Tuesday, 19 April 2011

30 Day Challenge Day 19: A picture and a letter.


How's it goin?

A picture and a letter? Well regular readers should know I am pretty good at writing letters.  I have decided against a shameless plug for MY BOOK. Instead I have opted to give you a letter I wrote last August, to Lothian Buses. This was written whilst I was working at Tapas Towers for the festival in August 2010. Regular readers will remember this is not the first time I've had problems with a bus company.

Dear Lothian Buses,
Good day. I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying the Festival atmosphere in Edinburgh. I am sorry to say I am not writing just to say that.

I am highly annoyed with one of your drivers.
I am in Edinburgh working for the festival. I had just finished a 13 hour shift, during which time I only had time to eat half a sandwich, and not a very good sandwich either.
I finished work at 10:30pm and was starving. Knowing I didn't have any food in the house I opted for a Macdonalds. Not something I usually do but I was hungry and it is quick.

I did not want to sit in the restaurant at that time of night with all the drunkards, so I got my meal to take away so I could take it home and eat in some peace in front of the tv.

The number 22 bus to ocean terminal arrived at Princes Street stop opposite The Balmoral Hotel at 22:45. I boarded, but I was told by the driver I was not allowed on board with take away food.


I was not planning on eating on board the bus. I was clearly not intoxicated, or under the influence of any illegal substances. I had just had a very long day and wanted to go home and eat my crappy cheeseburger. I have taken food on board your bus's before and this has never been a problem.

Just yesterday when I took the bus home after another incredibly long day, the couple in the seat behind me had fish and chips, this did not bother me nor any of the other passengers.
I was told by your driver that take away food is not permitted. I asked how I was meant to get home, he said that I should enjoy my meal and get the next bus.

Enjoy my meal?


In the Bus stop?

With all the drunkards passing by?

What the hell?

Is this a joke of some kind?

This is ridiculous!

I offered to put my food in my backpack until I reached my destination, but the driver simply said no.

I am very angry at this.

All I wanted to do was get home after an incredibly long day and eat my crappy meal in peace, and your driver robbed me of that very simple pleasure.

When I boarded the next bus the guy in front of me was carrying a bag from Burger King.


Is this some form of prejudice just against Macdonalds?

I would like an explanation as to the behaviour of this driver?

Is this a policy that exists?

If so, why is it not enforced all the time?

The couple with Fish and Chips got to go home.

The guy with the Burger King got to go home.

But I did not.

I was forced to eat my meal in the very uncomfortable bus stop.

This is bang out of order!

And thats not a sentence I use lightly.

I am a frequent user of your buses and have sung your companies praises on more than one occasion. I am from Aberdeen and the bus service up in the Granite city is crap. Far more expensive and much less reliable. But they don't have a problem with you taking your dinner home.

I am extremely disappointed in your company and with this driver. I am seriously considering simply walking from now on.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.

Kind Regards

Andy Graham
Irritated Traveller


Dear Mr Graham,

Thank you for your comments regarding the actions of the driver on the Service 22 on 13 August 2010.  

Firstly, may I apologise for the incident that you encountered. I was most concerned by the event you described and have investigated as fully as possible. There is official documentation on the drivers cab door that clearly states in both wording and signage that hot food and drinks are not permitted, however this notice is to try and deter passengers from bringing food and drink on to our vehicles. You are perfectly entitled to travel onboard our vehicles with food as long as it is in a bag and it is not consumed onboard the vehicle.

Unfortunately on this occasion the driver’s behaviour fell far below the standard that is acceptable from an employee of this Company, and for this I can only apologise. I have taken the necessary steps to ensure this does not happen again, and I will also ask our Driving Standards Officer to carry out checks in all aspects of his work. I can assure you that this Company trains staff to a high level and acts strongly against those members who fail to maintain the standard required. I trust that you will allow me to deal with this matter accordingly.

On behalf of Lothian Buses Plc, please again accept my sincere apologies for the lack of professionalism and for any embarrassment caused, and I am grateful that you have taken the time to bring this matter to our attention.

Yours sincerely
A. Person

Lothian Buses 0 - Andy G 1

Although I would have appreciated a free bus pass or something.

That's All For Now

Until Next Time 

Have A Nice

Andy G

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