My email to Connex
If you’re a relative newcomer to Haught, you might not know that before I was writing immaculately worded emails to big-name dickheads and corporate galoots like Microsoft, Alan Jones, Coles and Woolworths , I became a household name (and got people asking why there wasn’t a Nobel Prize for Blogging) writing to public transport companies.
Well, I’ve decided it’s time to return to my roots.
Now, if you’re familiar with what it’s like to be on a Melbourne train during peak hour, or slightly before or after peak hour, or in hot weather, or in mildly warm weather, or when it’s raining, or drizzling, you have my sympathies. You can also probably go straight to the email below.
If you’ve never had the displeasure of a Melbourne train experience, you might also want to get up to speed on just how badly our train system is operated before you read the email below. You can do that by reading my email to Metro trains from a couple of years ago, this recent Age article on continual overcrowding, or the most recent Canstar City Train Ratings.
I know you became defunct in 2009, but I don’t think that should stand in the way of this very important email. Hey, what’s a trifling absence of existence between friends?
Before I get to the reason for my correspondence, however, I need to be honest with you. I think you were terrible.
Had there been such a thing as The One.Tel Award for Catastrophic Incompetence by a Profit-Seeking Company, you would have won it in 8 consecutive years between 2002 and 2009, only beaten (narrowly) in 1999, 2000 and 2001 by One.Tel (who were bizarrely still sponsoring the award up until the time of their insolvency… or would have been, had the award been real).
You were really really awful.
Atlanta Olympics awful.
Etihad Stadium awful.
Nissan Cube awful.
Zany circus clown awful.
Cane toad awful. Indeed, you were a kind of corporate cane toad. You were brought in to fix a problem and within weeks had shown yourself to be hopelessly incapable of even the most basic elements of the job at hand. You left only devastation (and a fourteen kilometre cavalcade of public relations fuckwittery) in your wake, creating a far larger problem than the one you’d been commissioned to remedy. And I can’t lie; on occasion, I had the strong desire to hit you with a two iron, insert a lit firecracker up your anus and/or pour salt onto your wart-ridden, toxin-oozing skin. I find it hard to believe I was the only person driven to these sadistic inclinations.
Now, would you mind coming back?
Yes, this email is a plea for you to return as Melbourne’s private rail operator. You might think that sounds strange given that I just compared you to amphibious vermin and mentioned defiling you with a pyrotechnic device, but it’s not really when you consider the company that took your place.
Metro Trains are on a different echelon of shit to you. Actually, they’re shitter than shit. They’re shitter than a shit. A shit floating in a bath. That you’ve noticed only now, having seconds ago just taken a huge mouthful of the water because…
…look, don’t worry about why. Do you need to give a reason? You just felt like filling your mouth with grey water. And swallowing a tiny bit. Is that so hard to believe?
Anyway, shitter than that shit – the one you later fished out of the bath with a kitchen sieve, dry retching all the while, so you could send it away to a lab to find out who the fuck had shat in your bath. And when the lab results came back they showed it was inexplicably your own. Shitter than that.
They’re not just terrible communicators, they’re not just obsessed with blaming passengers for their own ineptitude, they’re not just pathetic bullies, they’re not just raking in the government subsidies, they’re not just really bad at running trains – they’re all of these things and sneaky into the bargain.
You, Connex, were thicker than two planks discussing economics at a Palmer United Party parliamentary meeting, and there was something endearing about your guileless buffoonery. You reminded me a little bit of the abominable snowman from Warner Brothers cartoons. Metro are sly, though. They tar the rules. They feather the rules. They chain the rules to a rock and have an eagle eat out the rules’ liver. But they never technically break the rules governing what is and isn’t OK when running Melbourne trains. And then they crow about their ill-gotten performance statistics.
They’ve never done anything right. Not a single thing. The file marked “Achievements” on their single computer (a Commodore 64) is barren. “What about the brilliantly executed, award-winning Dumb Ways to Die advertising campaign?” you ask. Look, I’m just going to charge past that question in the same way that a Metro train might hurtle past a station it had been scheduled to stop at. They’d be so proud of me.
Yes, you were horrific, but if it’s a choice between you and Metro, I’ll take you every time.
So – what do you say? Will you come back from the shadow world and do a marginally less shit job than Metro?
Waiting anxiously beside the Ouija board for your reply,