Thursday, February 14, 2008

Overheard on the Train

Overheard in a Downtown Lexington Ave. local, quite possibly the most crowded train in the MTA. Even Tennesse Williams took notes of conversations in bars.

"My labor union extorts money from me. I pay $5 a month. It's not much really when you figure in health benefits, arbitration, and periodical contract negotiations for 8,000 paying members. What irks me though are perks given to the representatives. Personally I go to college outside the job description of my trade. But for a second time in a year, representatives will mess around with your personal life, in my case school, just because they can. High ranking supervisors get sent to school for free in distinguished institutions. But if you're a lower echelon minority, basically, you get held back. As a matter of fact, I don't ever get to work all aspects of what the company trained me for. I'm stuck with the same thing each shift. I am assigned to be atrophied. It's the truth. I'm trying to improve myself out of my own pocket, going to college on my own time. I get my own representatives harassing me off duty. I work shifts anytime when it doesn't conflict with college that is only twice a week, out of the 14 possible shifts. Eighty five percent of the time is pretty good. Guys go on cruises, trips to casinos, boys night out and sports leagues. I tolerate and play along with covering for people too drunk to work. All I'm asking is that I be respected for pursuing a college education on my own time, out of my own pocket. When you are a minority, you are obligated to lick boots. You are expected not to have your own life and privacy outside work. It's a double standard. If you're high up in the ranks, they'll put your name in the paper- he's being educated for free at a prestigious college as part of his assignment. Another one- he gets to stay in a spot where he can make more overtime to pad his retirement, even though he's broken regulations. Am I an agitator for pursuing education? I am treated as an outsider. Should I just rack up a gambling debt, be a drunk & remain uneducated? The last time this happened, I got stuck with a modified assignment and my GPA suffered due to stress and doubled commute time making me miss a couple of classes. This time, where am I going with this? EEO? Wagner Act? Why do I have to cover for drunks, representatives that harass me off duty & people who have double standards?"

"You know what, I used to show up at job sites with my card but there was no work. I've quit over the supervisor throwing money on the floor for me to pick up and buy coffee with. I'd much rather go to school on my own too."

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