Reader Christopher has a novel approach* to closing the looming budget gap:
TOP TEN REASONS TO REPLACE METRO EMPLOYEES WITH CANINES
I am preparing for a big presentation before the WMATA Board of Directors on Monday. On the agenda: my proposal to replace train operators with dogs, in order to cut costs and improve safety.
1. Dogs enjoy sticking their heads out of windows
- This one's a tie: Metro employees also enjoy this aspect of their job
2. Dogs can bark
- Thereby, dogs are inherently more communicative. Train operators are decidedly unintelligible or incoherent in most every situation
3. Dogs have an innate sense of self preservation
- Current Metro employees have shown a tendency to be injured or killed by moving objects. As a side benefit, dogs can't apply for Worker's Comp.
4. Dogs have exquisitely sensitive hearing
- Current Metro employees consistently fail to hear the approach of, and consequently move out of the way of, a 620,000 pound (empty weight) train bearing down on them.
5. Dogs won't berate passengers
- The ability to berate passengers is an established hiring prerequisite among all WMATA service branches.
6. Dogs have no difficulty being trained to press a button
- Most train operators have proven unable to master this simple task
7. Dogs respond to positive reinforcement and food
- There are no known means to motivate current Metro employees.
- Evidence suggests food is a powerful reinforcement tool judging by the average girth of Metro employees.
8. Dogs can improve the overall customer service experience
- Dogs can direct a passenger to the appropriate train or signage. Metro employees have proven unable to do this courteously.
- Plus, dogs are cute.
9. Dogs are keenly aware of, and respond appropriately to, dangerous situations
- Human train operators, when faced with similar scenarios, have shown a proclivity for accidents involving riders, themselves, bystanders, all of which have caused millions of dollars in damages.
10. Dogs are unable to text or SMS while operating a train
- Dogs have paws. Phone keypads are small. Texting is next to impossible.
*In all seriousness, several subways around the world, Nuremberg for example, are experimenting with DRIVERLESS trains.
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