Sunday, January 6, 2013

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Trimet: A culture of exhaustion

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Riding the new 3000 series bus

Reddit readers not impressed with Shelly's response


I had a conversation with an 'insider' at Trimet that is very familiar with dispatch procedures and equipment.

This is a recap of the conversation I had.

The term used to describe the system is "disaster"
"They use 2 headsets, one on the left ear and one on the right ear!"
"They have 3 keyboards, 2 phone lines, 2 foot pedal systems"

At this point I was laughing hysterically at the thought of such a bizarre situation, especially since we are supposed to be so advanced technologically speaking.

They continued: "the system times out after two minutes and most operators are unaware of this. This system sucks"

"If they don't wear the two headsets they have to unplug from one system and plug into the other system. And if you don't plug in at the right time you lose everything!"

"the dispatchers are being driven insane and fighting with each other"
"Tactically they have not even been trained on it"
"they have been handed a bunch of papers and told to 'read that when you can'"!
"when you are out there on the road and call in with an emergency the dispatcher has to go through all these little clips to figure out how to talk to you"
"the crap doesn't even work, operators are on the line thinking that dispatchers have hung up on them"
"on the old system the dispatcher can over ride the operator and tell them to calm down whatever, but on the new system they can't do that".

I asked who the hell would purchase a system like that: "Dennis Van Dyke"

"when they purchased this equipment they didnt bother to take a dispatcher with them"

"the arrogance of these people is remarkable, its like the Woodlawn situation, Trimet could change the location of the bus layover there. Lets say there was a flood or something, Trimet would change the location of the layover in an instant. So all the stuff they tell the Woodlawn residents is bullshit!"

I'd like to add that I also had a conversation with a dispatcher I know this evening and he told me his physician has encouraged him to mark off work as his back is being injured by the configuration that he is forced to sit with.



Trimet and ATU 757 are locked in a battle over transparency at the negotiations. 
I have a solution to the problem.
Why not ban the public and the press but record the meetings and release the recordings of the meetings?
Problem solved right?
Let's move forward! This pissing contest has to stop!

Trimet runs on overtime

When I started at Trimet one of the things you had to endure was the 'line training' That's where you do a full time run with a 'line trainer' who is a full time operator.

 Make a long story short, some of those line trainers were good and some not so good. I got stuck with one of the 'not so good' line trainers that was a full 12 hours long. It started at 6am and ended at 6pm. On that day I almost quit Trimet. I had never in my life experienced what I thought was work related abuse. The line trainer made me drive almost the whole time and I was so miserable I almost walked right off the job right there.

 It was at that moment where I knew I would never be a full time operator at Trimess.  12 hours of driving a bus is not something a 'normal' human being would ever wish on themselves. I stayed part time at Trimet and it was a reasonably decent job up until the Mcfarlane regime took power and ruined what was left of our work environment.

Portland Transit Lane has done some research which shows us how much work is expected of Trimet full time bus drivers. Of course there will be  high sickout rate  when the rigors of holding such a job require such huge personal sacrifice. The lifestyle involved in being a full time bus operator at Trimet is downright horrendous in my opinion. Transit needs a complete overhaul in it's structure.  Transit will continue failing as long as it follows this failed structure. Not only is the current structure expensive but it leads to many hours off the job due to work related sicknesses.

 Trimet – Overtime For the Wicked