Thursday 1 July 2021

Too nice: bus driver ordered to attend unfriendliness training

Rösrath, Germany (dpo) - Even after four months, Max Wannemaker doesn’t quite seem to have settled into his new job as a bus driver. The nice and accommodating 36 year-old is viewed with suspicion by colleagues and supervisors. His boss is now resorting to drastic measures: Wannemaker is being sent on an unfriendliness course in order to finally meet the profile requirements for customer-facing staff on public transport.

Despite having been offered help and advice by his colleagues, Wannemaker has constantly been friendly or even kind when dealing with his passengers over the last four months. “I have absolutely no idea where this comes from”, the bus driver despairs. If someone asks him whether he stops at a particular stop, Wannemaker is likely to answer politely. “Experienced colleagues handle this in a much smarter way – they make some kind of gruff comment or at least give an irritated sigh”, he explains.
He also admits to not cursing or gesturing at inept drivers and not causing unsuspecting passengers to fall over by braking abruptly and then speeding up again – two core competencies for every good bus driver.
He now eagerly awaits the start of his unfriendliness course in five weeks’ time. “I most look forward to those moments sitting there on an overcrowded bus, silently shaking my head while I wait until all the passengers at the stop move away from the door sensors of their own accord. That should take about quarter of an hour!” Until now, he has always solved this problem very awkwardly using a short microphone announcement.
Also on the schedule are “stopping where there are no passengers” and “how to ignore passengers who want to board the bus when the doors are already closed”.
In preparation for his new lifestyle following the course, Wannemaker has spent the last two weeks sleeping on a highly uncomfortable wooden pallet, taking only cold showers and strictly adhering to the cabbage soup diet. Additionally, he is considering marrying the woman who constantly bullied him at school and plans to adopt at least three youths with behavioural problems who will make his home life hell in the future.
dan; first published 2017-27-01
Read the German version HERE.
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