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a blog by Chris Barrow

What don't you get paid for?

What does ‘going the extra mile’ really mean? It’s a phrase often used when someone goes beyond what their role dictates. This praise, in most cases, is due to an instance of brilliance, one moment in the day that stands out from ‘normal working life’. I think I found someone recently who REALLY goes the extra mile in their working life! I recently took a train from Edinburgh to Doncaster. I have done many train journeys and service levels have fluctuated a lot in standard class. First Class is always good but let’s not kid ourselves…you are still on a train! On this particular journey, I was in standard class right at the back of the coach, seat 68. I like observing people and was watching the conductor start his journey of checking tickets at the other end of the coach at seat 1. As he came closer I heard him say a time once he had stamped the ticket and handed it back. At first I thought that quite a few passengers had asked him about their arrival times. But as he approached I realised he voluntarily announced each person’s arrival time and their destination once the ticket was stamped. He would also tell passengers their connection times – the woman in front of me had three connections! When he handed back my ticket and told me what time I was due to arrive, I complimented him on his great service and that I had never seen it before on a train. Let’s look at the variables so that we can confirm that this guy went the extra mile… For critics’ sake we will apply the 80/20 rule:

  1. The train’s route was from Edinburgh to King’s Cross Station in London

  2. 80% of the passengers were traveling from Edinburgh and alighting at Doncaster

  3. 20% were getting off at different stations in between

  4. 8 coaches with an average of 55 seats, 80% full = 352 passengers

  5. 20% of passengers were en route to London King’s Cross = 70

  6. 70 possible journey arrival/connection times that he has memorised

Memorising all the variations and time tables is not something that this gentleman ‘gets paid for’ but he made a choice to do it. What are you choosing today to do… that you DON’T get paid for?

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