One way to snarkily write this post would be to sum up Metro’s service in sweltering weather with one word: Poor.
But in reality, just like every operation, Metro is filled with both good and bad/terrible/useless employees. Consider today’s rush-hour ride.
Boarding an Orange Line train at Shadium-Armory, I entered the fourth car to the familiar heat index of pea soup. Unbearable, as was the next car. The second car was comparably tolerable. But that didn’t stop my youngin’ passengers from complaining about the heat intensely. And truly, it was still hot on this car even though the AC was working; it wasn’t on the other cars I abandoned.
A Metro worker, on his way to close down one of the inferno cars, told the teens “if you don’t like it on this car, go to another one.” An interesting philosophy, considering within a stop or two every single car on the train was packed to the gills because two of the cars were isolated from passengers — thanks goodness, becuase someone would die in that environment after about an hour. There was nowhere to go, but this worker still felt it was appropriate to take out the frustrations of his tough work day on his passengers. Whack move dude.
Contrast that with the driver of the train, who had to deal with people blocking the doors at every stop due to crowding, not to mention hundreds of sweltering, temperaturemental (ya like that?) passengers. He just calmly kept explaining what passengers could do to help their own situation: Stay clear of the doors — a door malfunction is in no one’s best interest; if there is no room on the train, there is another train a few minutes behind.
I was listening for it — that resigned sense of annoyance that many public employees let loose when circumstances slip from their control. I got none of that from the driver, but plenty from the maintenance worker. It’s hard to stay cool when it’s so hot, but it makes a huge difference.