Monday, April 26, 2010

WMATA Rule Number 2: Go Before you Go


From Vincent:

On Tuesday evening, at around 8:30, I was at the Bethesda station and wanted to use the restroom before finishing my commute to Columbia Heights.

I tapped on the booth window, and the attendant turned to me and grimaced, like WMATA employees always do upon realizing they will soon be asked to perform a task.

I smiled and asked "can I use the restroom?"

She huffed, turned her back to me and started typing on the computer again.

I stood at the window waiting for some indication that a plan was being set into motion that would lead to the restroom door being opened.

She glanced at me once again, closed some windows on the monitor and stood up. I moved back so she could open the door.

When she stepped out and growled "why the hell you still standing there?"

I was speechless.

I paused, trying to think of something to say, but the only words I could produce were "WOW. Excuse me?"

Her reply? "Yeah wow. What, I got to take you by the hand to the bathroom now? I was gonna be there in a minute to open the door."

Again, all I could say was "WOW!"

By this time, a handful of people were staring at her in disbelief from the other side of the turnstiles.

"What is your name?" I demanded, as she walked away from me. She huffed again and waved her hand in my direction like I was a bee, "it's on the booth."

I looked in all the windows but didn't see a sign with her name on it.

By the time I walked around the booth and down the hall toward her, she was already closing and re-locking the the door to the area with the restrooms.

I was now furious and didn't want to use the restroom anyway, so I turned and followed her.

As she climbed into her kiosk, I asked her for her name once more. She snatched a dirty blue piece of cardboard from the front window and shook it at me, then dropped it back into place. The dirty blue cardboard had her name, Johnson, written in lettering like a 3-year-old.

It could have only been less professional if had it been written in macaroni.

WOW.

Related:
Metro's super toilet

Other items:
Man claims Metro closed doors on his neck (NBC4)
Arlington ups Metro dough (WaPo)
Metro's maintenance projects deferred for lack of cash (Examiner)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

And she obviously has the social skills of a 3 year old. What bothers me is people who act like that are often the ones who go violently nuts. Metro is so screwed up it is worse than a bad b-rated horror flick. I haven't felt safe on Metro in so long and the attendants-from-hell are the scariest part of it all.

Anonymous said...

Hey get with the program,
Don't you understand, at METRO the riders are just an inconvenience between breaks and lunch and shooting the breeze with other METRO employees.

Anonymous said...

Good point Anon 9:35. Especially that "lunch and shooting" objective. I feel like the yet-to-be shot lunch entree. ;D

Anonymous said...

Yup, sounds about right. Everyday at Farragut West during rush hour, there's a Metro employee who takes 2 hours to change trash bags because he is standing there hitting on every chick who walks by him. God forbid anybody stop and ask this guy a question. He'd probably throw a tantrum like Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Lunch, shooting the breeze and feeding raccoons!

Who does number two work for?!

Anonymous said...

Having the same calm and trusting temperment, the raccoons could be Metro's new mascot.

Just now needed to 'remember' the rush hour one way fare from New Carrollton to Ballston. Went to the trip planner. It gave me the usual direct route to Ballston and an Itinerary #2 - New Carrollton to West Falls Church then back to Ballston. (Do WHA?!) Even the computerized attendants act nuts. What's a poor raccoon, I mean rider, to do?

Anonymous said...

The best thing to do is write ATU local 689. They take this seriously. They're a proud organization that doesn't want their image tainted by unusual situations like this. After all, Jackie Jeter said, "Our members go to work every day cognizant of their responsibility to perform a job on behalf of our customers – the riding public.”

Anonymous said...

That was pretty inconsiderate of you to interrupt her nap, snack or chat with friends -- what were you thinking?

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please report your incident to both WMATA and the union as suggested in the 10:41am post.

That is completely unacceptable. I too would have been caught off guard, but we need to keep reporting issues like these even though they seem to go unnoticed, because it's the only way we can affect change.

I have grown so resentful of metro that I have started walking to and from work every day and my quality of life has drastically improved even though my commute is longer now.

Anonymous said...

lol @ anon 9:46. I see that guy every day too. Just ridiculous how completely unprofessional Metro is.

Anonymous said...

Email them about this and CC in METRO: unionhall@atulocal689.org

Enough is Enough.

Anonymous said...

Personally, with regards to the local union the sentence, "They're a proud organization that doesn't want their image tainted by unusual situations like this." doesn't work for me. If they cared, we'd not see such horrendous attitudes and actions for so many years now. They care about their power struture, from what I see. (Not a comment about all unions so don't call me a teabagger, tea loader or tea-union-trash talker pulease. ;)

Anonymous said...

hey, if this is their real email address:

unionhall@atulocal689.org

then let's email them every single time some stupid rude mouth breathing lazy Metro worker offends.

I'm serious. Hammer the hell out of them.

Anonymous said...

If the union were a company, I'd be in favor of an email campaign. After all a company usually wants a good reputation.

ATU 689 just doesn't seem to care, so I really think an email campaign will have ZERO effect.

As long as they're getting their bloated salaries and perks, they seem quite happy to watch public transport in the region deteriorate, seemingly without thinking that it could eventually cost them a job.

Anonymous said...

so email the union AND 3 local network 'watchdog' reporters every single time?

Anonymous said...

Very surprised it has taken this long for somebody to complain about Jones. She truly is one rough cookie and two minutes into a conversation with her will reveal that she is missing the charming gene. That said, and given the recent firings, how can you blame the union for hiring and training this person?

Anonymous said...

Network watchdogs. The Wash Post has fallen by the wayside these days. No cojones. Let's get Liz Crenshaw! Instead of "Does it really DO that?" she could do a "Do they really DO that?"

Anonymous said...

The train operator on the Red Line reported this morning that she was late getting to the platform because of an aragont (most metro employees are, except for our tain operator)block controller named Reid (she even spelled it). She said Reid made her sit in the block until in his arrogant manner decided the train could proceed. I'm sure that Reid was nice and warm in his work station. However your customers were not. Now I know you are going to give me your canned "There's nothing can do" speech. Don't insult me with that. Kindly send my comments to the person who can (The president of the union). I know the general manager can't. How many of them has Metro hired? You can even give the union my name if you want. The Metro Union is not customer friendly, just ask any regular rider.

Anonymous said...

Charging more and serving less. Go WMATA. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

The Union leadership is ride too!

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