I spent a charming 40 extra minutes on this evening commute, mulling over the steaming big pile of FAIL that is the MBTA (officially, the Mass Bay Transport Authority, for those of you outside the Boston area). Because, you know, the day before Thanksgiving is the perfect time to have trains break down and buses not show up. Everyone is slacking off and leaving work early… why not the MBTA?
Anyhow, I decided after hearing for the millionth time the every 2-minute reminders to be paranoid and report anything suspicious from MBTA head Daniel Grabauskas, that I realized how I could pitch in and help make the T better. I could rewrite Mr. Grabauskas’s announcement to inject a little truth…
“Hi, I’m Dan Grabauskas, General Manager of the MBTA Our top priority here at the T is covering our asses. To that end, we’re going to remind you every two minutes or less that you are expected to remain paranoid. We’re hoping that keeping you in a state of heightened anxiety will take your mind off of how frequently our trains break down, buses and stations catch fire, and how our customer satisfaction in a steady decline while our fares increase. So, please continue reporting every sinister lite bright and harpsichordist trying to catch a flight to us, so we can properly be seen as doing something. That way, if a real terrorist ever does strike, we can claim it was your fault for not reporting him. Have a safe trip, if the T is actually running… I wouldn’t know, I’m in Thailand.”
Or, maybe Dan could just cut out the verbiage and just chant “fnord” over and over.
You’re welcome, Dan.
Dan Grabauskas may be one of the bravest men alive in the Metro Boston area. If I were General Manager of the MBTA, I wouldn’t want anyone knowing my name. That he broadcasts it so often that it can’t help but burrow into the brains of countless disgruntled MBTA patrons is a tremendous act of courage in my book.
Of course, sometimes I use the word “brave” to mean “stupid.”
There are two things that grate on my nerves in his announcement. First, the big ol’ dangling modifier “As our eyes and ears in the system, we appreciate the assistance of our customers …” Second, the utter ignorance of the people who do the scrolling marquee text to the concept of a bad break. Every time I see the “suspicious” stack my production editor brain has a petit mal seizure.
WARNING MBTA SECURITY PERSONNEL: SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER HARBORING ANTI-T THOUGHTS THAT MAY LEAD TO BLOG POSTING. LOCATION: RED LINE EN ROUTE ALEWIFE. MAY BE CARRYING SMALL LINUX BOX. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.