Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flippin' the Bird Metro Style

From Sara:
Yesterday, I got cursed out and flipped off by the Metro employee at the King Street station because I asked her simply if she "could help me with the bus schedules."
As I approached the booth area, there was a man in front of me, and I gave him ample space to take care of his business with as much privacy as one can have at a Metro station.
Then, the attendant saw me. She checked her phone and rustled through her purse prior to helping me.
I was patient. No tapping my feet or even crossing my arms. She opened the door, no hello or 'how may I help you?'
She just stood there.
I asked "can you help me with the bus schedule?"
She replied loudly "with what?!"
I said "I need help to get where I have to go."
She interjected: "what kind of asinine question is that?"
And then she proceeded to rattle off a slew of buses "DASH, Metro ..." and other various numbers I can't recall and without allowing any time for me to clarify exactly what information I was looking for.
I tried politely telling her that I just needed help and wasn't trying to bother her.
She called me stupid, and said I shouldn't ask dumb shit questions.
Voices were raised, and at this point I said "never mind" and turned to walk away.
Then, as I'm walking away, she said "this is what you get for asking an asinine question."
I turn around and said "this is what's wrong with Metro, the customer service is horrible!"
She proceeded to yell, and all the while, people were staring as they have been for the last minute or so.
Then, she flicked me off and "fronted" or tapped her chest as to suggest she wants to fight me.
I reported this to Metro officials. Surprisingly, they returned my phone call a few hours later and are promising to follow up.

Other items:
Metro told NTSB about March incident (WaPo)
Bus driver allegedly on cell phone defended (WaPo)
Suicide on the Orange Line (WaPo)

add to Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank post to facebook


Anonymous said...

This is why I never ask metro employees for help. They give off a vibe of don't talk to me, and if you are brave enough to talk to them, they treat you like shit.

Metro, you out there? Fix this shit!

Atiyah said...

Or if you happen to be a female and the metro employee is male they will attempt to flirt with you. I was standing on the platform at Union station and a male metro employee asked where I was going I told him West Hyattsville he goes oh I live near there where do you live? I said that’s not important. He then asks do you living with someone? Married? Maybe I can come visit you. NO you can't, thank god the train arrived right then. He was old enough to be my father. EWWWW

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a jobs program?

Anonymous said...

Metro is pretty good with following up on reported problems. Or at least they have been when I have reported some on the contact form on their website.

I'm glad you reported this.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Metro employee gets fired!

Anonymous said...

I swear. The next time, if ever, that I have to talk to a metro employee. I'm going to turn video recording on in my phone and just keep it in my pocket if needed. I figure it'll get the audio while in the pocket and if I do have a situation like this, I can just raise it up to get proof that it was in fact a metro employee doing the talking.

I'm appalled that this has become a employees vs. customers game. It's just sick.

Anonymous said...

Keep on paying your 5 dollar parking fee and 12 dollar round trip fares people! Nothing to see here, move along.

Golden Silence said...

Atiyah, report those stories to Holla Back DC. There are a lot of (too many) stories on there of Metro employees harassing female passengers.

Anonymous said...

check out under "unsuck archive": Metro employee to passenger: don't come back.

And I agree with bringing a hidden recording device when asking for help from these asses. Because Metro won't do sh%t otherwise. Put em on Youtube or the evening news. Bad PR might finally result in quick disciplinary action.

Anonymous said...

Go back and do the same thing and record it or have a friend record it. There is nothing wrong with video taping a public employee in a public place and you're not likely to get that jackal fired until there's a video of her violent, incompetent, and obscene behavior on channel 8.

Craig said...

While the Metro employee may have become rude, her initial responses were consistent with Sara's question.

Sara asked, "Can you help me with the bus *schedule*?" It makes sense for the Metro employee to ask *which* schedule Sara wanted help with.

King Street is served by 12 different bus routes: DASH Bus 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10; Metrobus 28A, 28B, 29K, 29N; Richmond Highway Express; and the King Street Trolley. This explains the Metro employee's recitation of a litany of buses.

Notice that while the employee may have been brusque, she was trying to elicit information to help Sara. But rather than state that she didn't know which bus, Sara incongruously apologized.

In general, you get better responses to questions, if you state exactly what you want to know. If you need directions, just get to the point: "I want to go to LOCATION X. Which bus do I take and where do I catch it?" It's straightforward, saves aggravation, and doesn't require your interlocutor to be a mindreader.

The rest of the drama of the episode, assuming it was reported accurately, would certainly be inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

Let be smart folks, file an official complaint and send a copy to you elected representative. Make sure you include the 5 W's along with the employee's name. Eventually, that employee will hang herself. We are paying customers and more importantly people. We deserve nothing less than 100% from Metro employees who rely on our business to keep them employed. Metro needs to have an independent company conduct customer service inquiries at various stations(I bet my paycheck this employee will get her act together).

Brian said...

Got one for you- from LAST NIGHT.

I got on the 22A at Pentagon to head home near Shirlington. Now, the bus is marked 22A- but many times, the drivers don't change those signs when they start a route, and the little screen thing telling you when the bus arrives said it was still 16 minutes away, so I wanted to make sure I had the right bus. So I asked the driver as I got on, "22A to Shirlington?"

She loved it. "What the f*** does it say on the side of my bus?" (Hint: 22A PENTAGON, actually). She taunted me as I walked back to one of the seats about not knowing where the hell I was going, then joked with the next several people to board the bus- "You know where YOU'RE going, right? You don't need me holding your f***ing hand, right?"

Naturally, I bent Metro's ear about the issue when I got home- I'm sure I'll hear back about that, right? If I had another way of getting home- not a better way, mind you, just another way- I sure would take it. Made me sick to get on the bus this morning to head to work and know I was giving more money to an organization that employs someone like that.

Golden Silence said...

I had an instance the other day of the bus having the wrong direction on it. The 31 came on the Friendship Heights-bound side, but it said Foggy Bottom. We passengers asked to make sure it was going to Friendship Heights (you never know if the bus could've been rerouted, and also because some of those 30-line buses going that way terminate at McLean Gardens and other halfway stops).

"Yes...why, what does it say?" the driver asked.

When we told her, she burst into friendly laughter and apologized. "Sorry, I'll fix it," she said. We couldn't help but to smile too.

But in your case, Brian, your driver was a jerk and I hope she gets reprimanded. Her behavior was uncalled for.

J. Thomas said...

Re: "Craig"'s comments -

The nature of the question has very little bearing on the attitude of the employee. No matter how she phrased the question, she was still going to be treated rudely by an employee who can't maintain a professional attitude, and that's unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Funy I normally get helpful employees. Every once and a while they have a silly attitude but most of them are generally helpful. They're not all manufactured people of the same mind so approach them like you would approach anyone else and you should be fine.
This particular one was just a bitch. Asking which bus to take is not asinine. She was just being an ass.

Paul said...

Wow these are some dissapointing circumstances when we are paying their salarys. They should have better people working there. Why not have a personality test or something!

Kipp said...

I'd have to agree with one other commenter; I've always run into very nice Metro employees. They are helpful and usually curteous. They are more postive than I might be after dealing with some of the horrible metro customers on a regular basis. Just consider that for every legitimate question they get asked, they probably have to call police or ask misbehaving customers to leave or throw away their food 10 times more often.

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter