Taking a Moment to Observe
March 20, 2019
Congratulations to Coach Attendant Sharon Diaz!
By Carolyn Cokley, Director, Customer Programs
Congratulations to Coach Attendant Sharon Diaz. Sharon was honored this past Monday with the March 2019 Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee (ACAC), Customer Service Award. The special celebration took place at the Miami crewbase where Ms. Diaz was presented with the award by an ACAC Subcommittee Chair who is also a RailPax At-Large Council Representative and me. As a frequent rider on the Silver Service, our member is used to observing top notch, on board customer service and has nominated numerous Amtrak employees over the years. When she travels, she usually travels in first-class accommodations, but she likes to reach out and walk the train. She visits the coach car and the lounge and observes people and situations in action. Her nomination letter reads in part:
“…I have traveled on the Silver Meteor many times where I have encountered Sharon’s infectious personality. On several of the trips where she was a coach attendant, she made announcements regarding station stops, café car and keeping restrooms clean, both in English and in Spanish. On those trains experiencing delays, she apologized for the delay and she also thanked passengers for traveling on Amtrak.
On August 12, 2018, I boarded in Philadelphia traveling on Train 97. The train experienced mechanical difficulties overnight and the air conditioning in the first coach was not functioning that morning. To assist her passengers, Sharon moved them from the “hot” car to seats in other coach cars as passengers detrained. Fortunately, the air conditioner was fixed in Savannah and Sharon no longer had to “juggle” her passengers.”
In attendance was Sharon’s managers who supported the nomination and a host of coworkers who attested to Sharon’s hard work, congeniality and dedication to the job. Also in attendance and a rare treat for the group was several members of Sharon’s family. She brought along her mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and nieces who came to congratulate and support her. When given an opportunity to speak to the gathering, Sharon thanked and called out each and every one of her managers and coworkers for the job that they perform in getting the trains out every day. We are a team, she said. “Everything that I do on the train is because Amtrak helps me to succeed.”
This is my second Amtrak Long Distance trip in a month. As always, I had the great pleasure of not only watching employees at their best and worst, but also passengers at their best and worst. I'll also submit my Travel Reviews.
I’ll share my observations with you next week.
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.