Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Bus company criticised over advert

Officials suggested that a notice along the lines of 'bus conductor wanted' would have been a better option
Officials suggested that a notice along the lines of 'bus conductor wanted' would have been a better option

A public transport operator has been accused of losing its way with words when advertising for a bus "passenger assistant".

Go-Ahead London described the passenger assistant role as "brand new" and advertised for a "good face-to-face communicator" who had "customer-facing experience", a "natural flair for going 'the extra mile'" and was fit enough to cope with standing for lengthy periods of time.

Candidates were told that passenger assistants would work on a "unique" new London double-decker bus which was "accessible" and "convenient" and asked if they had "the kind of personality that made last year's Olympic gamesmakers so successful".

The Plain English Campaign - which promotes concise writing - dubbed the advertisements "gobbledegook". Officials suggested that a notice along the lines of "bus conductor wanted" would have been a better option.

Go-Ahead London bosses, who have advertised the passenger assistant job in a newspaper and on the internet, defended the language used and said they were happy with the content.

"The primary role of the passenger assistant is to travel the length of the route and ensure that passengers board and alight the bus safely," said an on-line description.

"You will also be required to signal to the driver when it's safe to depart a bus stop. As part of the role it's your responsibility to be visible to passengers by patrolling both the lower and upper deck and be proactive in assisting with general inquiries."

The description added: "You will also be responsible for encouraging passengers to touch in with their oyster/contactless payment cards."

A newspaper advertisement asked: "Are you the same kind of personality that made last year's Olympic gamesmakers so successful? You should be a good face-to-face communicator with customer-facing experience, ideally in hospitality or retail."

And an internet advertisement listed requirements which included: having a "positive attitude" and remaining "resilient at all times", "exceptional customer service skills with a natural flair of providing clear and concise instructions and for going 'the extra mile'" and being "physically fit as you are required to stand for lengthy periods of time and patrol upper and lower deck".

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