Wednesday, May 6, 2015

And the crazy just got speed dialed up at Smoakville

by MM
Special to

So I'm at Oakville GO this aft, when the crazy gets suddenly dialed up past 11.

The worthy young man you see in these photos, skateboarding and smoking in the bus right of way just by the Oakville Transit platform, had just purposely placed himself in front of an incoming bus (in the frame). He played chicken until the bus stopped, then rolled up to the front bumper.

I missed those shots, but the guy obliged me by then continuing to skate around the lane as other incoming buses passed, smoking up a storm.

He then noticed me and yelled that what I was doing was illegal.

Yes, he said that.

I pointed out that the sign didn't say "no cameras".

He then offered to pull down his pants and pose.

And did just that.

Stay classy Oakville.

So I go back to the front of the station to wait. An old pensioner is tehre and he asks what the hell the young guy was doing. We chat and chuckle about it.

The short red head with piercings comes over and asks what I was doing. I start to explain, but she proceeds into a cascade of questions and challenges. Her "man" (Steve I find out later) comes over, smoke in hand, and joins the fun. They accuse me of taking their picture. Actually, neither of them is in the pix. Steve says he was on the bus that the skateboarder played chicken with and he "saw everything" and the kid wasn't doing "nothing wrong.". Logic with extra added double negaitives for affirmative evidence.


We are joined by another volunteer, young lady with bad dye job,  who proceeds to claim that I can't take pictures legally. I ask her what law she is quoting, and she says "Ontario law! You can google it!". So I ask her to. She gets kinda abusive. Its at this time that Steve offers to punch me. So I ask him to back up and  I open the station door and yell for someone to call security.

The nice ticket agent comes out and tries to defuse the situation and actually does a masterful job. Little Miss Redhead goes off on a Gish Gallop of questions and challenges. "Steve" claims I am lying about everything. I ask when security is going to arrive.

Its around this point, after yelling at me for 15 to 20 minutes, Steve and his little friend allow as how they have other more important places to be (Meth sale down at the Lab I guess).

So I wait for the security. And wait. And wait.

Young man playing chicken with buses. Check.

Exposing himself also. Check.

People (including yours truly) yelling at each other in front of the station entrance. Check.

By my count, in twenty to thirty minutes of crisis and waiting... and still no security, but around 10 to 15 smokers.

Doesn't GO EVER provide enforcement? Can they? Why do they promise safety? Why do we let them get away with promising something they do so little to enforce?

I went in and apologized to the ticket taker for the stress.

I'm going to have to make other arrangements for transit.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly why people don't confront smokers, foot riders and other 'crazies'. People who behave like this are nuts and you shouldn't mess with them! (At least you need to be extra subtle when taking their pic anyway).

Having said that, if no-one even tackled the nutjobs this site wouldn't be half as much fun...

Peter said...

I think I've said this before. If there is any hint of a situation escalating, dial 911. Transit Security has limited resources. TSO's are not there for GO Transit bus drivers (, and chances are they won't be there for you (as MM learned).

deepfish said...

Canary in a coal mine. Broken window syndrome.

They have no smoking signs but don't enforce them.

The crazies see this situation - smokers smoking under no smoking signs - as a "broken window" : a sign that is visible in a decaying neighbourhood that it is open season - that the area is ready for the circus to come to town.

So the clown cars roll on in.

Anyone surprised in the least?

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of thing that at one time I would see and try to do something, now that the world has completely lost it's mind, I don't bother. Not. Worth. It. Dealing with the crazies.

C.J. Smith said...

Not surprised in the least but Oakville should be on Transit Security's radar as of today.

TomW said...

It would be nice is everyone who reads this post emails/tweets/writes on the Facebook page of/writes a latter to GO Transit about people smoking where they shouldn't.

C.J. Smith said...

Novel idea, Tom!

You mean like how people should REALLY seek action as opposed to hoping I'll put on my "influencer" and "stakeholder" uniform and make it so?

MM does follow up. The others is armchair slacktivism at its finest.

VRS said...

Yes, TSOS have limited resources. They do what they can with the limited team they have an prioritize their response based on the limited info given to them by dispatch. They may have been told this was an argument outside station while they had a call come in the there was someone on the tracks. You can only be so many places at one time.

Peter said...

The assailant of the bus driver at Burlington station on Easter weekend last year travelled Route 12 with impunity after the incident. Was Niagara Region on Transit Security's radar? Maybe, but I never saw one TSO on the bus or at a stop. Will Oakville be on the radar over this incident? Perhaps. But there is a difference between being on the radar and scrambling to intercept.

Anonymous said...

I hope a bus does run over this low-life. Then let Darwin take care of guys like him who behave badly in public.

C.J. Smith said...

Metrolinx has always fumbled with security. The TSOs do tremendous work with the limited resources they have and the frustrations we all have with the lack of enforcement, the protection of bus drivers, and let's not forget station attendants, seems to go unnoticed. At least this is the perception of those of us who are down on the ground and not up in the Ivory Bay Tower.

C.J. Smith said...

Metrolinx has always fumbled with security. The TSOs do tremendous work with the limited resources they have and the frustrations we all have with the lack of enforcement, the protection of bus drivers, and let's not forget station attendants, seems to go unnoticed. At least this is the perception of those of us who are down on the ground and not up in the Ivory Bay Tower.

deepfish said...

The TSOs I've had dealings with have been professional and courteous and committed. Its just that there is gaping chasm between what GO undertakes to provide, (safe travel and transit areas) and the commitment of resources to provide same.
And when you have such a gap it gets filled with such chaos as we see here.

Skin Man said...

I remember when the QZ was being rolled out, and there was a survey about enforcement: do you prefer passenger or TSO enforcement. I believe that GO/Metrolinx have passenger enforcement as one of their "safety planks". And this is the conundrum. How do people with nothing more than their perceived moral high ground manage the poorly behaved and otherwise uncivilized? It is by definition, a recipe for conflict. If one accepts that, then you need to invest in safety protocols to protect those people who accept the role of parent to the children of the world.

C.J. Smith said...

^ agreed. Sometimes I do feel some of us feel obliged to police the world and we do this unarmed and untrained, equipped only with morals

Nora1968 said...

The Quiet Zone (my opinion of which you are no doubt sick of hearing LOL) is a MetroLinx (or GO Transit) policy. And as such, it therefore should be enforced by PAID enforcement officers who have been granted some theoretical authority by Metrolinx/GO to do so. I can't understand how anyone could realistically roll our and implement a policy of any kind but have as a "safety plank" that the CUSTOMERS will enforce this policy.

deepfish said...

Y'know that its a bare minimum of crazies and jerks out there - maybe no more than 2 to 3%, but the tipping point into unsafe and decrepit state is also low.
Its not so much the two or three nimrods who smoke in a crowd of a hundred openly under no-smoking signs, its not even the obviously meth-headed who do cute things like skateboard-chicken games with buses and drop trou... Its the idea of critical mass.
Once most accept the fact that there is not going to be enforcement over smoking, or rude self-entitled behaviour, or blatant disregard for safety, the door opens wider and wider. Its not so much the minority of crackheads as it is the growing room that is afforded them.
I've had people come up to me AFTER the fact and thank me for "standing up", but no one has ever stood up with me.
Where is the public campaign? Why is enforcement so bloody invisible? Why must photos like this be used?
Everyone knows the boat is sinking - everyone knows the Captain lied...

Iona Pintó said...

Nora1968, you're right. In essence, Mary Proc, VP, Customer Service deputized us all. So, for services rendered as QZ enforcement officers, we should send invoices for our time to Greg Percy, President. Whether we chastised anyone in the QZ, or not, is immaterial. We were on duty.

Anonymous said...

From what I have seen, TSO are very understaffed. They have to respond to everything including parking issues, trespassers, disturbances on the trains and buses AND fare enforcement! In a perfect world, they can be all over the small issues like smokers/ skateboarders, etc. As much of a loser this guy is, its better to stay out of it. This is the definition of a first world problem.

C.J. Smith said...

Um, the definition of a first world problem is: I didn't put the car in the garage because the batteries in the door opener are dead.
Or, articles that describe the correct way to eat french onion soup without getting it on your tie.
Public mischief and intimidation in a shared public space is not a first world problem. It's a social problem. And it should be taken seriously.

Skin Man said...

Anon at 5:31, while your solution is more safe, by not speaking up we are tacitly approving of the bad behavior...kinda like keeping quiet when a someone is being bullied.

Many, (most?), people when outed for their bad behaviour comply, but when they don't other members of the community must support the person who is asking for a cessation of the bad behaviour. this is how civilized society works. Then if the asshat is part of the 2-3% of population that needs more formal training, then security needs to be available in those limited situations. A ticket agent indicating that the police and TSO have been called and are having a race to see who can get there first would be adequate.