MBTA officials issue wake-up call for employees

Tired boy

Literally. Boston Magazine reports that for the second time this week, a T customer whipped out a handy camera to snap a photo of what sure appeared to be a sleeping T worker.



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      I wish we would actually hear the final verdict on these things

      You never/rarely hear if the employee gets sacked or if they were found to have been on break or anything at all. Shouldn't there be transparency about something like this? I'm guessing the T doesn't want to divulge that information, though, because the union may have them over the barrel and unable to fire an employee even if they were found to be without a doubt sleeping on the clock. I'm going to guess that many times, it's swept out of sight with a demotion/relocation/reassignment of some sort. Now, if they were sleeping while operating a vehicle of any sort, then I could definitely imagine the T being able to successfully fire someone.



      I'm a bus operator with the T, and boy is it one giant clusterfuck. The amount of antisocial douchebags I work with makes my head hurt. There is no real system that weeds out people who really shouldn't be in this line of work, so you get stuck with a significant amount of people who don't give a shit about the job at all, don't like the public and have no business driving a taxi, never mind a huge bus. The speed at which internal discipline moves is positively glacial. Luckily, I've never gotten in trouble once, but hey, I actually enjoy my job and I'm a big people person. I can assure you most of my coworkers are not. Some of them difficult ones will tell you "THIS JOB IS HARD". No, it really isn't. Anyone who got their CDL should have no problem with this job, it's really only hard if you make it hard, which 90% of them tend to do.


      I'm pro-union, but this is

      I'm pro-union, but this is where the transit-workers union needs to be realistic, step in and say, "One of our people wasn't doing his/her job, and they don't get paid to sleep. We will stand by the MBTA if its decision is to terminate."

      You cannot reasonably defend this. If my boss caught me sleeping on the job, then I would be wide awake on the sidewalk about 10 minutes later.


      Then there should have been

      Then there should have been someone else sitting in those seats WORKING. Something tells me that these two were on break--from their other job.

      We had a woman who would go into the ladies room, go into a stall, lock the door, and take a nap. Needless to say, that didn't last very long.

      2nd Jobs likely cause

      MBTA workers having 2nd jobs keeping them from getting enough sleep is probably the major cause of somnolence. Having to come in to work at some unnatural time like 4am or 5am would be a second cause. Having one's shift time fluctuate a lot is another, if done.

      Fine, Watch Them

      But take their picture and post it to Facebook and send it to the news? The T doesn't do that unless you rob or assault someone.

      I don't work for the T and I'm against the "Stop Snitchin" culture, but God do busybodies piss me off.


      Red Line Front Car

      Not exactly related but I really hate the way the conductors are allowed to cover the windows on the front of the Red Line cars. Besides being enjoyable to look out the front or back of the train it's nice to see the conductor at work. When they take old ads and cover the windows it makes them seem as if they have something to hide.

      Bus and Trolly drivers aren't hidden, why should the other three lines be?



      It's the same as driving at night in your car with the interior lights on. The trains at one time had curtains to block the interior lights from reflecting off the windshield. The curtains probably got destroyed over the years,so the operators use cardboard,usually advertising posters,instead.

      They still have them

      There is a curtain behind every driver which is always closed, though sometimes you can see through a crack and look at the train controls which is cool. (I'm a closeted train geek.)
      They block out the windows on the other side of the cab with old ads -- on this side the driver only stands when they opening the doors on the left. These windows never had curtains as far as I can tell.

      I can understand glare being a problem directly behind the driver but not that far over to the side. After all, Buses and Trolleys keep the lights on at night without crashing into things.

      A different point

      I have a friend who's a bus driver and educated me on this sort of stuff. Frankly, he's tired of seeing it because the employees DO get in a lot of trouble for this sort of stuff. Especially if a rider captures a photo then retweets it. It's just bad PR.

      I tend to agree with him. You DONT know what the person was doing. Maybe they had clocked out and decided to take a snooze.

      Not siding with the T, because I don't want to see lazy workers, but I do see my bus driver's friend's point. There's alot the photographer DIDNT know, and just made an assumption that the person was just sleeping on the job.

      And to be fair, many of us (myself included after very long days) have taken a snooze on the job. We all have. Now whether doing so in a inspectors box is the correct place to do so is the question to ask....

      Just sayin. (Don't shoot the messenger, but he does have a point)


      Here's a handy checklist for

      Here's a handy checklist for T employees, cops, and anyone else who wants to catch a quick nap off the clock, without people assuming that they're sleeping on the job:

      [ ] Don't do it in the exact same spot where you do your job.
      [ ] Don't do it in view of the public.

      You're welcome.


      We all have?

      Nope. I've never slept on the job. At all. I've been stuck working 12+ hour days, even stuck in a cleanroom at a customer site and not taken lunch until evening, but I've never fallen asleep on the job. I'd love to though. My insomnia makes it easier for me to fall asleep during the day than at night but I don't do it at work. Using the "we've all done it" argument is not a good excuse, especially when it isn't even true to being with.

      MBTA firing people......

      A family friend of mine was on a jury where a fired MBTA employee received millions of dollars for being fired after lying to a supervisor about where she was. She was caught lying on tape, was not where she said she was, but claimed that she was being fired for other reasons (history of complaining of an unsafe workplace/racial issues, which may or may have not been true)

      That being said, the MBTA does not fire people any more, they have a pretty bad of history of getting sued by employees and losing. They council, document, etc, etc, until the union basically agrees that the employee has 1 more chance.

      Sounds Unrealistic

      A. The T paid millions for a wrongful termination? I need to read the case before I can believe this.

      B. I know of a former bus driver who was fired because he talked back to a rider.

      C. On the other hand I know of a T employee who spends way too much time reading a Bible at the station and not enough time helping riders. I know it was a Bible because I looked in the booth she occupies and recognized the format on an afternoon when an out of town friend was figuring to the machines and she just blithely continued reading her Good Book (I use a pass and so have never used one of the fare machines). I hope reading Biblical passages enhances her life. But I'm pretty sure that being of service to others is a pretty good to enhance one's life anyway. It's also the person's job.

      Well roberta Edwards got 7.5 million in 2002.

      But it looks like the T settled for 2.5 million? I don't think it was that case my friend was talking about, but I'll have to recheck. It probably isn't public if the T claimed she lied, but it could have been that case.

      But google the MBTA and civil suits by employees, they have a horrible track record. I'm sure a lot of it is the Ts fault, but when you have juries in charge of these things and not lawyers or judges, maybe we need to look at the system a little more as well.

      What's the use?

      Why do we even need MBTA police? We already pay a State police force that has jurisdiction thru out the Commonwealth. I rode the T every day for 40 years and could count the number of times I saw police on a platform or train on one hand.


      MBTA police have a pretty

      MBTA police have a pretty large presence of undercover officers on trains. Also, the T police have jurisdiction anywhere there is a bus or train route. I once saw a passing match between a city cop and the T police over a raid the T did in that city. T cops told them to shove it, they had jurisdiction.

      So I guess you could also consider the T police another version of a state police, just different uniform and different name.

      Because Boston LOVES its little fiefdoms

      Take the Seaport / Innovation / Whatever district - the jurisdiction depends on which part of the street you're standing on.

      If a crime occurs along a Boston road running parallel to a state highway, at the foot of a bridge in front of Massport land, you'll need to convene a summit meeting before someone can respond.


      No Accountability

      MBTA operators are the most Unaccountable employees I've ever met. They are disgruntled, rude, and sometimes downright nasty (for no reason). A few weeks ago, the driver on the 93 (outbound) was tearing up Bunker Hill St, barley paying attention. He almost blew buy a very crowded stop, and when he noticed it he slammed on the breaks. Passengers went flying, and I'm surprised no one was hurt. I confronted him about it and told him that he should apologize to the passengers (you know, the people who pay his salary and whatnot). His response was that things like that happen all the time, so he didn't have to apologize. He was probably drunk, so arguing would have been futile. I emailed MBTA management and got no response, so I guess they were drunk too.

      I don't mind station clerks

      I don't mind station clerks who sleep in the booth, as much as the clerks who hide in inaccessible parts of the station while on duty. At least you can get help from the former by knocking on the window to wake them up.