Monday, August 21, 2006

Perky Train Operator

Every so often, I ride in a train with an operator who is extra perky and animated. By that I mean he or she will announce "good morning" and "welcome" at every stop, give us a forecast of the week, wish us a relaxing ride, some will even comment on the view or count down the remaining hours left until weekend. Once I even had a train operator who pointed out some 'landmarks' to tourists.

I generally don't have a problem with perkiness over the microphone. It's a pleasant change from train operators who mumble inaudibly each station name. Sometimes it could get a little irritating when they go overboard with the comedic entertainment, I mean, seriously, this is not a Southwest flight, we don't need people to hum us a tune.

Today, one passenger must have been extremely grumpy and not pleased with the way his day started out....he was just overly angered by every comment the train operator made over the microphone. She said, "Good morning everyone! Welcome to BART on this Monday morning." He would yell out, "Shut up!" Later she announces, "Looks like we will have another warm week in the East Bay." He said, "Damn it- just do your job!"

This went on the entire ride to SF!

I don't love the extra commentary but it's nothing that horrible to get so mad and annoyed over. At the worst, I just roll my eyes and keep reading. Why the rude and pissed off comments?

On a side note, school started again it seems as BART parking lots and trains were more crowded than usual. more seats for me I guess.


Anonymous said...

bart is actually quite like southwest... no assigned seating and people always pushing and shoving to get on. the only thing missing is having the bart operator give out free peanuts.

Anonymous said...

the guy was apparently not having a very good day. those train operators who seem to need to interject their own bit of personality into their work are, IMO, often just plain annoying rather than entertaining, especially after you have heard the same "routine" for a number of days. one, this is a matter of taste. two, this tends to be even more annoying when you are subjected to this forced entertainment and unable to change the channel. IMO, i'd prefer that these train operators just operate the train and provide basic information.

Josh said...

Bah, I actually enjoy the commentary. I think that people are taking it way too seriously. If the biggest annoyance on your ride to work is an overly-cheerful train operator, then you have it good. I'd rather here the weekend countdown, or joke about "cruising altitude" beneath the day than some loudmouth's cell phone conversation, or the bass beat from somebody's cheap headphones.

My favorite operators are on the 7:42 and 7:52 morning trains out of Concord. Always cheerful, clear in their announcements, and keep us informed during delays.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about taking this too seriously or having a good day vs. a bad day, etc. The train operators are not comedians and their banal comments are, more often than not, just plain annoying. Maybe their work just doesn't give them enough to do which would not be too surprising.