Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WMATA Bus Driver Exam: Question One

Which highlighted response is the correct response to a customer asking "Is this the ___ bus?"

A) 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, 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.


B) I had an instance the other day of the bus having the wrong direction [sign] 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.

Scenario A was from "Brian," and scenario B from "Golden Silence."

Other items:
Metro ridership down since crash (Examiner)
Metro releases station-oriented bus maps (GGW)
Details about the Purple Line emerge (WTOP)
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Brian said...

I actually had to walk out of my office to catch my breath from laughing at this one. Thank you!

Of course, the obvious answer is A), since I'm the one who had to deal with that ridiculous crap- firsthand experience tells me that being a flaming jerkoff to customers must be the obvious solution.

Anonymous said...

Face it. Metro employees regard their customers with contempt, and there's nothing the organization is going to do about it. It's a poisonous organizational culture that cannot be fixed.

Anonymous said...

It can easily be fixed by firing them all and starting over.

Michael said...

"Naturally, I bent Metro's ear about the issue when I got home--I'm sure I'll hear back about that, right?"

This is what we should not accept from Metro. Bus drivers are going to have bad days, customers are going to have bad days. People are going to yell at each other and feelings are going to get hurt.

But the expectation that Metro never follows up with customer complaints needs to end.

Unsuck, I think you should obtain as much information from "Brian" as you can, and then make a very public, formal request that Metro inform us all what they did with the situation

Brian said...

Well, for starters, I haven't heard back since that incident last Thursday afternoon. And I check my E-mail regularly, and have my phone on me at all times for work.

So I'd say I called it pretty well, so far. Metro cares about my concern about as much as I expected they would- not one bit.

Thing is, it may not come across as a 'fair' expectation, but when this is what we get from Metro over and over, yes, it does become an expectation. And they rarely fail to prove it correct.

Tom A. said...

OMG. Have you guys seen this? Someone gets paid to respond (with about a 3rd grade reading level) to media stories about metro suckiness?



Anonymous said...

Hi Brian: I've found that if I don't get an answer to a complaint or question about Metro, I forward my experience to Dr. Gridlock's chat on the WaPo site. Metro always has a staffer monitor that so they can monitor their pathetic public relations -- meaning you'll get an answer pronto once they get a bigger public shaming. Works every time!

Anonymous said...

Metro responds to this site as well, and this site takes metro to task better

Anonymous said...

I agree that this site takes Metro to task better, but I've seen this story referenced twice on this site and they still haven't responded - hence, my suggestion to post it in other forums. They definitely respond when they are embarrassed in live chats.

Anonymous said...

Today I was at L'Enfant Plaza and got on the Red Line for Union Station (yes, that's what the Metro train cars said)... amazingly I still ended up at my destination Pentagon...

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for the OL to Vienna last Saturday so I could get off at Dunn-Loring and catch my Once an Hour <:-( bus (the 1C)

The train comes and it's marked "New Carrollton)

So I said #%^&$!! I'm on the wrong platform!! I started to go to the toehr side and lo and behold it was the TRAIN that had it wrong!!!

So I missed my 1C bus -- I caught the next train, thinking I would go to Vienna and catch a CUE bus- but THIS next train was marked "West Falls Church"

DOUBLE @#$%^!!!!

So I got off at Ballston and caught the 2 bus and FINALLY got to my destination!!

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