Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tram Driver and Principal Advisor to HR

15th January 2013

Hi Marie,

I hadn’t heard anything back from you regarding my query about the Tram Driver application process, so I’ve just gone ahead and re-applied via your web form. I must say, I hope you are a bit more communicative once I am working for Edinburgh Trams, I’m sure you will agree (as the Head of HR) that communication is key to maintaining a happy and motivated workforce.

Talking of recruitment, I was just thinking the other day that if we are to have a truly integrated travel network in Edinburgh, we should ensure passengers have a consistent experience whether they happen to be travelling on an LRT bus, or an Edinburgh Tram. With this in mind, there is an obvious role which you haven’t yet advertised, I’m talking of course of the ‘Bus Nutter’. As you know, every bus has one, and the trams should be the same. Of course, we will have to re-align the job title to that of ‘Tram Nutter’ for this role, but the job responsibilities should be broadly the same.

I’m not entirely sure how much a ‘Bus Nutter’ gets paid, but I would suggest we pay ‘Tram Nutters’ on the same scale. It certainly seems to be sufficient, judging by the enthusiasm and effort many of those already in this role put into their performance.

Perhaps we should also take this opportunity to formalise the career structure for the role of ‘Bus/Tram Nutter’?

I have constructed the following suggested grade structure, which I hope you will consider implementing:


Grade: Junior Tram Nutter (Grade 1)

Annoyance Factor: Minor Upset

Included Job Descriptions: 

Musical Nutter: Nutter playing rubbish music through the tinny speaker of a mobile phone. Uniform is white tracksuit, with ill-fitting trousers exposing ‘Klavin Kline’ pants purchased from Sunday market, obligatory baseball cap at jaunty angle. This nutter frequently suffers from severe acne and greasy hair, so is a junior trainee position.

Bell Ringing Nutter: Generally a middle-aged Nutter, the job requirements here are mainly to constantly press the ‘STOP’ bell, and then fail to disembark from the tram when it stops. It is important to immediately press the bell multiple times as soon as the tram pulls away from a stop, and continue to press it at 5 second intervals until the next stop. Not to be taken lightly, this position is more labour intensive than it might seem, and requires a large amount of dedication and attention to detail.

Distracting Nutter: This position is open to anyone, but successful candidates will need a happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care demeanour. The role of this nutter is to simply engage the driver in extremely long and protracted conversations while he is driving the vehicle. This nutter should have a large physical presence, to ensure passengers find it difficult to get past him/her when embarking/disembarking the tram. Strength of character is essential to this role, as the position requires the individual to studiously ignore all requests to sit down and STFU.

Grade: Tram Nutter (Grade 2)

Annoyance Factor: Medium Irritation

Included Job Descriptions: 

Pramface Nutter: This position is exempt from the equal opportunities legislation, and can only be filled by teenage mothers. This role involves studiously ignoring the high decibel screams of their baby/toddler, while constantly chatting on a mobile phone. Occasionally interaction with the public will be required, for example if a kindly bystander attempts to offer child-care advice, this should be met with a long stream of expletives and spittle. A way with words will therefore be an advantage.

Overly Friendly Nutter: This nutter should be both observant and sociable. They must enjoy meeting new people. The role involves identifying the most vulnerable person on the tram, approaching them in a lumbering fashion, and engaging them in a long and incoherent conversation for the full duration of their journey. No  specific appearance is required for this role, but crazy eyes, and an aroma of alcohol (or other intoxicating  substance), would be a distinct advantage.

Junkie Nutter: This nutter should sit at the very back of the tram, preferably sprawled over several seats. Their dishevelled appearance should ensure they are given a wide-berth by most other passengers, so to make their presence known, they must conduct extremely loud mobile phone conversations setting up ‘deals’ and talking about ‘gear’. It is important that they remember to shout the same phrases several times, before flashing a suspicious and conspiratorial look at other passengers, and confiding to their phone partner that some nosey *&#&^£s might be listening in. This should be repeated at 5 minute intervals throughout the trip.

Officious Nutter: This nutter is at the high end of the level 2 grade. Their role is to adopt a comical, but officious role, and urgently instruct all passengers boarding the tram to perform some bizarre task. Examples would be ‘everyone sit on the right please’ or ‘do not use the seats, standing room only’ (despite all the seats being currently available). This nutter needs to be extremely self-assured in order to convince unwary passengers to follow his/her lunatic directions. Most nutters will only achieve this level after many years of service.

Grade: Senior Tram Nutter (Grade 3)

Annoyance Factor: Major Disruption

Included Job Descriptions: 

Battling Nutter: The role of this nutter is to board trams and identify the resident nutter as quickly as possible. They should then engage this nutter in one-to-one physical combat. While innocent passengers may become crushed or pushed about by the physical nature of this performance, it is important that they are not actually engaged in combat, it is purely for entertainment purposes. Uniform is flexible, but will generally include some sort of bandage or medical apparatus from a previous encounter.

Arsonist Nutter: Following the banning of smoking on public transport, this tram nutter is now extremely rare. For those who have reached this heady position at the top of the nutter career path, the role is simply to set small manageable fires on the floor of the vehicle. These should be small enough to be stamped out and denied vehemently (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) when noticed by the Tram Driver.

Grade: Champion Tram Nutter (Grade 4)

Annoyance Factor: Off the scale

Included Job Descriptions: 

Chief Tram Nutter: This position is not a recruited one, and is only accessible by election to the position of Edinburgh City Councillor or co-option onto an ‘arms-length’ company by existing members of the council. This type of tram nutter doesn't even have to board a tram, except for publicity photographs and other formal events. No qualifications required, although lack of any common sense and dedication to ignore the bleedin’ obvious would be a distinct advantage.

I hope you find these suggestions useful Marie, and I very much look forward to the next stage in the Tram Driver recruitment process. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with in the meantime.

All the Best,

Aldo Broon
Tram Driver (and HR Advisor) of the FUTURE!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Year, A New Opportunity

1st January 2013

Dear Marie,

Firstly may I take this opportunity to wish everyone at EDINBURGH TRAMS a very Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great time at the Christmas party, and were able to make the most of it, safe in the knowledge that they weren't going to have to get up and drive a tram the next morning, or indeed any time soon.

I had prepared you a special Edinburgh Trams-themed Christmas card this year, but unfortunately I was housebound most of the week, unable to exit my house for the vast pile of domestic rubbish which had accumulated there, untroubled by the appearance of an Edinburgh Council bin man for several weeks.

Hopefully strong winds over the next couple of days will blow most of it away. In the meantime I have decided to email you this belated Christmas card instead. (please find attached)

This email isn't purely social however Marie. I've heard that the recruitment drive for new Edinburgh Tram drivers has now begun in earnest. Obviously, I had previously set my sights somewhat higher, namely the role of 'TRAM GENERAL MANAGER' (was this post ever filled - I haven't heard any news?) but I have now come to terms with the fact that it may be necessary to start at the bottom and work my way up.

"Rome wasn't built in a day", they say. Although admittedly, it was probably built at a rate considerably faster than our little Edinburgh Tram line.

To this end, I would now like to apply for the role of EDINBURGH TRAM DRIVER. I hunted about for your excellent website, but it now seems to have disappeared and been replaced with some shoddy purely-functional Edinburgh Council page. I used to enjoy reading the works of fiction that were the official Edinburgh Trams press releases, Marie, I hope you will be bringing back the old site soon?

On the site 'http://www.edinburghtramscareers.com/' you appear to have an online application form. I was wondering if it would be necessary for me to complete this as I have already sent you all my pertinent details for the previous role?

Nonetheless, I had a quick look through the online form, and I'm sorry to report that there are a few issues which I think might lower the professional image that Edinburgh Trams has worked so hard to build over the past six years.

Firstly, the 'How did you hear about us?' section, I was slightly puzzled that the Jobcentre, Popular Newspapers etc. are ommitted from the list, while the 'Mumsnet' forum gets included. That seems a frankly bizarre choice.

Question 5, option 2 is 'the trannig I'm given to provide me with all the information I need to do my job'.
Likewise, Question 12, option 2 is 'someone who takes calcualted risks'.
Perhaps Edinburgh Trams needs to provide someone with the dictionary they need to do their job, and tell them to be more cautious when constructing recruitment forms?

Quite frankly Marie, you've had years to get these application forms right, and to have such basic mistakes in them this late in the process just looks a bit shoddy and amateur. NOT the sort of thing we expect from EDINBURGH TRAMS.

I notice that the closing date for applications is the 14th of January, and I'm not sure if you will all still be on your Christmas holidays then, but I'd appreciate if you could let me know if you'd like me to re-apply using that crappy online form by then, or if you already have enough information from my previous application to assess my suitability as an EDINBURGH TRAM DRIVER EXTRAORDINAIRE.

All the Best,

Aldo 'No change given' Broon

P.S. I have also been memorising all the 'conditions of carriage' for the new Edinburgh Trams, so if you think I might be better suited as a Tram Conductor/Straßenbahn Führer, please also consider this an application for that post.