Thursday, February 01, 2007

Subterranean MTA Blues

A while back the MTA came up with a cost-cutting measure (though I'm not exactly sure how this saves any money) of requiring subway toll workers to abandon their booths and provide customer service on the platform, answering questions, etc. I was opposed to this idea at the time because I think it's unfair to so drastically change people's job descriptions after they've been hired. Now it's been implemented in some stations, including my home stop of Bergen St. in Brooklyn, and I still don't like the idea, but for a different reason: they are the absolute worst customer service people I have ever seen. We had one guy for a long time who looked like he was terrified of being asked a question, and he avoided making eye contact with anyone so that he wouldn't have to. I saw him every day for three months, so I kind of wanted to say hi, have a nice night, but he was always staring blankly ahead, shifting on his feet. Then he disappeared one day, to be replaced by a woman who literally hid behind a pole and talked on her cell phone the whole time. The new guy, though, he's got potential - he actually watches the customers as they exit the train, and he looks like he'd let you ask him a question. But we'll see. It's only his first day.