old horse-drawn Edinburgh tram being used as a garden shed in an allotment, and had restored it to its original condition. By incredible serendipity, the gauge of this old 1885 tram is apparently identical to our new TRAMS OF THE FUTURE! The gentleman in question has expressed the wish that his horse-drawn tram could be operated on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

I think we should seriously consider this proposal, Marie. I personally would be willing to drive this horse-drawn tram up and down Princes Street (I already have the hat), and I believe it would be a massive attraction for tourists - even better than Edinburgh Council's abandoned ‘Giant Ferris Wheel Down a Hole’ idea.

We could charge at least £10 a trip, and run the tram back and forward along the tracks already laid on Princes Street. This would both generate revenue, and get the general public used to trams running in our city. As the lines are expected to lie unused for at least the next couple of years, we could run this revenue-generating horse-drawn tram service back and forward along Princes Street until such time that the new trams are ready to run!

How long do horses live, do you know?

In case you are having difficulty visualising this idea, I have prepared an artist’s impression of how I think it might look.

I look forward to seeing Lesley Hinds in next week’s Evening News passing this idea off as her own.

Keep in Touch,

Aldo Broon
Advisor, Visionary and supplier of AWESOME IDEAS for Edinburgh Trams RIGHT NOW

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


8th August 2012

Dear Marie,

I must admit I am quite surprised not to have heard from you over the past few days. You may recall that you promised that Edinburgh Trams would be in touch with candidates for the TRAM GENERAL MANAGER position, to advise them whether they have been selected for the next stage in the process (online ability and psychometric tests), by last Friday (3rd August).

To date I have still heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from you regarding where I can access these tests. At first I was somewhat concerned that you might have slipped behind your published recruitment schedule, let's face it, that wouldn't exactly be unknown for Edinburgh Trams. I must admit I had a bit of a panic attack when I thought that maybe the entire recruitment process had been halted due to the recent public outcry regarding the appointment of several more people to the Edinburgh GRAVY-TRAM with nothing for them to do for at least two years. I could almost see that £80K SALARY slipping through my fingers, Marie!

Luckily I soon came to my senses, and realised the obvious reason - the other candidates have probably not been quite so efficient in demonstrating their skills and abilities via email as myself, and you have obviously decided to FAST-TRACK my application straight to the next stage (interview).

Of course this is quite acceptable, but I suggest you probably should tell candidates when they have been selected for a fast-track recruitment process like this, to put their minds at rest. Transport Convener Lesley Hinds was telling me just yesterday that one of her main aims is to improve communication regarding Edinburgh Trams, and I think it's time for you to embrace that sentiment too, Marie.

However, I am happy to confirm that I will be available for the face-to-face panel interview commencing 13th August. Would you like me to prepare a presentation?

Actually, I have started my presentation already, Marie. It is entitled "SELLING EDINBURGH TRAMS". Don't worry, I'm not referring to the inevitable selling of the entire tram line to someone like FirstGroup for a nominal £1 in about 2020! No, my presentation is about SELLING the IDEA of EDINBURGH TRAMS to a cynical public, after many years of pointless disruption to their lives and businesses.

To SELL the IDEA of EDINBURGH TRAMS making a WORTHY CONTRIBUTION to the city, we need to make full use of the popular public profiles of some of the key players in the development of our Tram line. Seeing these popular characters endorsing the line is sure to bring the public back ONBOARD. I suggest we select some UPBEAT phrases praising the trams, and feature these as part of the tram livery. We could associate these POSITIVE phrases with respected well-known local characters.

As you have probably guessed by now, I have put together some artists impressions to give you an idea of the sort of thing I mean. I'll bring a camera along to the interview and hopefully take some better photos we can use. With 27 trams, we can probably feature most of the Edinburgh Trams employees or tram advocates somewhere on a tram.

As an extension of this idea, I was also thinking we could perhaps offer members of the public the chance to have their (or their loved ones) faces featured on an Edinburgh Tram? What significant-other could fail to be impressed by the unique Anniversary gift that says it all - their face on the back end of a tram?

As well as being a sure-fire revenue earner, this would help reinforce the idea that we are IN TOUCH with the man on the street. We are LISTENING, and LESSONS have surely been LEARNT.

I've got some more exciting ideas for my presentation too, but I'm not sure if we will have time to include them. If you could let me know where the interviews are going to be held, and whether there is equestrian access, that would be of great use and would be much appreciated.


Aldo Broon