Red Faces All Round Dept.


Phundria is delighted to publish these gems which, we think, accurately reflect the incredible standards of competence under which much of British industry operates today.

On the 'Dumbing Down' of British Television ...

An executive engineer with one of the big television companies sent us this gem of a memo:

Just for the record that we determined to do a note to relevant personnel about practically achieving confidence checks.

We've absolutely no idea what this means. Even the recipient has only a vague idea.

On the Marvels of Railway Privatisation ...

This was received by our correspondent from a train operating company in response to a complaint, that the clocks shown on station departure screens all the way up the line from a major English city were two minutes fast:

Thank you for your further e-mail, which I have recently received. You are absolutely correct in that the monitors at stations do show the train being delayed/early in single minutes for passengers' information. However the performance figures, which you mentioned in your original e-mail, allow for the five minute tolerance.

Unfortunately the clocks at Cleckhuddersfax station are out of our control, as Cleckhuddersfax station is owned by TrackCo. This is why there is also the disruption at several weekends as TrackCo try and improve their station.

I am glad to hear that our clocks are now moving back towards the time you wish them to tell, and I trust they will reach their target soon.

Once again, thank you for contacting Karno Trains. Please do not hesitate to contact us in future over any further issues that concern you, however small in detail.

Yours sincerely

Customer Relations

Editor's note: The names have been changed to protect us from the guilty. This piece also seems to suggest a bewildering level of managerial incompetence. What a way to run a railway!

From an Informed Source* ...

The following message will appear on one of the Rail Ticketing websites if they can't deal with the transaction you made:

We are unable to fulfill the tickets for this particular journey, as either the ticket cannot be posted in time or the departure station does not offer a collection facility. You can still purchase your tickets from the station.

Editor's note: Ignoring the misuse of the word 'fulfill' (What on earth does that mean? - oh, I see - 'marketing-speak'), this seems a fairly polite message at first glance, but when you look at it closely there's something not quite right! "Waiter - fulfill my soup!"

Can it get any worse? Please send us more of these.

* - yes, that one!

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