There is a proud sign on the wall at Connolly Station about Irish Rail’s performance for the period June to September. It claims that its Commuter Trains had a 99.1% reliability rating, which is impressive. It also claims a 97.6% punctuality rating, which is almost equally so.
Try that at work the next time the boss questions your timekeeping.
Imagine people in other careers operating to a similar definition. Actors in stage plays, for example. Or the pit crew in a Formula 1 race. Or the catching half of a trapeze act.
When I used to play cricket, I found that run-outs were rarely looked at in this way. “Look, Mr Umpire, I know I didn’t get to the other end before the ball hit the wicket, but I shouldn’t really be out, because I arrived within ten minutes of it”.
Apparently price increases are not granted to Irish Rail unless they meet certain standards of Reliability and Punctuality. They could have tried to meet these standards, but they opted for the much more creative idea of panel-beating the word “Punctuality” until it represented the standards they already had.
I think it’s genius.