Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Will these Employees Ever See the Light?

What do these actions tell you about Metro employees and their state of mind? Keep in mind that Metro is paying a hefty price for this kind of "service."

From David:

I have been an everyday Metrorail rider since my arrival in the DC area 18 months ago. The other day, upon my exit from my Blue Line ride from Metro Center to Pentagon City, my SmarTrip card gave me the "see station manager" error message.

I approached the station manager booth and said "excuse me" several times in an effort to remedy the situation and pay my fare. I was ignored by the employee inside, so I hit the red "talk" button to say (not yell) "excuse me."

They failed to respond to me, so I tapped (not banged) on the glass and said "excuse me."

At least two minutes passed after my initial attempt at communication, and no other customers were attempting to talk to the employee. Despite that, the employee rudely opened the door to the booth and said angrily "One knock is enough."

He did not previously acknowledge me or give me any signal he'd seen me. I was respectful throughout our encounter and showed the courtesy and professionalism to him that he was sorely lacking in his dealings with me.

I understand the frustrations of dealing with lots of tourists this time of year but think a minimal amount of professionalism from the employee manning the booth at Pentagon City is not a large request.

From Matt:

Late Friday night, a friend of mine and I walked into the Farragut West station, attempting to get a SmartTrip card before we got on the bus.

We thought we could do this, but much to our dismay we couldn't.

We walked up to the station manager and politely asked where we could buy a SmartTrip card.

He seemed bothered and said "Metro center, CVS or any station with a parking lot."

I was confused and said "so you can't buy one here?" This got me a snooty, sarcastic answer of "Well I would of said here if I meant here."

My friend and I turned around and walked away with him glaring at us all the way out of the station!

Customer service
at its finest!

More bad employees:
here, here, here, here and many more throughout the blog.


Kara said...

I get the 'see station manager' often when I use a SmarTrip card. At first they would scan it in their booth a few times, then eventually wave me through. Eventually they just started getting grouchy about me bothering them ('well, the gate is open, right?') so I learned quickly to just ignore the message to see them.

Brando said...

When you have a job protected by a union or civil service laws, what incentive do you have to be polite, helpful or competent? It's not like anyone can get them fired easily.

Anonymous said...

What's the incentive for them to behave any other way? They:

* Get paid a six-figure salary to sit in a booth
* Are part of an organization that has thoroughly embraced mediocrity, and has zero institutional belief that it has a responsibility to make things better
* Will hit any manager who tries to correct them with a grievance
* Can commit all manner of outrageous acts, knowing good old ATU 689 has their back, no matter what
* Know that even if they're suspended, they'll be reinstated with back pay
* Know that in a real crisis, they're just going to be in the background, while other agencies handle the problem

Seriously - why would they do anything BUT sit in their booths and sleep? Do you expect them to serve the public out of the goodness of their hearts?

They already have all the carrots, and there are no sticks. Nothing is going to change.

Anonymous said...

so how about a protest at their union headquarters where we hang them in effigy? they are a blight on the region and should be chased out and made to feel entirely unwelcome.

Anonymous said...

This is not the worst couple of stories I've read on this blog about Metro "workers," but the attitude is ALWAYS amazing. There are millions of people out there who are desperate for a job of any kind. You'd think these WMATA types could at least muster a basic level of manners.

Anonymous said...

protest yes, hang in effigy? too far.

they really do suck tho

Anonymous said...

As a federal employee some of us really do take the term "public service" seriously. Maybe Metro doesn't, but to all those teabaggers out there...some of us feds do.

Anonymous said...

And yet the raccoons got good service, even "room service food deliveries." And "teabaggers?" I am a metro rider fed up with Metro employee's arrogance and uselessness. What does the word teabagger have to do with me? It sounds offensive, Mr/Ms. Federal Employee Anon poster 11:47.

Anonymous said...

Anon/teabbger 11:53

teabagger = anti union/right to work morons

This union may be a POS, but not all are.

Anon 11:47

Anonymous said...

Sad. Sad. I remember Metrorail before it was an Affirmative Action program.

Anonymous said...

WMATA needs to either rework its contract with ATU or kill it completely. These idiots wouldn't be so bad at their jobs if they had to face the reality that they'll lose it and be back on the streets if they continue doing a bad job.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous at 11:53AM .. "right to work" is moronic?? Yes, those union controlled states in the mid-Atlantic and rust belt are just models of economic vitality. Why is it that all you pro-union thugs leave your states because there are no jobs and then move to right-to-work states and then pull out your Obama posters and bring in your SEIU friends to destroy the last remaining job creation centers in this country. And yes, metro still sucks, and so do you!

Anonymous said...

If you want to complain about metro, come to the Hill tomorrow. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is having a hearing entitled, "The Washington Metro System: Safety, Service, and Stability". Wow, those are not three words that I would use to describe Metro. But hey, the Democrats are in control, so my expectations are not high. The hearing is at 10am in the Rayburn Building, Room 2154. So, use the Capitol South metro so your metro experience will be fresh in your memory. Metro's management and union bigwigs are slated to testify. It's not a townhall meeting but I'm sure they would appreciate your comments before or after the hearing.

homertuck said...

You forgot the metro employees who are illegally parking in a handicap lot at White Flint DAILY to avoid paying the parking fee and to park closer to the station. Nothing like parking illegally in a handicap spot when you're not handicap and taking it away from those with disabilities. I approached a Montgomery County police officer last week who was there and he said the lot was out of their jurisdiction. And of course when you contact metro, they don't do a damn thing. It's pathetic. Someone should make a documentary on all of these a-holes.

Anonymous said...

I thought unions made businesses better? It can't be their fault...it must be OUR fault somehow.

Anonymous said...

Matt, I guess it would have been better if he had held your hand and walked you to a CVS so that you could buy a card. So many thin skinned, entitled types here, get over yourselves!

Anonymous said...

@ anon april21 9:11am

I don't think he's being thin skinned or entitled. It _is_ surprising that _in_ METRO you can't buy a METRO TRANSIT CARD, called SmartTrip. It isn't unreasonable to expect the kiosks to have a supply of them to sell to people that want one.

Perhaps what is surprising is wanting the kiosk people to actually do some work.

GrapesOfRough said...

At least these people FOUND station managers. I got the "see station manager" message on my SmartTrip card the other day while getting on in Silver Spring. No station manager to be found. I was in a hurry so I bought a paper ticket. When I got off at Navy Yard, there was no station manager there, either! Nor was there a station manager at either of these stations on my way home. Again, DC service at it's finest.

Anonymous said...

@ GrapesOfRough

You should have walked through the gate. Why bother buying a ticket if they can't be bothered to staff the station?

Anonymous said...

I will be a station manager but I guess they won't hire or promote my type?!?

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