CTA At Work… Not

On Saturday morning I was out meeting some friends for lunch and we walked by Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a housewarming gift. Out front of the building at State and Grand was a CTA truck parked halfway up on the sidewalk, with its usual lack of respect for the city or pedestrians.

And why barge up on the curb and park your truck? To take a nap, of course. This hard at work CTA employee was sleeping on the bench in the Bed Bath and Beyond lobby… it wasn’t just a quick nap, either – he was down there when we went upstairs, selected our gift, paid for it, and came back down. In this picture you can see the reflection of his truck on the corner – usually the glare from store glass hurts the photo but in this rare case it worked in my favor.

Cross Posted at LITGM

11 thoughts on “CTA At Work… Not”

  1. Such dedication! Obviously this brave man worked through the night on urgent CTA repairs and needed a brief respite before resuming his thankless labors. But the cruel Rethuglican neocons who run the city repossessed his home during the Reagan tax cuts. Now, rather than depart for sunnier and friendlier climes, he soldiers selflessly on, taking rest wherever he can find it. Er. .. Anyway, I don’t know where you wingnuts find the nerve to criticize this noble representative of the urban proletariat.

  2. Chicago has nothing on Boston. Naps? Our MBTA guys have yearlong comas on the job. They don’t pull the plug when they flatline – they promote them to management.

  3. I have lived in a number of different places in Connecticut and have noticed a pattern of mail trucks (cars) pulling into parking lots, or available places, to give the delivery person time to read newspapers and magazines he or she is to deliver. Sometimes I will spot three to four mailfolks lined up and doing this. I assume that mail delivery people are perhaps the best read people in America.

  4. I worked as a temp delivering internal mail for MA state government many, many years ago. I was constantly criticized for working too fast, doing too much. It puzzled me for quite a while. I eventually came to believe that governments have such dysfunctional feedback systems that the napping behavior is actually rational in a sick twisted manner.

    On heavy work days, the trucks need the full time they’re given to get the job done. On light days/weeks/months/seasons, workers coop in parking lots and elsewhere as well as slow walking all the work so that it looks like layoffs are not justified. They know that if they are efficient they get the shaft as layoffs rip through the department in slow seasons while temporary hiring is not sufficient to work well in the peak.

    The cure, of course, is to adopt better management so that you can rationally use employees without all this waste. But there traditionally are no real incentives to do it. Power is measured by headcount in the bureaucracies. Why reduce your power position as a manager without gaining any commensurate recompense?

  5. A good question on city hall… I did send them to the CTA Tattler with no response, although they did pick up my photos before. Maybe they are sympathizing with the CTA now that they are so downtrodden. I will try RedEye, the Chicago tabloid.

  6. I work in the dept. that has van 521 in it and the person “WORKING” on that bench is not employed in this dept.
    Just because you have pictures of them together does not mean they go together. Nice try though.

  7. Uh… the van in the picture is 501.

    What are you implying, that I doctored the photo or something? Are you saying that an abandoned CTA van and a guy sleeping 10 feet from the van is somehow disconnected?

    Are you an idiot?

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