I’ve had a reply to my letter of complaint to Transport for London (TfL) and I’m not sure how I feel about what they say.
While the letter was generally apologetic, I felt it made excuses for the behaviour of the station staff rather than agree that they had behaved improperly – It was busy that evening, they’d never met anyone with Tourettes before, and so on. They said the staff member involved denied swearing at me and that he had only refused to speak to me after he’d given me directions, which isn’t correct.
The letter describes the situation as a breakdown in communication between me and the staff. From my point of view it wasn’t a breakdown between us so much as the staff member’s refusal to communicate with me at all.
The letter also talks about the distress caused to everyone involved, but I don’t believe anyone was distressed except me. I know it’s hard for people to appreciate how meaningless my ticced swearing is if they haven’t met me before – while a description of my behaviour by someone else might make them think I was someone in an angry rage. If they actually heard me they would know this was wasn’t the case.
In my letter I asked a number of specific questions including:
• What disability awareness training is provided to station staff and managers and how frequently is this given?
• What is the TfL policy on staff wearing name badges and identifying themselves when asked to do so by customers?
• Will I be able to view the CCTV record of this incident should I wish to do so?
Their reply said that they do provide their staff with disability awareness training but that it doesn’t identify any specific disabilities nor describe how they should respond. This made Fat Sister laugh. She said “What do they do then? Just say ‘There are disabled people. The end.’”
About name badges, they said, “All staff must wear their name badge when on duty at all times and provide this information when asked.” In my case these rules weren’t followed.
What annoyed me most was their response to the question of CCTV. They said customers could view footage of themselves (with other customers blurred out), but it went on to say I wouldn’t be able to look at the footage of the incident because it’s only kept for fourteen days, and it would have been destroyed. My letter asking to see the footage was sent a day after the incident, so it feels like they’ve deliberately delayed responding to make it impossible for me to see it.