Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GO Transit passenger alleges Metrolinx employee abusing perk

date:Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:27 AM
subject:Fuming mad!

I am on the 7:01am train from Brampton to Union Station every weekday morning.

There is a woman who gets on with me in Brampton and sits in the same area as me.

This is a very busy train and fills up quickly.  She puts her purse on the seat next to her reserving the seat for her male friend who gets on the train 3 stops later in Etobicoke North.

Yesterday, before arriving at Etobicoke North, I watched her tell two different passengers wanting to sit there that someone was already sitting there.  These passengers had to go search for another empty seat.

The kicker is that the other day when the GO officers were checking tickets, I watched her flash her Metrolinx card to the officer and told the officer that her male friend was her guest.

So this Metrolinx employee (who is riding for free) is holding a seat for her male friend who is also riding for free, while customers who presumably pay a fare are being denied a seat.  In addition, my understanding is that when the train is full, the Metrolinx employee is supposed to get up and offer the seat to a customer.  Obviously, she is not doing this either.

She is fine example of Metrolinx employee and customer service.  This sense of entitlement makes me absolutely sick.


Anonymous said...

Any official word yet from Metrojinx?

C.J. Smith said...

No, not yet.

C.J. Smith said...

The ticket checker should have said something -- so bad all around.
Anyhow, Metrolinx PR gave the typical canned response that they are "reviewing policy" and "looking into it" but did agree this isn't condoned and the guest/staff person should have exhibited proper etiquette.

Mary said...

I agree the sense of entitlement displayed is rather sickening - but I do not agree with the phrase " she is a fine example of metrolinx employee and customer service" . I can only hope that this bad attitude of hers will eventually come out in her work and she will be gone. ( the metrolinx person) One suggestion is perhaps the paying passenger can ask for her badge number - we all have one - and report this to a CSA or head office. Or maybe she could just tell a CSA on the train - if they happen to be in the same car. I do hope something gets done - this kind of behavior makes me sad and ashamed.

C.J. Smith said...

I'm with you Mary!

You ride the crazy train, I only drive it. said...

Unfortunately the CSA has no actual power to do anything about it - GO has not given Bombardier crews any in regards to these type of matters i.e. removing people from their seats or the train for that matter. Though it really deepens on the CSA, some of the more experienced ones might throw their weight around and make it seem like they have that kind of power or perhaps they might try to shame her in some way. But most of the new guys who are coming through the position wouldn't do or say anything out of fear of reprisal. Keep in mind we're just contractors to begin with. And for the record - we do not have the same perks.

Anonymous said...

Broad brushing ~2,000 employees with the same insult is not nice.

I hope everyone where you work never does anything that makes them look bad. It means all of you are like that.

Anonymous said...

Go Transit Employee here. Obviously not a Frontline Employee of Go Transit/Metrolinx. The suits downtown have no idea what we as Frontline Employees see on a daily basis and what we and the public need to have a better working system.
Don't paint us all with the same brush. Next time, I would tell her to move the purse, and you can definitely voice your complaint to the CSA and make a complaint. Everyone has a boss.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't get preferred service because she's with Metrolinx.
If I was looking for a available seat, I'd simply say that I'll seat here until your guest gets on at Etobicoke North.
I highly doubt that the guest (once boarded) would ask that I move, as there won't be any available seats by then.

Cowering to this self entitled behaviour lets them win and continue this rudeness.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest someone next time to make it a point and stating that no the seat in fact is not taken as you are a metrolinx employee and your friend only enters the train at Etobicoke North and you are to give up your seat for others and because of abusers like her all the other employees who use their perk fairly are going to be punished because she thinks she runs the system.

Squiggles said...

I agree, it isn't a good thing to brush every employee with the same brush. But, in a frustrated state, it is easy to do. But, get her badge number and report her. Not certain if it would help, but at least she knows that there could be repercussions.

What needs to happen with the seat saving/bag issue is do not give her the option of saying "no". Give her the option of moving her shit or you sitting on it. Follow through. Do that a few times and she may shape up.

George said...

Get the badge number if you're sure it's unacceptable behaviour hy a Metrolinx employee. If they refuse to give it, take a photo and send that to Customer service with an explanation of the situation and the series of events.

I can guarantee then that someone would take action. The CSA and the TSO really can't do anything right then and there.

FRED said...

And if RS hasn't seen the ID he/she would not have known this was a Metrolinx employee. It would have been another asshole (but fare paying) passenger.

Anonymous said...

clearly she is what we call "suits" who work downtown at head office.its unfortunate that this person saves a seat but to say this is "metrolinx customer service" is ridiculous. with that said this is a perk with the job and entitled to use it. You may get perks through your position that as gerneral public do not. I think the real question should be "what benefits do politicians get"? and leave the 1/100 employess who actually use this benefit alone. (i bet if you called her out she'd not only get up but most likley choose a different car)

C.J. Smith said...

I don't care about the perk. I can't speak for anyone else.
However, it's my understanding it's to be used occasionally, not every day (this is with respect to bringing a guest). The fact that Metrolinx employees ride for free is part of their contract.

Anonymous said...

CJ is correct. To be used occasionally for guest. Also to stand if no seats available.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they have marked 'RESEVED' seats like in the parking lots.
You pay for it, it's yours.
Provided you pay for a minimum 6 month period.

Anonymous said...

Metrolinx employees don't have a sense of entitlement. If anything you could take the perk away. As an employee I only use the guest pass on occasion anyway so I won’t be affected. If it means that the public will be happy, then take it. It seems that Metrolinx employees always get the bitter end of the stick anyways.

Yes employees are to stand if train is full, and not to abuse the employee status (that goes without saying) I hate that one person can make such an impression on an entire group.

I can tell you that I love the work I do. Taking my husband on the train when we head downtown for a game or dinner won’t change that.

C.J. Smith said...

Keep the perk. What's not fair is passengers who lost the guest perk when PRESTO was introduced. Why were we punished?

Anonymous said...

Any update on this issue? I really hope she got in trouble for her irresponsible behaviour. It takes only one bad apple to ruin it for the rest of us.

C.J. Smith said...

If there's an update, Metrolinx PR hasn't shared it with me. I doubt they would. It would be handled internally.

Anonymous said...

This was a very interesting read. As a GO transit user, I must agree that denying someone a seat is very irresponsible. Anyone has a right to sit where they want. And I hate when people are holding seats.

However, I am also a compassionate person to an extent. I don't feel this employee should be fired for this behaviour. Next time just sit in the seat. I don't see this as a escalating issue. Does this person say their friend is in the bathroom on a daily basis? We have to remember that while it's a disturbing situation this is still someone's livelihood. I wouldn't want it on my conscience if I got them fired for saving a seat.

As for the free passenger GO employees can take with them? I see this as a work perk. I work for Air Canada. I'm allowed to have family fly for free. I have a friend who works for Starwood hotels. She gets huge discounts on all Starwood hotels for family and friends. All employees at banks have free accounts, discounted insurance with their companies. If you work at Scotiabank you probably never pay to go to the movies because you get scene points. In retail you get a discount on clothes and some retailers give friends discounts.

My point is the free passenger is a non issue. The issue is the lack of conduct by this employee by lying about someone being in the bathroom. Call them out for saving a seat. Or sit in the seat. If they say their friend is in the bathroom call them a liar.
But is it really worth it to get them fired? I wouldn't say so.