For people who are either employed or know someone who is by the MTA could tell you how the agency tends to look for the slightest reason to bully or terminate their employees. So to no one’s surprise comes the story of a subway conductor who is being forced to choose between using the restroom out of a necessity versus keeping his job. NY1 transit reporter Bobby Cuza has the story:
For subway conductor James Mitchell, it all started on a downtown R train some nine years ago. He says he needed to use the bathroom, so he held the train at the City Hall station, and used the facilities in a dispatcher’s office.
He said it took no more than four minutes, but he soon had two disciplinary claims filed against him – neither one for the brief stop.
“The Transit Authority cannot discipline an employee for using the bathroom, so what they do, they manufacture a rule violation,” said Mitchell.
While those charges were dropped, it was not the end of his trouble. Mitchell was diagnosed with irritable bowl syndrome, and over the past nine years, he’s stopped his train several times to use the bathroom.
Click here for the complete text & video report.
This comes as no surprise to me considering who we are dealing with here. I’ve seen it first hand how the MTA likes to try & drum up charges against their employees in an attempt to bully or terminate them. I can recall a number of incidents involving my father who is an almost 30 year veteran of driving buses for the MTA. From what I notice, they tend to give more trouble to veterans than others with less seniority. I feel this comes from the agency’s attempt to hire younger workers who will take the abuse as compared to veteran’s who know their rights.
While I can understand a case being made for riders not having to wait for a restroom visit, I will side with human nature. Does one really think that Mr. Mitchell wants to cause even a slight delay because of his need to use the restroom? The answer is obviously no & if he could control it he would but sometimes that decision is out of our hands. I feel his lawyer makes an excellent point as your typical rider shenanigans like door holding will lead to more delays than a rare bathroom visit.
Stories like this just further hammer home why I am glad I did not follow in my father & grandfather’s footsteps in working as a bus driver or for the MTA overall.
xoxo Transit Blogger