Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Critical Concerns and CRUDD

Have you noticed the uniforms the Long Island Rail Road Conductors wear? They're not flattering and they look uncomfortable. The Engineers who drive the trains, however, wear whatever they want. A TTIV reader was curious about the inconsistency, and wrote a letter to the LIRR Public Relations Department, or as I call it, the Committee Responsible for Useless Data Dissemination (CRUDD). 

The CRUDD's response was weak. I think the TTIV reader exposed a security risk.

Let's review why the TTIV reader contacted CRUDD. We live in a post 9/11 world, and the MTA uses a catchphrase, "If you see something, say something." Under this mindset, the TTIV reader observed a man in street clothes enter the Engineer's booth.

Was he the train operator? Was he dangerous? Tough to say. Still, there he went, into the control room, and drove a 4000-ton train. Can you see why the TTIV reader was concerned enough to write a letter to CRUDD? He received the response below.

LIRR Conductors and Assistant Conductors are required to wear uniforms, because of their regular contact with our customers. LIRR Locomotive Engineers, who operate the trains, have little face-to-face contact with customers and are not required to wear uniforms. 

The LIRR is committed to protecting the safety of its customers and the general public and we will share your suggestion with appropriate personnel. We appreciate your taking the time to share your feedback with us. 

S. McGowan
LIRR Public Affairs Department

A bus driver in uniform
That's a tepid response, in my view. I don't have much faith in "appropriate personnel" seeing the suggestion.

To be fair, a uniform is no deterrent to someone bent on destruction, but it might foster a greater sense of order and well being for commuters. Besides, bus drivers wear uniforms. Airplane pilots wear uniforms. Boat captains wear uniforms. Why not train engineers?

A boat captain in uniform
Reality check: The Engineers Union would fight any effort to put uniforms on their constituents. It's not going to happen.

Sorry to throw more worries on you. Stay vigilant, fellow commuters. If you want to say something, contact the CRUDD. They're standing by, ready to share your concerns with appropriate personnel like Waldo Wastebasket and Tricia Trashcan.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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  1. Personally, I want to see more epaulettes.

    1. Perhaps big furry hats, like the guards at Buckingham Palace wear.