Concerns about posts

I received a very nice comment from “Rider 77” today [see ‘feedback’ under the Contact tab].

After writing my reply I thought it made sense to go ahead and post it:

What a great compliment, thank you Rider 77!  You have motivated me to write some more.  😉

I haven’t gotten any negative feedback or pressure to stop writing, I’ve just been busy with other things.
Also, while there’s a lot more to write about, but I’m hesitant to write about certain subjects for a few reasons, including:

1) Some of what my former coworkers and I thought was wasteful, funny, stupid, aggravating, etc, may not ‘translate’ well.  Some of what I might write about would fall into the ‘you had to be there’ category.  I’m trying to put myself in the position of someone like yourself who is not an active or retired Metro employee, and is just familiar with the ‘face’ of Metro.
2) A couple of my existing posts involve the actions of specific individuals.  I’ve changed their names but anyone at Metro who is familiar with the situation knows who they are.  There are many more stories like this but I’m a bit reluctant to post more because I don’t want any of the individuals involved to file a lawsuit.  I need to get some legal advice about this.
3) Another area I would very much like to write about is security.  There are specific problems I (and many other current and former employees) am aware of, but if I point them out on my blog and then something happens — WMATA may try to tie it back to me, claiming that I “aided the terrorists” or whatever.  Nothing I know is any big secret, and anyone who was even halfway intelligent could figure out what the security weaknesses are, but even though I would almost certainly “win” I’d rather not get dragged into a long expensive legal battle.  This is another area that calls for legal advice.

One thing that you and other readers could do that would help me very much is ask questions.  Questions about what you experience on a daily basis and/or questions regarding news stories about Metro.
In fact, I think I’ll post this reply so it reaches more people.

Thanks again for your comment, it was very encouraging.
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2 Responses to Concerns about posts

  1. Christopher says:

    For what its worth, I am a 32 year total Metro employee and a member of local 689 my entire time here at Metro. I am a proud member of the union, and while I am not an elected officer, nor have I ever been, I am a active participant in the union and union activities.

    I support my 689 elected officials. They have a difficult job, not only in taking on management on some legitimate issues, but also because union dues are collected from everyone that is a 689 member, they are bound to support the knucklehead element in the our union who on many occasions are dead wrong. Its a very tiny percentage when you consider 7,000 members. However, to not to support some of them could also mean someone who is NOT wrong could be cast aside by a precedent not fought for, no matter how wrong it might look at the time.

    I wanted to make that point just to say, I ALSO totally support you with this Blog and encourage you to continue to post more of these stories.

    Union members shouldn’t be blamed for any abuse of the overtime, that falls on management. However, one of the things that has long bothered me is how our union brethren have become so beholden to the overtime that is given. The fact is Metro seems to take the position that there shouldn’t be any pay raises in part because they feel people can work extra in OT to get that pay raise. Our union officers have stated that almost 85% of grievances that are filed, aren’t due to work conditions, or unfair treatment. No. Its due to complaints over OT and who gets it, or who gets denied. And one of the sad parts is its not that people are kept from getting OT but instead in many cases its about how one employee got more OT than another. I work in a department that could certainly use overtime to complete some tasks, but because its not a department that deals with the actual transport of paying passengers by bus or rail, my department never is given OT. Thats ok, no problem, but in the union, amongst the rank and file, under the surface, there is a growing resentment, especially when it comes to the retirement high four, that many employees are able abuse the OT rules to get retirement pensions as high as their regular pay when they leave, while the majority of 689 employees do not enjoy such OT access or advantage to boost their high fours.

    I also share your frustrations concerning issues that have been brought to managements attention. I have also heard the sincere sounding words of thanking you for bringing things to their attention, but ultimately, nothing is done.

    I’ll be checking back on your blog from time to time because there are a few stories I’d like to share, especially about security issues, but for now, I say to you, thanks for the blog and keep on doing what you’re doing.

    • Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I agree with you that the OT situation continues to be very inequitable. What you said about 85% of grievances involving OT issues rings true, that was my perception the entire time I was at Metro. You brought up a very important point which is that some departments have little or no OT available while in others it is almost unlimited. What this means is that even though Metro is essentially a socialist organization (we all make about the same base pay, +/- about 20%) some employees are able to boost their “high four” years (used to calculate their pension benefit) by working OT and others are not. The result is that in retirement, some employees make twice what others do. It is common for an operator who made less than a mechanic or tech as an active employee to end up with a pension that is _double_ what the tech receives.

      I’m looking forward to hearing whatever stories you’d like to share.

      Thanks for supporting my blog. You might consider signing up for email alerts if you haven’t already.

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