Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pride in a Job Well Done.

For many of us who work hard and are maybe a bit of a perfectionist, taking pride in a job well done is an important part of enjoying the chosen job/career. I have always prided myself on being on time, nose to the grind stone, getting things done within applied deadlines and doing whatever is necessary to make things happen. I have been a valued employee for many companies and when I resigned I have been offered many attractive incentives to change my mind.

Now that I am working for the TTC this has become a big thorn in my side. No matter how hard I try, I do not at the end of my shift feel proud or happy. I do not feel like I have accomplished the task handed to me properly or efficiently and sometimes even questioning the safety of my actions. I feel defeated, exhausted both mentally and physically. My ego is deflated and it leaves me questioning if there is something I am doing wrong.

This is huge for me. My pride is on the line. My pride that I am a hard worker, valued employee is being hacked away at everyday.

Why? Let me explain. The schedules that the TTC has for each line are approximately 15-20 years old. Many have not been changed to accommodate the implementation of Sunday shopping, increasing the demand on each line. Sunday never had a rush hour, until now. Many people work that day and still many others shop that day. The stores all close pretty much at the same time, so rush hour begins at around 6pm. The schedules remain the same. Meaning, back when there was no such thing as Sunday shopping, many people stayed home with family. Therefore there was no need to give the same amount of time to a run, to complete the route. Now of course, unless you speed or drive like a road raging maniac, you cannot complete the task handed to you and you feel defeated by the end of it. Of course you are getting it from the passengers when you show up late, you are getting it from CIS or from a fellow driver who has decided not to work and plays games. So where does that leave your pride in a job well done? The more time you lose, the more people that are angry at you, the more your pride is stomped on, the more sullen and frustrated you become. Then people wonder why many drivers seem to be so unhappy. We are unhappy because our company has handed us unrealistic expectations that we cannot possibly meet unless we do things like break the law and speed, risking our licenses and risking having someone get hurt.

This does not only apply to Sundays. The schedules they have for all routes have not changed in many many years. They have not taken into consideration the increase in ridership, the increase in traffic, the increase in problems like bus failure or passenger illness and other issues. They have not taken into consideration that many stores remain open longer now, making the rush hour extended until after 9m for passengers, not necessarily vehicular traffic. All these things effect ones ability to meet the schedules demands. We just cannot do it on many routes and this leaves us feeling, frustrated, defeated, exhausted, jumpy, short tempered, unhappy with ourselves. No it’s not your problem as a passenger, of course not. What is does is explain why we seem to be so unhappy at times. Those of us that do take pride in a job well done are starting to throw our hands up in the air in defeat. Yes, we have explained this. Yes we have made it known that the schedules are too tight and need to be re-examined. All have fallen on deaf ears. A very senior operator has informed me that this has been going on for many years. The TTC has continued to refuse to examine the issue and make the necessary changes.

So I have decided to go into work and drive within the law. I will always be late. There is no other way. I will not speed, that is breaking the law. I will not drive like a maniac. That will only end up with someone being hurt. I am done. I know I am a hard worker. I know I do my job to the best of my ability. I only wish that my Employer would make it so the expectations could be accomplished and they would stop trying to make me feel like I am dirt under their fingernails.

Diana (loves to drive, but lately not a bus)

Example: They only give me 30 minutes to do Lawrence from 7:30 pm until 1 am. Now this is going from Martingrove all the way to Yonge Street. Can you do it? Yes after 10pm most can, but in a big ole bus, stopping at every stop, waiting for loading and unloading at TWO stations. Do you still think you could?

So every trip from 7pm until 11 pm, I am getting shit on by passengers and being questioned by CIS. Yea I am glad to be going to work tomorrow. Can't wait to be yelled at, called names, questioned why I am late, over and over for 4 hours. Yippee!

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