While most train companies don’t give any apologies until they’re over two hours late, a rail service in Japan apologised profusely after departing 20 seconds too early.
On Thursday, officials from Tsukaba Express were deeply sorry for the “severe inconvenience” they caused to passengers when one of their trains left ahead of schedule. It was supposed to leave Minami-Nagareyama Station at 9:44:40 local time, but left at 9:44:20.
No commuters were actually hassled by the ‘incident’, but the company owned up to their mistake nonetheless.
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused,” officials said. “The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation.”
On social media, people praised (and envied) the Japanese for their culture of punctuality and excellent service.
“I took a commuter train in Tokyo that was two minutes late, and there were profuse apologies. It was two minutes late because there was an earthquake,” said one user, while expat Casey Baseel of RocketNews24 added:
“[T]he fact that Japanese companies care so much about customer satisfaction, consistently try to look at things from the end-user’s point of view, and are willing to offer a sincere apology even for understandable inconveniences is, really, one of the most beautiful parts of Japanese society, and one of my favorite things about living here.”