TransLink spokesperson communication failures

Many mornings I’ve watched the bus pass me because of the full capacity on board and every time I groan about the incompetency of the bus system to properly organize a fleet of drivers. It truly makes me wonder what management is up to.

Recently TransLink found itself in the hot seat when a teenager in the lower mainland confined to his mobilized wheel chair was discriminated against on two separate occasions by public bus drivers.

On September 21st 2012 Parker was waiting for a ride to school at a stop with his aid worker when a bus driver stopped at his location. Instead of picking up all the riders at the stop Parker was left out when the bus driver closed the doors and drove away without letting him board.

His second encounter occurred just weeks later on October 3rd 2012 when the bus driver noticed Parker and blatantly drove by.

Parker filed complaints both times with TransLink and nothing was done until he went to the papers.

At which time the TransLink spokesperson Derek Zabel made the statement “Obviously we take this complaint very seriously” (Foy, 2012).

But does it seem that way?

According to Alex Honeysett of the Daily Muse, it is important to “always be as transparent and honest as possible” and to “always make sure your customers are taken care of” (Honeysett, 2012).

TransLink’s spokesperson Derek Zabel didn’t consider the most important audience in this entire debacle, their customer Brenden Parker.

Even though Zabel went on to make the statement that “this is priority one for us” (Foy, 2012), I have no doubt that TransLink’s communication department failed to do enough to rectify their wrong doings in the public eye.

TJ Nyce


Disseminating bad news really well

For three days last week I acted as the communications officer in charge of communications with stakeholders across North America.

I wrote thousands of words containing an attention to detail that would be difficult to match. I wrote them knowing my audience with pitch-perfect tone. My use of lists, bullets, and personal anecdotes was spot-on. The communications were timely and relevant.

There was also a crisis management aspect to the position that I nailed. Nailed.

The experience will never make it to my resume. There won’t be any writing samples mined from the work. The position has been dissolved, and, fortunately, I’m better for it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve held this position within the organization, and I can safely assume it isn’t my last experience at this particular helm either.

When there is a crisis in your family, what’s your default position?

(image courtesy of enpundit and photographer Alan Sailer

Interrupted silence


Gin and I will have to work on our relationship

I haven’t written since my friend Megan died. The wind and all the words were taken out of me. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, but that has to stop. I need to find the words. Writing makes me feel good.

This isn’t going to be a long one. It just needs to be long enough to break back in or maybe out.

Megan wrote her story at The Karl Kronicles. She was an amazing person. She let me blow-dry her springy, curly hair out as far as I could make it go just because it made me happy. She was pretty blind without her glasses, but she could easily see the silhouette of her giant head. The fact that she was pocket-sized made her giant afro even funnier. When I had gotten my fill, I would flat-iron her hair down, which was just as big a privilege since her curls were practically feral.

I don’t know how to process my loss, but at least now I’m not alone in my head.


(photo courtesy of

What is 5% of forever?


I spruced up my LinkedIn profile a month or two ago, but it stalled at 95% complete when my internship ended. It wants a description of my current position. OK LinkedIn, you win. I don’t have a current position. In fact, the lack of current position was why I spruced up my profile in the first place.

It seems inconsequential, but that missing 5% burns a person on the job hunt. It’s a constant reminder of the countless hours of networking, resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and interviews looming ominously between you and your next job or even career.

There are solutions, of course. The most obvious one is to stop looking at my profile, or quit logging on full-stop. I don’t seem capable of this option. I could also write some form of “looking for a paying gig” in there, as many people do, but I don’t like the look of it. (Yes, that is silly, and yes, I should promote my availability.) I could also write that I am a student, except that LinkedIn is already aware of this fact and has chosen to ignore it as a viable “current position.”

For now I’ll brace myself and make peace with that missing 5%. When I am ready to write something in there – perhaps the spoils of an upcoming interview – it will serve as the summit of this particular expedition.


(Image courtesy of

Growing pride

May 8, 2012: Day 1

May 28, 2012: Week 3








I planted a little herb garden in a small portion of the dilapidated flower bed outside our apartment door about three weeks ago. We live in a motel-style building and I pass the little herb garden every time I come home. It makes me really happy. Apparently this is where the obsession with gardening starts. I can see it growing along with my little garden.

The tiny bed my herbs are in is part of a much larger, and exponentially more dilapidated bed. The only redeeming aspects were two random bushes because they took up so much space and one appeared to want to flower. The building manager asked me if I was going to do anything with the rest of it which I thought was kind of cheeky, but I have to admit, I wanted to.

So this Saturday I did, and something amazing happened. The people in our building started to smile. While I was excavating the rest of the bed from years of leaves, weeds, giant rocks, and garbage, I had two different neighbors who have never even made eye contact stop and chat at me. At one point the manager even came up and asked me if I wanted three bags of dirt he had left over from something else (I said yes without any hesitation). And two more people stopped to offer friendly words before I was done getting grubby in my fresh dirt.

Taking back one giant flower bed in front of our complex has made multiple people happy, even if it is only for a few seconds as they park their car and walk to their unit. All of a sudden there is a hint of community from our side of the building. This tiny bit of effort with an ugly, unused bed (I pruned the bushes as well – I can’t help myself) has boosted my pride in where I live. I want to be house proud. Maybe my neighbors feel that way too?