Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why didn't you publish my email?

I make a point of trying to respond to emails I get in a timely fashion but generally, I tend to ignore a good majority of them. I'll point out why in a bit.

There are the regular contacts who I converse with frequently and then there are the one-offs where half the time, I don't know how to respond, or have no desire to engage, or simply don't find the story/complaint/review of my website/concern/racist remarks funny or worth repeating.

The majority of my email comes from people who think I work for GO Transit and expect me to provide a soapbox for them. GO has a place for you folks to go. You can take your beefs/rants/concerns and put them on Facebook and Twitter, or write an email to GO or call Customer Service.

Honestly, I don't owe you anything. There, I said it. Apparently I'm an asshole and a huge bitch and this shouldn't be a problem for me to tell you this, but truth be told, I have a hard time telling people that there's nothing I can do about their lost iPods, or their cracked Presto cards, or the confusing bus schedules, or the lack of garbage cans, or the crowded parking lots, or the people who crowd the doors.

Yes, I point out the bad behaviour. Yes, a lot of people read this website, but it was never meant as a means to encourage a dialogue between GO Transit and its customers.

I'm not paid for providing the weekly entertainment I try to produce because that's what this website is folks,  it's entertainment. I take my beefs seriously and use the very means I just told you about to address them with GO.

I put this website to together to call out fellow commuters for the crap they pull. Sure, I feel GO Transit can do more with respect to customer service, improving customer relations and improving communication, but if you think I'm going to spend my time cutting and pasting every single email I get onto this website, because you think it will make a difference, I'd hate to break it to you, but I can't. I don't have the time and I don't feel I'm obligated to.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I haven't seen an iota of difference in GO's service that could be traced back to this website (parking tickets aside, which I know I had nothing to do with despite an email accusing me of instigating this enforcement operative).

GO knows I exist. How can they not? I tweet to them. I link their news releases. People tell GO about me. GO employees write me to thank me for calling out the foot riders and addressing bad customer behaviour. Strangers write me to tell me they're happy I'm here to provide a means to connect riders with other riders and provide a medium to address shit that really bothers people.

That's all I do. I address shit. I address shit that you do, that your seat mate does, that crowds of people do, that drunk asshats do, that parking donkeys do, that GO employees do... I just point it all out so we can chat about it and have a good laugh or a bitch fest.

I've been told I should not call out shit such as people calling relatives overseas at 6:30 in the morning during a morning bus ride, when all people want is some peace and quiet, because it's fucking dark and your body is pissed off it's not in bed... It is ANNOYING but we laugh because we've all been subjected to it and we laugh because it's amusing that we get so pissed off by something so "First World" of a problem.

Some of you are out of your damn minds. Coming onto my turf, using my soapbox to educate me about decorum and empathy. When I did stand-up, I would marvel at the people who would pay the cover charge, buy a pint of beer and then complain after the show about how offended they were. The hell?

Comedy is exactly that - calling out shit. Poking fun at shit people do. Most of the time, I'm pretty serious as I truly do have an ax to grind with people who foot ride, and bag ride, and door block and stair hog, and talk way too loud for a personal phone call, but most of the time, I find commuting hysterical, especially the things people complain about.

My bus rides provide hours of entertainment. It amazes me the amount of First World Problems people have.

I grew up in a home where money was tight but laughter was plenty. I grew up with a mentally challenged sister who taught me to take nothing in life for granted, that every day is a goddamn gift because I can drive a car, earn a salary, read a book from start to finish, fall in love, be a mom and take wonderful vacations; all things she can't do. My dad came from a poor, Acadian family where he slept five in a bed and didn't know the feeling of wearing a new pair of shoes until the day he got married. He worked hard to show his girls the value of a dollar, the pride of owning something and the empowerment that comes with a sense of achievement and overcoming adversity. My mom came to Canada with her mother with nothing more but a trunk full of clothes. My grandmother worked three jobs, dealt with domestic abuse and was fiercely loyal to her community. She cooked and sewed for friends and neighbours simply because she loved them and expected nothing in return. She bought the house my parents now live in working 18 hour days, seven days a week for 13 years straight. She did it on her own; in the 1960s - a feat unheard of for a woman. She died at 48 of brain cancer. She was robbed.

So I know a thing or two about bad shit. I realize that what I call out isn't bad shit. I know there are worse things in the world than spending an hour sitting next to people who haven't turned off the key tones on their phones, so every letter of their text messages is a sledge hammer hit to your ear drums that slowly picks away at your patience, but don't sit there from behind your keyboard and tell me I have no right to have this website "out on the internet" or take the positions I do on social etiquette.

Damn right I do.


Anonymous said...

You would think that by the name of this website alone, people would get it.

Maybe it's time to call GO Transit First World Problems or GTFWP

Anonymous said...

PS: Your grandma *was* robbed. F#ck cancer.

Lost mine when I was 10 and she was 58. I miss her every day and do feel robbed.

Squiggles said...

I never knew one of mine. She died when my Dad was 12. So, agreed: Robbed and F#ck cancer.

And maybe because I am one of the special ones, I actually do a little mental "woohoo!" when one of my emails is posted. But I completely understand that not everything deserves to be posted or should be posted. People have lives - including C.J.

C.J. Smith said...

Well according to some of the email I get, I have no life.

Funny how all this works.

Anonymous said...

People still bitch about what's on the internet in 2012? Damn, it's the internet, everything is fair game.

I've been reading this site for a couple years now. I think it's HILARIOUS which is why I keep reading even though I don't even commute anymore! Nice work CJ.

deepfish said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down...

Skin Man said...

I realize this post wasn't meant to attract sympathy, or result in a big love fest. I do want to thank you though for taking the time, (one of our scarcest resources), to screen out the non-sense and sharing the lolz! This site is always my first stop of the day!


P.S. @Squiggles: I agree I get a flutter whenever something I send is posted.

Transit Toronto said...

Bravo! Bravo!

Keep up the good work.

Your friends at Transit Toronto

C.J. Smith said...


Unknown said...

Keep 'em coming CJ. I check your site so I can get at least one good laugh each day. Both my parents are hard working immigrants. My dad just retired and I'm proud of his accomplishments. Money wasn't tight, but it wasn't right. But what my parents gave my sisters and I was alot of love and laughter.

Real life is tough enough. The news reminds us of that everyday. So, if your blog is an entertainment outlet for you and for people like me who enjoy your blog, then that's all good in my book. Don't let the blog and email trolls win.

ExGOnowTTC said...

I'm sorry CJ. But all those soldiers died so i can piss and moan about other people's behaviour whilst getting all offended and outraged when mine is pointed out. IT'S NOT RIGHT SIR!

Anonymous said...

You need a "LOVE" button, dammit! Thank you for all that you do with this blog, C.J., and for sharing some of your remarkable background. <3

NN said...

Of Course you have a life, it is only those with a life that can be so creative and entertaining.
I hope you never let anyone drag down your spirit!

Anonymous said...

Hey C.J
Thanks from a former GO Commuter who's now in Nova Scotia, being a blind person, with multiple disabilities, is hard, but what you put out here, makes me laugh my whitecane tip off, I really love reading your site, as both a former GO Commuter, but also as someone who has 'dealt with' a many DDD's, seathoggers, entitled baby suv pushers, & many other situations...
I had to constantly deal with idiots in the accessibility car, who seem to feel that disabled people shouldent ride the GO Train & should not be allowed to board THEIR train, or move outta a seat when a disabled person needs it..

Yeah, dont get me started about the ones who kick, step on, feed, my & other peoples guide dogs!!

Hugs & a Steeped tea to you...