Customer comfort

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 August, 2006, 12:00am

Name: Tony Tse Chun-hung Age: 38 Occupation: MTR station operator (Tsing Yi)

Young Post: Why did you choose this profession?

Tse: I enjoy working with customers. I had been working at HSBC bank for eight years when I saw that the MTR was hiring. I felt like I needed a change, so I applied, and got the job.

A good work environment is very important to me.

YP: What are your job duties?

T: Every station operator has to take turns doing three jobs during each shift. These are working at the customer service centre, working in the supervision booth and concourse duty. There are 27 shifts a day.

At the customer service centre, we issue tickets and help passengers who are asking for directions.

When we are in the supervision booth, we have to watch train arrivals and departures and make sure they are on time.

We are also in charge of PA announcements.

Concourse duty involves patrolling around the station to check everything is safe, neat and tidy.

We also have to check the 'add value machines' and ticket machines for any problems and making sure the passenger information displays are working.

At the end of the night shift, we have to do the 'dumping', which is the act of taking the money out of the ticket machines.

YP: Do you experience any difficulties in your job?

T: This is not a particularly difficult job. As long as you follow protocol, especially in the supervision booth, you are fine.

The most difficult part is dealing with people. Machines are easy - all you have to do is follow the instructions. They have no emotions.

When I have to deal with passengers who have a problem, I try to put myself in their shoes.

Most of the time, angry or distressed passengers are simply normal people with a problem.

I try to empathise with them, which generally helps to calm them down.

Then we will tackle the problem together, whether it is a lost property case or someone who has dropped their valuables on the train tracks.

YP: What is the most important quality you need to be a good station operator?

T: I think this is the same for most jobs - you need to have the right attitude. You need to know yourself, especially your strengths and weaknesses.

You need to know there are others that are stronger than you, so you always have to work hard to develop your knowledge.

If you have these qualities, then no matter what job you want to do, you will be on the path to success.

YP: What satisfies you most about this job?

T: Being able to help people. I am very content with where I am. As long as you are a serious and responsible person, and deal with everything with a serious attitude, you'll be satisfied with your performance.