And T.T.C., this one’s for you.

We’ve taken it on the chin, repeatedly, when you strike at your leisure. And in an-ever-passive-Canadian-way, we patiently wait through endless service delays and disruptions. The mess that is Queen Street right now, ripped up and overturned with streetcar track renovations, is taking me on the scenic route as of late, with the route diverted reasonably. Fair enough.

The mean drivers however? Not so reasonable.

Me, the other day – work burnt, heat stroked and gym bound: “Hi [yes, chirpy tone and smile], do you go to Pape?”
Driver, with apparent chip on his shoulder: “No”.
I look up at the route sign on his fancy streetcar, “You’re going east though? Are you short turning”.
Driver: “no”.

His second terse response made me rage. In an instant. Me, red-faced, voice-raised: “This is a really fun guessing game. Can you please tell me where you’re going, explain the route? Want a chalk board, draw me a little something?”

He rolled his eyes with such intensity that I was sure he was having a stroke. After that, he pulled it together and explained his detour.

It took me the entire duration of my ride (an epic haul, given said stupid detour) to calm down. And then some. I’m waiting for the evidence to materialize but I’m sure this experience gave me either a gray hair, or shaved a few hours off my life. It’s there a meanie-quota mandate at the T.C.C.? Shouldn’t all of their drivers be really happy and satisfied, in light of their wants being met through strikes? Gosh, I mean, what else could you possibly want for? [Wait…I bet I’ll find out soon, when you strike. Again].

T.T.C. – I can appreciate that many of your roles require the skill to operate heavy machinery. Some roles, however, necessitate interacting with the public. Hiring accordingly, please.

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    August 29, 2009

    Thank you. You took the words right out of my mouth when you said being a bus driver requires interaction with the public. if you cannot be pleasant to the public, quit your job.

    One day, on my way home from eglinton station, the 54 bus was packed. The old lady in the front of the bus had no seat (i was standing too) the driver pushes on the pedal, and the lady almost falls. I say “can you stop driving please?” then he was worried and asked if there was an accident or anything. I went up to the front, and said this lady almost fell, she was just about to sit down. Bus driver: no response and drives on. It was after nine, so i took advantage of my get off wherever because i’m a woman. I go up to the same driver and ask politely can you please let me off at so and so. I was blatantly ignored! So i asked again, louder. And he was so rude.. not a word, but he did let me off where i wanted. I said thank you, and again no response. What a tool. it made me soo mad and frustrated that when i walked away i cried. remember you can always complain to 393-INFO those mean damn busdrivers – they’re the few that make all drivers look bad.

  2. Anonymous
    September 1, 2009

    I concur! Don’t even get me started on the last-minute, for no good reason short-turn…

  3. anastasiaali13
    September 2, 2009

    I can only agree.
    I have the telephone number of the complaints line posted above my phone at work for easy access. Also once heard a driver tell a woman who was visibly distraught:
    “Why don’t you take the shit out of your ears????”
    Nuff said.

  4. shannon w
    September 3, 2009

    When I was 16 I was kicked off of a Blue Night by the mean driver who wouldn’t let me on after I dropped my only student ticket in the box. I’d left my student card and metropass on the previous bus (the student card was mailed back to my school sans metro pass weeks later). Empty handed, a 45 min bus ride from home at midnight, I had to wait half an hour for the next bus and plead with that driver to get a lift from Danforth to Steeles. Fortunately he was a kinder soul than the driver previous. I called TTC customer service line the next day and was scoffed at.

    That was the beginning of my hate-hate relationship with the TTC.

    Someone spray painted this on the community center at Trinity Bellewoods during the last strike. Brilliant.
    http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v233/210/82/509665928/n509665928_460569_4866.jpg

  5. Anonymous
    September 23, 2009

    you sound pretty bitchy yourself actually

  6. Anonymous
    September 24, 2009

    Every time I go to the booth for something that is the reason for them being there (change, tokens) the collector acts like I’m asking him for a giant favour. Like he just wants to sit in the booth all day reading his book or whatever and not help anyone.

    One time I got curt answers (like you did) and said at the end “you don’t have to be so rude about it.” This sent the collector into a frenzy, saying “you fucking bitch” and using “bitch” at least two more times. I said “Do you think I WON’T report you?” and he said he didn’t care.

    I reported him – and the person who took the complaint said that the most trouble he’d get would be a verbal warning. So I guess the scumbag was right in not caring.

    ***When we (especially young women) are counting on these employees for a safe travel environment, it is not cool that they are allowed to sling degrading sexist slurs at riders with no real punishment.

    (On a side note, how often do we even see females working these jobs? Where’s the equal opportunity there?)

    I HATE TTC AND I WISH I COULD BOYCOTT THEM!!!

  7. kt
    October 8, 2009

    I remember a quote from a streetcar driver when the strike was in progress (which says it all) “I agree with union.I don’t care what the public thinks about the strike,they don’t pay my wages!” obviously I.Q is not part of the job discription of that particular individual,but every now and then I am blown away by an awesome ttc individual and I must tell you about the one driver on the exhibition place route who had a whole car of very crowded individuals laughing at his version of charming and witty city history,local politics and life in general quotes and comments (all done in the best possible taste!)I and many passengers were sad to finish our journey and we all gave him a rousing round of applause as we left.Even though this is a 1 out 10 incident I hope we all have the pleasure of meeting someone as special as this. Happiness is infectious and with any luck the ttc may have a virus on its hands!

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