Tuesday, August 27, 2019
At 9am yesterday morning, @TfL's twitter account tweeted this.
This seemed odd, given that yesterday was a bank holiday.
So I did some digging, and discovered that Kate Englefield's tweet was originally posted on 3rd October 2018.
What's more Kate tweeted it on a Wednesday, so TfL's comment "Starting the week right!" was doubly misleading.
@TfL also showcased another passenger's tweet at exactly the same time, both on Twitter and on Instagram. Here it is on Instagram.
Aww, well done Trevor, I thought.
And then I did some digging again, and discovered that @imogendragons' tweet was originally from 8th October 2018.
That's one thankyou message posted 322 days late, and another 327 days late.
It looked as if @TfL were storing up tweets that made them look good and posting them several months later.
So I went digging again, and looked back through @TfL's entire tweet output during June, July and August.
It turns out that @TfL always schedule customer praise at 9am on a Monday morning, week in, week out. And normally, just the once.
Customer tweet @TfL tweet Days late After close to 3 years in London, tried the @SantanderCycles and loved it. Will use it more often now. [@tilak365 21 Apr 2019] Perfect way to start the week! [3 Jun 2019] 43 Shoutout to the train driver on the Bakerloo line informing us we were at the last stop by singing End Of The Road by Boyz II Men. [@AEMcKay 22 Apr 2019] The most creative way to reach the end of the line! [10 Jun 2019] 49 Shout out to the lovely man working the gate at Charing X this morning. I have all the bags today and he took my card and tapped it for me. Not a big deal but certainly made life easier. Thank you @TfL [@SamuelHaughton 15 Apr 2019] Shout out to the team at Charing Cross! [17 Jun 2019] 63 I hope whoever found my pistachio lemon drizzle cake that I left on the jubilee line this morning really enjoyed it. Thank you to the staff at north greenwhich who tried to find it for me [@HermioneMidwife 21 Apr 2019] Hands up... who found the cake? [24 Jun 2019] 64 @TfL guard at archway tube station at the weekend was wonderful- really helpful, cheery and a staff member you should be proud of [@lukeslittlelegs 15 Apr 2019] Shout out to the team at Archway Underground! [1 Jul 2019] 77 I fainted on a busy tube yesterday and this is to try to say thank you to the man who got help, the man who kindly gave me his bottle of squash, and the lovely @TfL staff at #actontownstation who patiently looked after me until I felt better. #LoveLondon #kindnessofstrangers [@LitAgentCLare 18 Apr 2019] [applause emoji ×3] [8 Jul 2019] 81 To the lovely @TfL fella at Bethnal Green Overground who says “Morning!” to everyone as they go through the gates....keep it up buddy! What a happy dude! #itsnicetobenice [@MysteryBooth 12 Apr 2019] Starting the week with a smile [15 Jul 2019] 94 Thank you to the wonderful staff at Bank Tube station, esp Mo with his stick, who rescued me and my shoe this evening #Cinderella @TfL #HeroesInHighVis [@legallylondon 7 Jun 2019] Have you come across any heroes in high vis lately? We want to hear your stories! [22 Jul 2019] 45 Shout out to Roy the cleaner on the jubilee line who made everyone’s morning a little bit better with fist bumps and compliments @jubileeline [@KatieshawEmma 7 Jun 2019] Has anyone made your morning recently? [29 Jul 2019] 52 Kudos to the guy at @TfL #TottenhamCourtRoad station playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano just now - got everyone singing, incl. the lovely tube staff! [@JessLHaig 16 Jun 2019] The perfect way to set yourself up for the week ahead [5 Aug 2019] 50 @northernline S/O to the cheerful train driver on Northern Line that left Camden Town @15.12pm en route to Edgware. Tanoy announcement praising wonderfully behaved children from a school in Hamsptead and applause made me feel like I was in an American Movie #londonunderground [@qualityinplay 6 Jun 2019] School trips via the London Underground [12 Aug 2019] 67 @TfL @EmiratesAirLDN The cable car is fantastic - especially on a sunny day like today! [@Soundrider19 1 Jun 2019] Nothing beats the Emirates Air Line! [19 Aug 2019] 79 thank you to the lovey kind member of @TfL staff, Trevor, at Euston Square station for patiently looking after me and helping me get the tube home this morning!!! he’s a gem!! [@imogendragons 8 Oct 2018] You're a gem, Trevor [26 Aug 2019] 322 I've only gone and had a commuter's hat-trick this morning: seat on the bus, the Piccadilly line and the Jubilee line #winning @TfL #commutingmiracles #hattrick [@kate_englefield 3 Oct 2018] Starting the week right! [26 Aug 2019] 327
I've omitted the emojis. @TfL can't tweet anything these days without including at least one emoji.
Every single one of these @TfL tweets occurred at least six weeks after the original, more generally ten weeks and on one occasion 47 weeks.
There are far worse crimes. But if you thought @TfL were trawling their most recent tweets in search of customer praise, they're definitely not doing that.
Instead some minion in the social media team is sitting down occasionally to file away appropriate tweets, adding a chirpy subtext and autoscheduling them for 9am on Mondays in the far-flung future.
This normally works, because who'd think to check? But then you mess up by scheduling a commuting tweet for a bank holiday morning and people catch you out.
Even Kate who wrote the original tweet noticed, and she wasn't happy.
@TfL this is a bit naughty. No credit and I posted that last year. Not to mention, another reminder that I don’t take that route anymore since I broke up with boyfriend and moved. Cheers for that.This is what happens when your headline Twitter account becomes a PR sausage machine, a curated stream of pre-selected engagement collateral rather than a communication medium with soul.
It's been the direction of travel for some time.
So if you do get "a commuter's hat-trick this morning", best keep quiet.
...or read more in my monthly archives
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