Friday, November 21, 2008

MBTA Drivers Drunk or High On the Job

I'm pretty angry at what I learned from this story about how two T drivers involved in recent separate collisions tested positive for drugs or alcohol.

Allow me to stand on my soap box for a bit.

No, I am not holier than thou.

But, I don't do drugs.

My job is a desk job. I'm in front of a computer or in meetings for most of the day.

Unlike train operators, I don't make life or death decisions affecting the well-being and health of others. Even without the risk of killing others while working, it wouldn't even occur to me to drink before heading to or while at work.

I should be thankful enough that a company has elected to employ me for my abilities and contributions to its business, that I have the decency not to impair my ability to perform my job well while on the clock.

I hope those affected in these crashed pursue legal action against the drivers and the MBTA. I don't care that the T is bankrupt and that this would raise fares for me even more.

When I ride the T or the bus, I don't expect to be harmed or, worse yet, die on the way to my destination. I expect that the vehicle operators are well-trained and without physical abilities or cognitive judgment impaired by drugs or alcohol.

But, maybe that's too much to ask.

No excuse in the world is good enough to explain this away. The MBTA needs to be testing its workers far more frequently. As patrons of the service and residents of the Boston metro area, we should demand it.

Anyone found under the influence should be suspended without pay, and/or fired.

Why can't people take more personal responsibility for their actions, especially when they directly affect the safety and well-being of others.


Anonymous said...

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Unions: The Folks Who Brought You the Weekend." I bet that's true (or at least it sounds good), but they've also brought us those drugged-up public transit operators...because [unions] make it nearly impossible to fire these problem employees.

Anonymous said...

You should write a letter and get them fired!


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, they should definitely be suspended without pay. I just hate people with poor work ethic, and they should take their job seriously.

eileen said...

Change of subject- did you see the article on about the Southie turkey? You're quoted!

Jason said...

Eileen, I hadn't seen that! Thanks for alerting me :)

Nathan said...

Don't overstate the importance of the guy who tested between 0.02% and 0.08%. He wasn't driving and had a decidedly secondary role in the train's operation, and wasn't even in a position where he could have seen the person crossing the tracks.

Similarly, don't understate the insult level of having to piss in a cup before work.

Jason said...

Nathan, in all due respect, I don't understand why someone would be on duty as an employee of the MBTA with a BAC between .02% and .08%. I don't care what their job is. You shouldn't drink while (or before) working.

I don't drink when someone is paying me to do my job, and I expect the same of others, especially if my tax dollars and paid fares foot their paychecks.