On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the driver of the train involved in a near miss with track workers had been "disqualified" from the position of train operator. "Disqualified" sounds like legalese, doesn't it?
That's because, as the article states, "the operator may be eligible for another position."
We all know what "may" means.
Now this operator's infraction was not minor. According to the TOC report (PDF) they were:
"operating at full track speed passed the employees working along the ROW (right of way) without appearing to slow down at all or acknowledge the employees’ presence in any other way, in direct violation of Special Order 07-06 (3.87). Though there were no injuries, the employees and review team members were forced to quickly scramble out of the way to avoid being struck by the train in question due to the speed with which it appeared to approach."
Wouldn't it be nice to totally screw up your job, even to the point where it put the lives of coworkers at risk and STILL "be eligible" for another post within your organization, perhaps pulling the same pay and doing less?
More infuriating is that Metro "may" have a potential cancer among its ranks. It's obvious the employee has little regard for the rules, and now that they've been "punished," they're likely to see themselves as victims. Those two qualities don't usually add up to model employee material. We already know that Metro has a hard time getting rid of bad employees.
We're looking forward to perhaps asking this employee for help one day while they're chillaxin' with a group of fellow workers. If only we could imagine the jovial repartee...
In another Metro gaffe, there was a story in the Post about three women who were trapped in a train that had been taken out of service. Apparently, after realizing they were trapped, they tried to use the emergency intercom to hail the operator. The calls, unsurprisingly, went unanswered.
We've been documenting this problem here for some time here, here and here. Metro has said they don't send cars out with non-working intercom, yet they admitted the opposite later.
As reader Michael pointed out, the article said one trapped rider was left with no recourse but to file a complaint over Metro's customer complaint line. Michael's advice to Metro?
"Try meeting them on the platform with aIf only ... , a $20 farecard and the business card of the head of rail operations."
Funny Toles cartoon (WaPo)
Metro eyes cutting 150 jobs amid budget emergency (Examiner)
Metro's 'neglect by design' pads payroll (Examiner editorial)