My apologies for the poor grammar and spelling. I am not traveling with a computer.
Being part of such a shitty agency that there is a need to have bulletproof glass between you and the customer? Welcome to the New York MTA! These agents don’t have any high market value items that need to be protected from the honest people. No, these agents were given policies that are so infuriating to the customers that use the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s products, that customers have historically been prone to violence against these agents who are just above parking enforcement on the scale of “I love my job” to “I would rather jump in front of a train rather than work for the agency that runs said train”
My card de-magnetized. It happens. The more that we need to fill our wallets and pockets with electronic devices, the more this is going to happen. In most normal scenarios, when you purchase a product, and it stops working the day you purchase the product, a customer service agent will help you by providing a product that works, given proof of purchase. Not the MTA! Oh, they have agents everywhere! Hiding behind bulletproof glass and providing every customer with the same bevy of useless phrases like, “I can’t do anything”, “there’s nothing I can do”, and “how do we know you purchased it?”
I purchased it with the card, that any company that has a point of sales system can verify the purchase. Not the MTA! I was told to call 511, but before I had to wait 15 minutes to be told the same exact useless phrases, I got to watch this MTA agent melt down.
“Hi. I purchased this card yesterday, and last night it de-magnetized” I said to the 3rd agent that day, “is there any way I can get it exchanged for a card that works?”
“You are asking me if the sky is blue!” This MTA agent was particularly sarcastic, jumping right into bullshit mode.
“I’m asking you if you can provide me with the product I purchased, with this credit card! See, I paid for a 7 day pass, and this is already day 2 of it not working.”
“Go through the gate.” This black, slightly heavyset gentleman, roughly about the same age as myself, apathetically replied.
“I would like a card that works. Is there any way you can use the credit card I paid with to just swap the card for one that works? I don’t want to be stuck at a station that doesn’t have an attendant.” I responded to his desire to sweep me under the rug, which seems to be an MTA policy.
“So you can’t fix the problem, great. What use are you? How can you not use this card” as I slid my credit card into the tiny slot just big enough to exchange cash, change or a card between the agent and myself, “because I dont understand how you can’t verify my purchase”
“Because it’s de-magnetized” the agent said, looking at me as though I’m speaking another language,
“So this 9 digit serial number on the back of this card is as useless as you are?”
“If you want a new card, you have to mail it in, and get a refund.”
“How does that solve my problem? How are they going to know when the card stopped working? Might they use THIS serial number?” And I pressed useless MTA pass against the glass.
“Call 511 or go through the gate” as he was getting as frustrated as I was.
“That doesn’t solve my problem, there aren’t attendants at all of the gates, what am I supposed to do then?” Had there not been bulletproof glass, our altercation may have turned to someone calling 911.
“Arrrhghhhhh, I hate my job!” He said with his hands covering his face, and looking up pleading to the deity of his choice.
“Maybe you wouldn’t hate it, if you weren’t an asshole!” Then I grabbed the envelope, and essentially told this guy he was a useless prick. I spent the next 20 minutes on the hold before being told the same flawed logic on the phone, “you will be reimbursed from the day of the post-marked stamp” this lady was much nicer, but drew similar conclusions.
“So, there is nothing you can do about the 3 days I will have lost?”
“You can print out the complaint form, or leave a note in the envelope stating your case”
“I don’t have access to a printer” or even a pen, as I am traveling light, and everything is digital except monolithic sloth-like agencies who all seem to be funded both by the public coffers, and the individual investment of the very same public.
My only option is to dispute with my credit card. But I have to wait days for the charge to post, and hope there isn’t some loophole that the MTA exploits to prevent people from buying the card and making spurious claims.
I completely understand the insecurity, people have been hopping turnstiles since they were created. I don’t understand how the MTA has such a terrible policy with regard to replacing a card. What I truly have trouble wrapping my head around is why this guy has this job, or any job. He wasn’t doing his job, when I asked my first question, his reply was, “is the sky blue?”
Well no, its fucking raining, so not from my angle!
Furthermore, if you have to have glass between you and the customer, you are not providing customer service. He might as well quit now, because automation is going to transfer the hatred into frustration with impersonal machines that skip the sarcasm and go straight to the “fuck you!” part of the transaction.
I felt bad for this guy. He was frustrated with stupid policies enacted by wealthy morons, and he is stuck on the front lines defending them. If you hate your job, why follow the rules? This is my biggest problem with inflexible employees. If you act robotic in your job, you might as well quit now, because your boss is in the interview process with someone who is going to replace you, a robot. There is no yearly salary for a robot. There is no healthcare, no human resources department, just an upfront fee, and years of maintenance free labor – until maintenance is required. These monoliths can’t see far ahead enough to solve their own transaction issues related to old technology, there isn’t a chance they recognize the maintenance issues beyond replacing humans.
You hate your job, your job hates you, you hate the, customers, and the customers hate you. Why are you there? Why is the glass there? Because these people were taught to act like robots, to groom the public into accepting a post-capitalist comfort with shit customer service. Bad service, with frustration and no answers is the rule, not the exception. It should be unacceptable, considering we pay in both taxes, and actual money for the service. The bulletproof glass is an example of de-humanizing service to the point where people accept its disappearance.