My Introduction to Metro
On my first day at Metro, October 3, 1983, I met with the superintendent of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) department.
“Well Sherman, I’ve got good news! We have two spots available – one on midnight shift and one evening Shift, which would you prefer?”
“I think evening shift would work out best for me.”
“You know, most people prefer midnight shift. They can sleep during the day and spend time with their family in the evening before going to work.”
“That makes sense, but in my case evening shift would be best. My girlfriend just moved here from Madison, WI, she doesn’t really know anyone, and she would prefer that I’m home at night so she doesn’t have to sleep alone.”
We went back and forth a few more times until he finally announced, “You’ll be working midnight shift at Brentwood Yard (B99).”
I thought to myself, why did this guy even bother to give me a choice? The only two possibilities I could come up with were:
a) There was really only one spot available. He was just hoping I’d pick mids and think he had given me a choice.
b) He was sadistic and wanted to find out which shift I preferred so he could assign me to the other one.
It turned out that my meeting with the superintendent was a good predictor of what many of my experiences at Metro would be like.
My girlfriend and I broke up a couple months later, in part because I was working mids and was never home at night. I’d get home about 7:30 am just as she was getting ready for work.