Another one to file under rude Metro employees.
From contributor Greg:
Coming from Philadelphia about 2 years ago, all I heard was how much better the public transit system was in D.C. People made it sound like it was leaving Detroit for Hawaii. That gap is greatly exaggerated. It's more like moving from Detroit for, er, Cleveland, and the unhelpful and rude employees are a large reason why.
My girlfriend and I spent a lot of time recently at Nationals Park, which means a heaping dose of Metro use.
Everything was routine, except for the group of morons attending the chili cook off who were not letting anyone off before they got on, which is a HUGE pet peeve.
Anyway, we were attending a double header, so between games, we decided to spend the intermission on the SW Waterfront. Easy trip, you'd think, right? WRONG.
The Half St. Metro entrance was packed, but I snaked my around around the crowds to get to the gates, where I tried to use the farecard I purchased three hours earlier at Tenleytown, but it didn’t open the gates. Annoyed, I sought out an attendant for help. The following conversation ensued:
Me: My farecard won’t open the gate.
Attendant: (annoyed that I broke up her conversation with Metro Police) Is it empty?
Me: Uh, no, I bought it 3 hours ago.
Attendant: (annoyed she now has to walk over to me) Where did you come from?
The attendant steps away briefly, and I try to call my friends who’ve meandered on, not realizing I got stuck at the gates. As the attendant comes back, I’m putting my phone away.
Attendant: That's it! Your phone demagnetized the card!
Me: That's impossible; I didn't keep the farecard in the same pocket.
Attendant: Well that's what happened.
Me: Um, excuse me? It's not, I know it says on the card NOT to keep the phone near the farecard.
Attendant: Well, you have to take this card to Metro Center downtown and get a refund and buy a new card.
When I give her the "are you serious look," she proceeds to yell at me, saying it wasn't her fault that I'd messed up my own card.
I understand she couldn't give me a refund on the spot, but what about a little politeness and a little understanding instead of taking the attitude that she pretty much wasn't going to help me even if I had been bleeding to death at her feet?
Would it have been too much to ask for her to let me through and explain that in order to come back, I'd have to buy a new ticket? I mean you can see on the ticket there's value there, and I wasn't trying to scam her for a free ride.
Again, I'm not an unreasonable person, but it was very frustrating to watch her latch onto the idea that I'd let my phone demagnetize my card and then not budge. Scolding me on top of that was just incredible.
Besides, when I do have to use a farecard, I make sure not to keep it near my phone BECAUSE IT SAYS ON THE FARECARDS NOT TO.
I ended up getting in the long lines, buying a new farecard only to be stuffed into a non-air conditioned car. When I finally got out, I looked liked I'd just finished a 10K.
More rude employees:
Orange line delays this weekend