Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taking Jeter's Cue

ATU 689's president, Jackie Jeter, often speaks using highly charged words, and it appears her attitude trickles down to some front-line employees.

From Robert:
I wanted to share this email I sent to Metro this morning about my morning commute:

Dear Metro-

So, I’m wondering if any of your employees get customer service training?

I ask this because I am a follower of the blog, and it is replete with stories of ridiculously rude employees, and I had my own face to face with this ridiculous rudeness last Friday morning at the Dupont Station.

The employee had his name written in red marker across his yellow vest. I think it read “Wilkie” as his last name.

At 8:21:36 a.m., I used my SmartTrip card to enter the station.

I guess I was too close to the woman in front of me because Mr. Wilkie stopped me to ask to see my card.

Your cards are so ridiculously fragile (I’m on my third one.), that I have it in a credit card sleeve inside a taped/stapled name badge attached to a retractable string along with my office credentials.

He wanted me to unstaple and remove the card from the sleeve to show him the card, and I asked him whether he could just swipe it on the reader in the kiosk like I have had done on other occasions. A simple card swipe would satisfy any reasonable person’s inquiry as to whether I had just committed the crime of ‘fare evasion’ as he began accusing me of.

Well, this employee went into a tirade about how he was "not my slave," and that I should not take a condescending tone with him.

He went on for what seemed several minutes about my tone and using a slave analogy. Was he saying this because I happened to be white and he happened to be black?

I kid you not. He kept saying to me, "stop using that tone. I'm not your slave. Stop treating me like your slave." It was really mystifying that he was using that word.

All I was trying to convey to him was that to take my SmartTrip card out of the sleeve would take a few minutes and would force me to put it back into my wallet and risk be demagnetized again, and that I knew the kiosk had a reader.

And you can see that it is in fact a SmarTrip card in there because it peaks through the sleeve (which you can see in the pic I attached for you [above].) It was a really odd exchange.

Perplexed, I replied to him, "I have had other Metro employees pass my card over a reader without taking it out of this sleeve. Why can’t you?"

He grabbed my card and pulled it as far as the string would go, which didn’t quite make it to the reader from where I was standing.

I took one step closer to the manager’s kiosk, and the card reached the reader and swiped just fine.

The guy then said “OK- you're good.”

So, after all that there was no fare evasion.

So my question is what kind of professionalism training do your employees get?

When I call Verizon about issues with my wireless plan, no one has ever told me to stop treating them like their slave. So odd.

All I want is to ride Metro and make it to and from Dupont and Rockville in the posted 26 minutes. I didn’t need the extra four minutes of attitude from your employee.

All he needed to say to me was "I didn’t see your card register, sir, may I swipe it to make sure our machines are reading your card properly?"
Seriously, please continue to work to UnsuckDC Metro. You have a LONG way to go to MetroForward from where you are.
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