Friday, March 27, 2015

Fixing What Isn't Broken

Exhibit A: Man in yellow safety vest directs traffic
while three managers supervise
Back in September 2014, it suddenly became difficult to get to the Hicksville parking facility during morning rush. Why? A man in a safety vest was directing traffic into the lot. Rather than improving traffic flow, he made things much worse.

I was incensed by such an egregious waste of tax dollars, and wrote this linked post in frustration.

I have updates to share. The man in the vest is still directing cars into the garage, the traffic is still unnecessarily awful, and it's dangerous.

Chuck E. Cheese
Source: Chuck E. Cheese
Exhibit A shows what I saw back in September. Three guys in ties watched the man in the vest intently. Today, those executives are no longer onsite. Presumably, they're now monitoring traffic patterns at other high volume traffic locations, like Chuck E. Cheese and The Yarn Barn.

I predict that a decision-maker will eventually realize that the traffic cop role is unnecessary. Unfortunately, I also predict that it will take a two-year, taxpayer-funded study to confirm this. Since he's going to be with us for a while, I've given the man in the yellow vest the name "Edgar Wrentilkoppe."

So, Edgar continues to direct traffic. I rarely use the facility anymore, but sometimes when I have additional time in the morning, I park there. Last week, my car was first in line coming from one direction while cars were entering from the other direction. If you look at Exhibit B, you'll see that I had a front row view of Edgar. To my amusement, or perhaps bemusement, he stood there, rotating his arm like a windmill, a gesture meant to signal the drivers coming from the other direction to proceed. As he was doing this, he was staring at his phone.

The man directing traffic was not paying attention to the traffic.

Exhibit B: Directing traffic while looking at phone
What would the guys in ties say about this? I'd ask them, but they're deep in a taxpayer-funded study about improving traffic patterns in the local cemetery.

That's not the end of the story. Edgar cleared a Candy Crush Saga level, and looked up to see the cars coming from my direction were backed up 8.29 miles. He then signaled to me, the first in line, to proceed.

Just at that moment, as I was about to make the left turn, a pedestrian made his way across the street, and I had to wait for him to cross. See Exhibit C. Edgar, in his highly attuned and aware state, looked at me and yelled, gesturing for me to move. With my windows closed, I could hear him. I opened my window and shouted, "do you see the pedestrian?" Edgar shouted back, "WE'VE GOT TO KEEP THE TRAFFIC MOVING!" Safety is Edgar's #2 priority. His number #1 priority is matching three lemon drops without setting off bombs.

Exhibit C: Man crossing in front of me, singing a happy song
Edgar seems stressed out by his job, so I'm not going to berate him any further. If the guy in the tie is reading this, please send Edgar for traffic directing instruction.

As a peace offering, I'll buy Edgar a few Candy Crush Saga lives to make things right. He'd better use them carefully though, because if I get an invitation to play that stupid game I'm gonna run him over next time I park there.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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  1. Why does the pedestrian look like Walter White?

    1. that's the reason I stopped and let him go. I wouldn't want to tangle with Mr. White, would you?

  2. This is absolutely amazing! And Edgar is still out there every Mon-Thurs 'mis'directing traffic into the full garage. For some reason he has Friday's off...

    1. Yes I've noticed that he's off on Fridays, i guess his job is pretty stressful and he needs recuperation time.

    2. If you stand there watching him long enough, he eventually gets so angry at the cars he starts running after them as they drive in and almost hits them with his orange baton. I'm sure he's a very nice person though, just some anger issues.

      Maybe we can divert his salary into building more parking at Hicksville so if I want to take an 8am train I do not have to arrive 30 min early. He must be making at least 6 digits, right?

    3. Excellent idea! Hopefully the two year study they do to address the issue of his uselessness yields this same finding.