Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Overboard with onboard entertainment

I know I've discussed this several times before, but today, this train operator took it overboard and beyond the tolerance limit. She's a happy person, I get it...we all get it, but exuding cheerfulness when announcing stations is one thing, but singing at every SF stop is totally another. To me, that is WAY TOO MUCH, especially most of us I bet are not nearly as cheery as she is about heading to a busy day in the office.

From East Bay all the way to SF, she was tolerable. She was happy and constantly told us to sit back or stand back and enjoy the bay, while announcing weather every so often. That is acceptable, though still on the annoying side to me personally.

Things started to get worse once we headed into the Transbay Tube.

She says....hang on tight...off we go across the bay by the city to the city by the bay.
At Embarcadero she sings, "Hi ho, Hi ho, it's Embarcadero station we go!" or something similar.
At Montgomery she sings, "Yo ho, Yo ho, it's Montgomery station for me!"
At Powell she sings, "It's a small street after all, it's a small street after all, it's a small street after all, it's POWELL street."

I missed her song at Civic Center because I was smack against the door ready to POP OUT OF THERE! Now I wished I had listened so I can share it here...but if someone out there heard it, please post it in the comments board! I'd like to know how far she went down to the SF stations.

I asked one of my coworkers what she thought of the singing...she thought it was annoying beyond belief too!!

We understand that she is cheerful- nothing wrong with that- but it's just too much to shove the songs and jokes down our throats early in the morning. Oh well....no big deal....just had to rant!


Anonymous said...

Heh, that's hardcore. I would like to believe they're a rookie and will mellow out with time. When you have a new job and you're excited to be running trains, it comes out. On the other hand, I've actually heard of operators being drug tested because patrons complained they were TOO enthusiastic.

Anonymous said...

Most TO's keep the commuter trains quiet - one brief announcement - "Orinda" (no need for the word "station" what else is it gonna be?). Followed by a quick "Daly City Train".

And, usually before the tube, the required "unattended packages" announcement.

Commuters "pay the bills" so I figure they get to ride in quiet.

Anonymous said...

I dont mind the enthusiasm. It makes the morning a little more tolerable, othewise all I have to look forward too is a bunch of up-tight looking 30-40 year-old communeters with their iPod and blackberry/treo, stressing over being a few minutes late to their job.

If you want bland, move to NYC

Anonymous said...

I'm with the last poster. Being dour and curt is way overrated. I appreciate the extra info from operators and the upbeat attitude.

Anonymous said...

Grumpy people do not like being around happy people.

If you are in a bad mood, the last thing you want is someone being happy in your presence..

But, I like the upbeat attitude. When you're having a good day, you want to be around happy people.

bartmusings said...

I appreciate clearly enunciated "Orinda Station" and even a friendly "have a nice day"! I think that is enough and totally appreciated by most passengers. I think singing and entertainment is too much and when we're trapped inside a train, with or without an iPod, we don't have much of a choice but to listen to the singing and rhyming. It's too corny. It's not that we're grouchy or have no personality, we just would prefer to ride in relative peace, without too many jokes, commentaries and entertainment programs.

As I wrote in the entry, it's not a big deal. But if I had a choice, I'd rather have a polite and friendly train operator that announces that stations clearly and if they wish to, say "have a nice day" or "enjoy your weekend".

Anonymous said...

It's not quite clear if this is a survey of individual preferences or a discussion of what would be best overall or in general for BART (these two may not be the same). As to the latter, BART's policy and actions should be whatever is least offensive and/or intrusive while still accomplishing their purpose.

No one should have to be an involuntary audience to operator humor or comments, especially when their value is highly subjective. Until each rider can somehow turn off the train operator "entertainment," operators should stick to providing the basic information riders need to use BART and do so safely. Those who appreciate operator comments might, as one idea, pursue seat plug-ins for headphones that will let them experience train operator humor directly and without imposing it on other riders who, for a wide variety of reasons, may not welcome it.

bartmusings said...


Anonymous said...

Oh my lord..

you are over-analyzing. you live in the bay area, not democracy USA. in case you haven't noticed, the bay area is an audience for all. though living past orinda, you are nicely shielded from the public stage and gallery that most people appreciate about the bay area.

get back to work, and making money. the rest of us will muse ourselves with the population, which does not include you.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is..
It's not really fair to ask these nice train operators to stop doing their jobs better. And that's exactly what they are doing.
I have a wonderful T.O. every morning. He speaks clearly, gives perfect transfer directions, asks that we make seats available, etc. He also has a sense of humor and a terrific personality.
What I'm trying to say is, there's a lot of crap we have to "involuntarily" listen to everywhere we go, every single day. It's up to the listener to not get bothered by every little thing he/she hears throughout the day.
Relax people!!

bartmusings said...

But is singing along doing their jobs "better"? It's their job to communicate clearly- and I always appreciate it when they do- especially with a friendly voice and tone.

It's not the end of the world to hear them sing to stations. It's not a big deal, which I have said many times in the blog and comments.

The whole point to this entry was to get everyone's thoughts on whether they like the entertainment or not? Also, those who haven't heard this particular singing probably can't fully comprehend it either. It's not that it's so annoying that it's unbearable, not at all, it is just something you don't want to be forced on during an early morning ride to work on a Monday.

"It's a small street after all..it's a small street after all..it's a small street after all, it's POWELL STREET." You don't think that's a bit much??

Anonymous said...

That is too much. I would have to wear headphones and play music to drown it out.

Anonymous said...

Most mornings I could use the laugh. I hope she keeps it original, though; the same joke day after day could get really old.