TTC to Run “Our Employees Write” Ads
TORONTO, ON (SP) — The Toronto Transit Commission today announced the launch of a series of informational subway and bus advertisements titled "Our Employees Write". Modelled after the series "Our Riders Write," in which transit users griped about other riders, the new series will give TTC employees a forum in which to complain about the rudeness and unhelpfulness of fellow employees.
Speaking at a news conference, TTC spokesman Archibald McGuffin described how the original series, "Our Riders Write", took shape. "We initially expected to get a lot of rider complaints about TTC service and employees. For some strange reason, the only letters we received were fingering other riders as the causes of frustration. You know, 'I hate it when people stretch out across two seats', blah blah. So those were the letters we ran in the ads. We wanted to print some suggestions as to how we could improve, but they just weren't coming in."
"We do recognize, however, that our employees are not perfect. Far from it, when it comes to dealing with the public: with the odd exception, they are a rude, surly bunch. But since our riders simply do not pick up on that, we will be relying on our own employees to point out areas in which their colleagues can improve."
So far the response has been overwhelming. Among the letters slated for display inside subway and buses are the following:
- "I hate it when I see fellow bus drivers drawing straws to decide who will 'take the point'. The loser drives first, and picks up all the passengers. The other three or four buses come immediately afterwards, so those drivers don't have to deal with any customers. That's why, on major streets, you get stretches of 20 minutes with no buses, and then along comes a pack — but only the first one stops, and it's already jam-packed with people. Come on, TTC drivers, let's all do our share!"
- "It bugs me when I see my colleagues at the ticket collectors' booths being rude to tourists. It's like they think, 'Answering dumb-ass questions ain't in my job description.' I've seen one Japanese couple ask, 'How do we get to Leslie St.?', and the guys's like, 'Not from this station, you don't.' Then he gives 'em some cut-eye, and that's it. TTC employees are, like, the city's ambassadors — most tourists will end up needing to ask at least one for directions. And then they walk away with this terrible impression, like 'What a bunch of incompetent, rude muthafuhkas.' Guys, let's all do our part to represent T.O.!"
- "Some of the other drivers on my route need their coffee. I mean, really need their coffee. As in, 'Whoa, stop the bus! Time to go for some T-Ho!'-need their coffee. They literally turn on the four-ways, park the bus at the side of the road, and stroll in to Tim Hortons for a double-double, while the bus is full of passengers who've paid their fares and want to be on their way. Geez, that bugs me. I know we're union workers and all, but that's takin' it too far! How about some pride in a job well done, eh?"
- "The worst is on those freezing cold February evenings at Eglinton station. The bus pulls into the bus-bay and offloads its passengers. Because the little light inside the station started flashing as soon as the bus pulled in, there's already a crowd of shivering people waiting to get on. But then, instead of driving forward and letting people board, the driver calmly gets out, shuts the door, and strolls off to who-knows-where. As if he couldn't've let the people get on the bus to keep warm, and then go jerk off. A little consideration for our customers, please!"
- "The one everyone knows and hates is when someone gets up to the door of the bus or streetcar a few seconds after it's been closed. The traffic light's still red, so it's not as though letting one more person on is gonna slow things down for anyone. And yet the driver sits there, looking straight ahead, stony-faced, ignoring the plaintive tapping on the door, all serious, as if he's got a schedule to keep. Please, a TTC vehicle that sticks to some kind of schedule? Don't make me laugh. Let's all try to do that little bit extra to really make it 'The Better Way'!"