What will you do?

Together for LondonI quite like Transport for London’s current ad campaign, Together for London. It is aimed at passengers and using very simple graphics and clear concise messages, it sets out to get across the message that a little thought from each of us can make a big difference for everyone.

I wonder if they have an internal version of the same campaign?

There’s a train driver on the District Line who for me personifies employee engagement. I have had the pleasure of travelling on his train a few times recently.

Yes, pleasure!

Regulars on London Underground may think this is an odd thing to say. Tube trains are a means to an end – on a good day they get you from A to B. They are not noted for their comfort or hygiene and certainly not for their ability to lift one’s spirits.

Meet District Line Dave. I don’t know his real name, but he sounds like a Dave. Dave does not make customer announcements from the manual. I’m sure he says what he has to say. But it’s what he doesn’t have to say and does that makes Dave my hero. He adds a bit of humour and personality to his work. He doesn’t tell jokes, but he certainly raises passenger morale through a combination of charm and wit.

He tells the odd short story and he shares the odd pearl of wisdom. In doing so he brightens our lives. He connects total strangers who share knowing smiles, some of complete surprise and others of recognition and appreciation. The few times I’ve seen him, as alighting passengers walk past the drivers’ cab at Wimbledon they smile, wave and even queue up to talk to him.

I Googled Dave this evening expecting at least to find a Facebook fan site or something. All I found was a very recent piece in the Telegraph and an unnecessarily long video on YouTube. And still no clue to Dave’s real identity.

If I ever find myself on one of his trains again I promise I will make the effort to say hi and to thank him for being an example to us all of how bringing a bit more of yourself to work can brighten up the lives of those around us.

If anyone from TFL is listening, please give Dave a bit pat on the back. He is one of your greatest ambassadors!