Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Does Amy have to give her flowers back?
I am writing to you concerning the Amy Wootton Breastfeeding incident and have a couple of questions.
I believe you are the person who dealt with the situation according to your colleges over the phone on Monday.
I have met Amy Wotton twice, the week before the alleged incident, and the Friday afterwards as the worldwide media were broadcasting her story.
We - myself and a group of mothers who know each other through a mother’s internet forum - are pretty confused and distressed by the situation, and are amazed that what appeared to be normal articulate young women could be driven to fabricate a story such as this. She obviously has problems, no argument about that one.
But how did this extremely vulnerable individual become the centre of a global media storm?.
The evidence shows that she lied, and that is not acceptable. However this does pose a number of questions and issues around what has happened
1. Is it company policy to issues flowers and an apology to every complaint? Is it common to issue an apology before a inquiry?
2. Did the Evening Post contact you before or after Amy made the complaint?
3. Was the apology/flowers issued before or after the evening post contacted you?
4. Amy recounted several incidents that she did not officially complain about while using first bus. The gist of it was a feeling of general intimidation on the 54 from other passengers in regards to her breastfeeding and unpleasantness form first staff over a number of months to a year when she had mobility problems during pregnancy and her work as a careworker attempting to get clients on board with wheelchairs. It would seem that there was a build up of anger and resentment over along period of time.
5. In the drivers statement he says ‘He was aware of Amy breastfeeding’ and he was ’Laughing and joking with the passengers’ during journey. Is he is a known and regular driver on that journey?.
6. How would you describe first buses’ relationship with the Evening post:
Good, fair, ok, poor, or severed horses head at the bottom of a bed?
7.Will First Bus in Bristol perhaps look to addressing some of its deep systemic problems with a forum for bus users to work with First to put things right..
For example: Looking at a clearer complaint system i.e. A telephone number for complaints clearly displayed at stops and inside buses. The name of the driver clearly displayed as well.
Perhaps a system where customers are invited to rate the driver’s performance.
Addressing the quality of bus service in regard to postcode (poorer areas have a worse quality of service, old pram unfriendly buses etc). And join in the lobby to sort out the city’s crippled traffic system that makes bus driver’s job extremely difficult.
8.As a good will gesture, be one of the first companies in Bristol to display signs in there buses to the effect that it is illegal to stop a woman breast fed, in conjunction with one of the breastfeeding organisations when a clarification of the law happens.
I am a freelance political cartoonist and artist and currently I’m on maternity leave. I’m afraid it may sound flippant but the cartoonist in me wants to ask:
9. Does Amy have to give her flowers back?
I must state that I will be publishing the contents of this email. I will also be publishing the contents of any replay I receive from you. If I do not receive a reply, Ill put you down as a ‘No comment’.
Talking about the appalling bus service in Bristol is like talking about the weather for most people who live hear.
It must be an interesting job being the public Relations for First bus.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your email. Regarding Amy Wootten, this is a private matter between her and us and to that end we are not prepared to enter into correspondence about it with any other individuals.
In relation to our general customer service provision, should you wish to join our customer panel - to help influence policy in this area - you will find details of how to do so here: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/southwest/bristol/customer_care/customer.php. Alternatively if you have suggestions regarding how we might improve customer relations then please feel free to write to us via our customer service team, details of whom you'll find here: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/southwest/bristol/contact/bristol.php
With kind regards