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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Comment captcha turned off!

I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is to deal with spam bots spamming this site with comments touting the benefits of Beats headphones, luggage racks, designer gloves, perfume, porn, MLM schemes, unlocked phone deals, iphone 5 promotions, porn, money scams, diamond sales, porn and porn.
To thwart this practice, I turned on the comment captcha feature.
What a piss-poor excuse of a feature!
I had a person write me to tell me it took 10 tries to get a comment to pass the security check, so I tried it myself. Good god. What a hot mess.
Anyhow, I've turned it off.
You're welcome!

How to make a coach load of passengers squeamish at 7 am in the morning

Rattle on for 20 minutes about the bed bug infestation your family is dealing with.

Unlike the six other people sitting near this woman who looked horrified as she regaled her friend with her harrowing tale of bites, burning couches and fumigation failures, I got up and left the coach.

I considered jumping off the train but that could be fatal. So I didn't.

GO Transit, meet GO Transit

OSHKOSH - Oshkosh Transit hopes a new image will lead to more riders. Transit and city leaders unveiled the new "GO Transit" brand Monday morning.
Busses come and go from Oshkosh's downtown transit center.
"I love it, it gets me where I've got to go even though you gotta wait but it's better than paying three or four bucks for gas," said Michelle Gruse of Oshkosh.
It's that sentiment officials with Oshkosh Transit hope to hear more of. And they hope "GO Transit" will do the trick. Read more here...

Ad on the GO train

What's happening here is a boat load of white space = nothing. How in the hell is this ad about Hamilton?! Oh wait ...

In Singapore, the commuting public is expected to fight terrorism

I never have this kind of luck

Source: @leahthedesigner

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A+ for grammar... but it looks like I struck a nerve

I didn't reply to this email which stemmed from yesterday's post and I probably won't. I've worked in retail but I've never had anyone spit at me. Screaming, throwing change, slamming stuff, kicking things and name calling I've dealt with. Truth be told, this email made me kind of sad.

from:xxxxx@bell.net
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM
subject: Transit Jobs

Dear Ms. Smith
First of all, you don't know shit about what it's like dealing with a public that spits at you, shoves you, screams in your face, throws change at you, kicks the doors of your bus, slams the window of your collector booth and calls you names.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Being kind and polite doesn't make anyone do anything. People need to be told. The only way to get a reaction is to order people around. very few people are kind to people who work in transit. About 80% are rude, condescending and ignorant. Why should anyone working in transit have to put up with that? So that's why many transit workers have stopped caring. What's the point? What that transit worker said to you was justified. He's doing his job and your job is to listen. It is not your job to challenge him or call him out on anything. He's being paid to move the people. You're being paid to do shit.
Just get your ass on the subway and shut up.

- Mover of the people

Pulled up my blind in my office this morning...

Saw this on a window of the office tower across from me. Made using post-it notes.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yet another super-douche of a foot rider

- Submitted

Story nails it

from:"Matty"
to: "cj@thiscrazytrain.com" 
date: Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM
subject: Holy shitballs

I tend to flip flop between GO Transit and TTC for my workday commute, depending on finances and/or whether my wife needs our car. For all of September, I have blessedly been taking the GO train every day. I swear, the pleasantness of GO in comparison to the TTC is enough to make me find religion (despite my religious references like “holy”, “blessedly”, and “Good Lord” on occasion, I am not a religious person).

However, yesterday I made the stupid fucking decision to take the TTC in to work. I didn’t really need to. I could have taken the train, but I had one token left so I figured I’d use it. I failed to foresee that it would have been my first TTC ride since school resumed (ergo, more students, and more parents who were previously staying home). BIG mistake, Matty, you fucking tool. The commute started off surprisingly fine. The bus to the subway wasn’t overly crowded, but I did notice that it smelled better than usual because teenagers in school seem to pay far more attention to personal hygiene than teens on summer vacation. The subway at Kennedy Station filled up quick but I had a seat, so I didn’t really give a shit. Until I got to Yonge/Bloor station at 8:38am.

I came up the escalator to see a wall of people about 8-deep the entire length of the platform. The TTC PA announcer strangely kept reminding people to use “the entire length of the platform to board”. Clearly, he couldn’t see all the way down. Whether the people where spreading out in hopes of finding a shallow area of the wall to get on a train sooner, or they were actually listening to the PA guy, I have no idea. The wall was solid.

I positioned myself in the “wall o’ commuters” and dutifully waited my turn to get on a train. First train came and went; I moved up a couple of rows in the wall. Second train came and went; I didn’t move much at all. After the third train left, I was now somehow at the front of the wall. I turned around and counted. Napoleon himself would have been proud at the impenetrableness of the 13-person deep wall behind me. It’s possibly important to note here than when a train arrives at Yonge, more people are trying to get on than are trying to get off the train. More, in like a 5:1 ratio. But I digress.

The fourth train came, and the goddamned thing stopped short of where the last train did, so my strategic position of where I anticipated a door being was off by 3 feet. Some dickhead was literally leaning into the crowd forcing his way onto the train. This guy wasn’t fucking around. When he got within 2 feet of the doors, he reached INTO the subway car, grabbed onto something, and pulled/pushed himself and anyone in front of him onto the train. I mean, this isn’t rugby, it’s commuting. Not a sport, last I checked. Alas, I was squeezed out and did not get on the fourth train. It was now 9:02am. The fifth train arrives, and stopped even shorter than the previous train, again by 3 feet, and again I did not get on the train. By now, I was getting pretty fucking pissed off. Finally, on train #6 through Yonge, I was able to get on a subway southbound to my office. I was waiting on that Godforsaken platform for 30 minutes to get a transfer. I could not believe it. I was over 25 minutes late for work.

I reloaded my Presto card at lunch and took the GO home in the evening. I will not take the TTC again unless the LSE line blows up. Even then, I’d have to think about it.

Customer service without sarcasm

I'm going to take a gander that the regular cast of characters working their day jobs as station supervisors and fare collectors at the Union TTC station absolutely hate Presto and don't like working with the public. I was going to throw the f-bomb in that sentence for emphasis but I have a classy transportation blog that links to my site occasionally and I should respect their editorial etiquette.

Presto is slow. Presto causes massive line-ups. It doesn't help that there are only two entrances into the station from the GO Concourse, due to the construction, which I know adds to the chaos. Coupled with only four Presto machines and narrow stairwells, the crowds become too large for a space that  is already maxed at the seams.

Tempers flare but it's not the commuters'. It's the TTC employees'. And they're taking it out on the public.

I have observed, over the past several months, an escalation in the delivery of bad customer service that is completely and utterly unacceptable.

Yelling at customers. Barking at customers. Being confrontational. Ignoring people. Scoffing at people who ask for directions. Ridiculous.

And the sarcasm!

For example, this morning, the crowd trying to make their way down what I believe is the center stairwell to the subway platform was told, in a voice dripping with disdain and sarcasm by a floor supervisor (I'm guessing, I have no idea who anyone is, none of the TTC employees wear badges identifying their roles which would help the public in understanding what they do.)  "You'd be surprised to learn there is another stairwell at the other end of the station."

The hell?  "You'd be surprised"?!

Who trains these people? What the hell kind of customer service direction is that?

So I called him out on it and he didn't like it. Not one bit.

I said, just as sarcastically, "You mean that stairwell over there behind those pillars and elevator that people might not see and might not know about? How about you tell people nicely where there should go? No need to be rude."

He said, in a voice all cocky, "Oh, I'm sorry ma'am. Did I hurt your feelings?"

DID I HURT YOUR FEELINGS?

The hell???

A woman standing near me called him an "ass" and told me he's "rude like this" everyday.

I told her that name calling only makes an already bad situation worse. What's needed is better training.

Dealing with thousands of people isn't easy. I understand that but you know what makes a bad situation better? A smile and a pleasant manner.

Instead of customer service with sarcasm how about customer service with courtesy? For example, "Good morning folks! (Big smile.) There is another stairwell you can use right behind me. I know you all want to get to work but if you could please spread out to help cut back on the crowding, I'd really appreciate it."

Give it a shot, m'kay? It's what you're paid to do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well that escalated quickly


My replies are in green. Yeah, Imma troll.

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:40 PM

hi... do u know what track the 410 leaves from?

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:45 PM

Leaves from where?

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:45 PM

Union

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:46 PM

The 4:10? GO train?

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:46 PM

yeah

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:46 PM

There is no 4:10 from Union

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:47 PM

a friend told me i can take the 410 from union to go to ajax. is there another train after that???

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:47 PM

I don't think so. As far as I know there are no trains that early.

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:47 PM

???

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:48 PM

At 4:10 in the morning? No trains!

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:48 PM

uh, afternoon. idiot.

From: 9054427423
To: 1647619XXXX
September 17 2012 03:48 PM

Oh, you meant the 16:10?

From: 1647619XXXX
To: 9054427423
September 17 2012 03:49 PM

fuck u

Monday, September 17, 2012

Triple play

Butt in one seat...
Bag on another...
Jacket in the seat opposite...

ALL YOUR SPACE TRIPLE PLAY!!!


- Lovingly submitted by WH

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to troll parking donkeys in GO lots

What's the point of having by-laws and rules if GO doesn't enforce them?

I counted three people who carried bikes onto the 7:15 OSH-UNST LSE train this morning.
One guy rolled his bike past the CSA who didn't say anything.
I'm not singling out the CSA but an announcement should have been made.
Due to the passenger volume during morning and evening rush hour, GO Transit doesn't allow bikes on-board express trains as they take up too much room.
I don't care if the cyclist is being environmentally friendly or if this is his means of transportation once he gets to Toronto to complete the remainder of his commute. It doesn't matter why any of these people need their bikes. I'd like to bring my bike on the train and then cycle my way to work, too! But I don't. BECAUSE IT'S NOT ALLOWED!
Can you imagine if GO Transit allowed passengers on morning express trains this option? How much room do you think people would have to negotiate their way onto trains?
Give me a break. Honestly.

And once again, let's address the smokers, shall we?
Oshawa has acres of parking lot. GO SMOKE THERE YOU JACKASSES.
People who disobey the signage are selfish donkeys.
It's also a slap in the face to the smokers who DO smoke where they're allowed to.

WHY HAVE LAWS?!

So here's what Imma do. Imma take my bike (you know, the Iron Horse) and a cigarette and I'm going to light up a smoke, put my bike on the train and ride to Union.
Then, using all of the evidence I've collected on this site, I will represent myself in court where all charges will be dismissed and I'll walk out of that courthouse into a sea of people waving their Presto cards in the air and chanting my name.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What type of GO rider are you?

It's really hard to make out this infographic posted on the Toronto Star's website so I guess I'll have to go buy the paper copy to read the in-depth study (and the graphic) GO conducted to define their customer base.

For those who want to know, I fit the Traffic Avoider category.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Welcome aboard, students

Hi.
I see you've started university. Ryerson, is it?
That's awesome.
Judging by your textbooks all on the topic of psychology, I take it that's what you're studying.
How interesting.
Let's talk about human behaviour, shall we? Specifically, yours. On the train.
When boarding at the beginning/end of a line, such as Oshawa, where the train sits for a matter of minutes while the engineers conduct brake checks and prepare the train to run in the opposite direction, there are usually a number of seats available. In fact, the train looks absolutely spacious, doesn't it?
But guess what? All that space is not for you.
Sorry.
When you board, you get one seat. ONE. Not a seat for your feet. Not another seat for your jacket and not another seat for your backpack and skateboard.
I also want to point out that slouching in your seat with your Converse sneakers resting on the backrest of the seat opposite you is not only bad for your posture, it's just downright rude.
I told you that I would describe, in great detail on my website, why you're an inconsiderate jerk and I sure hope you heard the address right and pay this site a visit today.
You were very upset when I asked you, as we pulled into Whitby, to collect your shit and stuff it under your seat and onto your lap.
Your sense of entitlement may work on your parents, but it doesn't fly with me. You may be studying psychology but you definitely need a lesson in manners.
When you took your feet off the seat opposite you, you left two visible white footprints that I asked you to dust off. When you didn't, I did it for you. Yep, this definitely drew attention and you hated every second of it. Good.
By the time the train arrived at Ajax, you tried in vain to keep the seat next to you filled with your things until a woman, a very pregnant woman, asked you to move your stuff. You huffed and you puffed. You sighed audibly and made a big dramatic production about where to put your skateboard and doing a great job of looking extremely inconvenienced.
Since you've been riding the train for almost a week now, you should have clued in that it's not your personal living room. People boarding have every right to expect a seat.
At Union, you decided to follow me down into the Concourse where you confronted me, asking me what my problem was.
OH MY GOD. WHO RAISED YOU?
You told me I needed to mind my own business and asked me why I give a fuck about what you do?
This coming from a psychology student.
Oy.
I hope you dropped by. You need a reality check, son. You share the space on the train. It's not  yours. You need to be courteous, polite and respectful of other riders.
If you can't grasp this concept, perhaps you should skateboard to school everyday and skip the train.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Well I did it folks...

From May 1 to August 31, I biked my kid to daycare every morning and biked back to the house to shower and change before running to catch the GO bus.

Minus a few days of bad weather, some sick days and vacation, I biked a total of 85 days and managed to cover 280 kilometers. I lost about 13 pounds - not great, but better than gaining.

Very few people believed I could do it. But I did it, and I hated every second of it. Towing 100 pounds (the kid plus the weight of the trailer) was awful. I won't miss it.

My husband's hours change with the seasons and so he's at a start time where he can do daycare drop off which means I don't have to pedal anymore.

I'm not sure what we'll do next Spring. I really don't want to buy a car. I really don't care right now. I'm just glad to be done with the cycling. For now.

Oh yes, I may do this again next Spring. I'm friggen crazy.

How to piss off a Bag Rider 101

from: April C bxxxxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM
subject: How to piss off a bag rider - 101
One day about two weeks ago, I was taking the 5:20 LSE home.  The train is not crowded and there are empty seats when I boarded, however most quads had at least one person in them.  
 
You know those seats in the mid-section of the car that have all the leg room?  The ones where there are two seats, where some of the older cars have a third seat going sideways?  Well this car had no sideways seat and tons of leg room.  I have long legs so I like to sit there.  There was a lady sitting in the window seat and her bag was on the aisle seat.  I said "Excuse me please" and she shot me a look, glanced around the car and then picked up her bag.  I sat down.  About a minute later she was looking behind her, stood up and moved to another seat so she would have a seat for her bag.  
 
It was a Hudson's Bay Company bag.  It wasn't some super expensive purse that she needed to protect from the floor.  It was a paper shopping bag.  It needed its own seat.
 
I have decided that this is a fantastic way to deal with bag riders.  From now on, I will board empty trains, find the person with their bags on the seat and THAT is where I will choose to sit.  It doesn't matter if they are the only other person on the train.  It will be great fun.

Foot riders in love

It's like a delicate dance. A delicate dance of stupid.

Too close for comfort

I will admit I dislike it when people force their body parts into my circle of trust. I'm not alone... yay for chainsaw!!!

from: Wilson W
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM
subject: Viva buses have quad-seating too! ARGG
Location: Viva Purple Eastbound in Richmond Hill

9am on the bus...dumb donkey (who isnt even directly across from me btw. hes diagonal to me in the quad seats.) getting into my space....the dirty looks didnt work but a nice stomp did. dumbass

Srs dont sit with your legs wide open taking up space enuff for 4 ppl. You look like a douche

Next time, Imma arm a chainsaw and chop that bitches leg off.


If you have to start your day with alcohol ...

Well of course you do! Look at what we deal with every day on the train!

from: McM xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.com
to: "cj@thiscrazytrain.com" 
date: Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 9:12 AM
subject: Bourbon Breath
On the 07:45 Pickering-Union LSE this morning.  I got on at Guildwood (one coach east of the accessibility coach) and went to a nearly-empty quad (window seat) on the mid-level seats at the end of the coach, diagonally from a middle-aged man (who am I kidding though, I’m pushing middle aged too...let’s just say the only difference between him and me is that I presently have more hair) who was taking down crossword after crossword, and then shredding sudoku’s like he wrote them himself.  I mean, in a 29 minute train ride this guy must have plowed through 5 puzzles in total.  He would start top-left corner of the puzzle (either type), and just systematically fill in all the empty boxes within 5 minutes, and move on to the next.  I assume he was putting in correct answers, because I did see him make a revision once or twice.

At Eglinton, a young guy in his 20’s got on and sat beside me (aisle seat), leaving the corner/window seat as the last empty seat of the quad.  At Scarborough, a 40-something woman got on the train and sat across from me, beside Mr. Crossword.  I immediately smelled what I thought was alcohol, but wasn’t 100% sure because sometimes the right mix of coffee, perfume and aftershave can throw off one’s senses.  I didn’t give it another thought.  Until she coughed.  Lord almighty, it was like Jack Daniels himself was trying to crawl out of this woman’s mouth.  Baldy McCrossword stopped, literally mid-word that he was writing, and looked around (but discreetly did NOT look at what he and I both knew was the source of the smell), and then proceeded to go back to his puzzle.

I have seen/smelled people with this level of distillery on their person on the evening trains, and I honestly don’t judge.  At 5pm and beyond, if they’ve had a couple of drinks after work with friends and are taking public transit home (assuming that they aren’t driving home from their destination station), then all the power to you.  I know I’ve had a few GO rides home where I probably smelled just this side of a barley sandwich.  But this woman got on the train at 8:12am, smelling like she did.  Strangely, my first instinct wasn’t disgust (that was second), it was pity.  Anyone drinking that much, that early, has a serious problem, and I felt bad for her.

I think I’ve been watching too much Intervention on TV.

Me first ...

Waiting for 6:18 LSE train. There has to be over 100 DDD's on track 11. Notice the herd under the red light in the picture.
  - Matt

What's a DDD? Definition here.