Who Are You?!!

When Polly Hanson (who was Chief of the Transit Police Dept.) became assistant general manager for Safety, Security and Emergency Management, she sent out a friendly memo announcing her new position and saying that she was looking forward to meeting and working with  Metro employees.

One of my coworkers was impressed with her memo and thought it would be a nice gesture to send Ms. Hanson an email saying (essentially) that he (or we) were looking forward to working with her to improve safety.  I can’t recall his exact words but they were perfectly appropriate for a business email.

In reply, my former coworker got an email that said:

“Who are you, and what is the meaning of this missive?!!”

The email was from an underling, not Ms. Hanson.  I’ve never met her, but I spoke with her a couple times on the phone and she struck me as being very friendly and down-to-Earth, so I seriously doubt she had any knowledge of the email that was sent to my former coworker.

I was reminded of this incident after writing my recent post about learned helplessness.  It is another good example of why many/most Metro employees have the attitude that they do.  Here was a guy who was trying to be nice and establish a friendly working relationship with a Safety official and got smacked down for his effort.  So much for open dialog between departments.  You can bet none of the rest of us attempted to contact Ms. Hanson after that.

An email like that causes tremendous damage.  In a perfect world, whoever wrote that email would have been fired immediately, or, at a minimum, made to apologize profusely and encourage people to call and email as often as they wish.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he is now the head of the Safety dept.

“Who are you, and what is the meaning of this missive?!!”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

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