It’s been said that Jerusalem’s light rail is one of its prime examples of multiculturalism.
The Citypass company, which operates the Jerusalem light rail, has become an important partner in working to improve tolerance in and around the light rail, including the Tolerance Station outside the Municipality, our Building Jerusalem with Lego stop on Jerusalemite Day, to Tolerance Traing-based tours during the Jerusalem Tolerance Week. But one of their most important initiatives was the series of cultural competency workshops that we ran throughout November 2017 for their 7 customer service representatives.
That is when tensions are high, and it comes out in the conversations the customer service representatives have.
It’s not easy working in customer service, since they are the ones dealing with people who’ve been fined or have complaints. When tensions are high, politeness takes a back burner. “We deal with things like, ‘That dirty/smelly/ stupid Ethiopian ticket checker gave me a fine'” said one of the workers. “How do you respond to that?”
In the workshops, the workers learned how to respond to these and other comments that are based on stereotypes. The training included principles of interpersonal communication that deflects tension-ridden comments.
Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of Cultural Competency since its inception in 2008.