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Monday 16 May 2011

EXCLUSIVE: A Sad Story From Lymington – 1

The Fourth Estate is today, it seems, taking a break from kicking South West Trains (SWT) over the dismissal of ticket clerk Ian Faletto. It’s possible that the protagonists, principally those at the Daily Mail and Maily Telegraph, realise they may have overplayed the story, but I doubt it: those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet are not prone to bouts of reticence.

Here on Zelo Street, significant further information has been received, although I am not at liberty to identify its source, nor the route that it took in arriving here. The picture painted is of a clerk so bound up in his work that he goes beyond the limits of his remit, and an employer that eventually runs out of patience. It is not a happy story, and nor is the outcome.

Ian Faletto was a ticket clerk and nothing more, and thus did not receive Personal Track Safety (PTS) training: he was not permitted to go on the track in the course of his duties. He did, however, style himself “Station Master”, to the annoyance of management at SWT.

The presence of a Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) on the station platform clearly taxed Faletto, who appeared to fear it would endanger his job security. So he removed the change from it, making cash payments next to impossible. At other times he would cone it off and hang a home-made “out of use” sign on it.

The best and worst of Ian Faletto, I’m told, came when the train service was suspended one day: on his own initiative, he ordered taxis to take punters to connect with main line services at Brockenhurst (very good), then prevented anyone who had not bought a ticket from him using them (very bad).

Faletto was not required to perform any platform duties at Lymington Town station: the trains were “self dispatched” by the guard. But he did, on occasion, stop those running late who had not bought tickets boarding trains, though they intended to buy from the guard. One complaint about that would have resulted in disciplinary action.

And then there was the affair of the shopping trolley, which started the whole media circus off. My information is that the CCTV footage showed Faletto litter picking, and that no shopping trolley can be seen. None has since been found. The traction current had not been switched off, and neither the duty signaller, nor anyone at Control, has been disciplined.

This, by itself, would not, I understand, have been sufficient to earn Faletto the sack, except for one inconvenient detail: he had what might be called “previous”. The extent of that is not known. It seems that the litter picking was the proverbial last straw. But that has not dissuaded the media – I’ll look at that next.

[The second part of this post can be seen HERE, with updates HERE, HERE and HERE]


Anonymous said...

Careful - if anything here turns out to be untrue, it's potentially libellous.

Anonymous said...

the " non confrontational " SWT http://www.workplacevictimisation.net/introduction.html
The SWT " Fan Club " http://www.shrug.info/Hogrider107/Hogrider%20107.html

Tim Fenton said...

A personally abusive comment on this post has been deleted.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim Fenton said...

A range of opinions is welcome on Zelo Street, but personal attacks are not.

Anonymous Bee said...

There should really be a customer satisfaction poll on the station goers. Much better than some grouchy boss who thinks an employee has overstepped his line. Personally I think I would love to have that ticket man self proclaimed station master in my station, if he's good natured about everything. It should really be left to the ppl. The customer is always right.
And the movie should be let out to the public IF the trolley is untrue. any PR would acknowledge the public sympathy was because he was sacked for doing a good logical deed.
That's all I have to say.

Ralf Voellmer said...

The story above can best be described by that word: "Story". No references, no sources, no evidence other than "someone told someone else who then told me and now I'm telling you". Hearsay at best.

Also important, and probably more to SWT's point: What has any of this got to do with the man's pension?

Ralf Voellmer
New York City

Tim Fenton said...

Ralf, if I were to break the confidence of my sources, then sources would not trust me.

You should ask yourself why first the national print media, then the local papers, gradually dropped the story. Google "Ian Faletto" with "South West Trains", then see how old all the results are. There's been nothing new for more than a fortnight.

As to his pension, this wasn't under discussion. Why should it be? He's not lost his pension, he won't be losing it, and the only thing happening on that front is that he won't be able to draw it early.

If you've visited after reading the Chap story, remember this: that article is merely rehashing the original copy (old news) from papers like the Daily Mail, which is about as trustworthy as the NY Post on an off day.

If you want references and sources before you take anything on board, why give the Chap story any credibility? That doesn't cite anything bar newspaper reports that themselves don't cite any source.

Faletto was dismissed. He appealed. He lost his appeal. He won't get his job back. South West Trains will not be moved from their current position. Those believing otherwise do so mistakenly. That is all.