more from a happy Metro “customer”

5 July, 2006

Hey, I only now saw I’m mentioned in Express again. (Link is to PDF, beware long load time.)  For the record, I only object to the term in that one announcement. Of course we’re customers; we spend money, we want services, etc. etc. While riding, though, we are passengers or riders…right?  As the first Express commenter illustrated, it particularly grates on commuters, who hear it every damn day and so have opportunities galore to ponder its weirdness.  (Also, many of us regulars are less “customer”y than average because of TranShare benefits.)
I love Metro. It’s a great system. Period.  People who seriously bitch about it should try commuting in some other cities for a while and see how good they have it here, what with the air conditioning, and the working escalators, and the 100% of stations being accessible, and the going to almost everywhere you need, and the bike-allowing, and the spic-and-span cars and stations, and the reliable posted arrival times.  (And for many of you, the TranShare.)  Change the announcement (word it more succinctly while you’re at it), put up “walk left stand right” and “don’t block the box” signs, and stop taking bigoted ads, and my love for Metro will be complete. (With more visual art in the stations, train arrival times outside, and bus arrival times inside, it’ll be unconditional. And if you put complete Red Line direction information between the downstairs platform’s up escalators in Gallery Place and Metro Center….well, I might not be able to control myself.)

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5 Responses to “more from a happy Metro “customer””

  1. KCinDC Says:

    Hey, better “customers” than “guests”, which a lot of places have started using. It isn’t so bad with hotels, I guess, since they been using “guest” for a while. But with anyone else (a restaurant, for example), I wonder why I’m paying them money if I’m a guest.

    And why does your form ask for an “e-Maile-Mail”?

  2. techne Says:

    I’m torn; on the one hand reminding everyone that they are partaking in a financial transaction can be a good idea. On the other hand, stop reminding me that I’m taking part in a financial transaction. 🙂

    No idea about the form. I will take it up with wordpress.com. thanks for the heads up!

  3. Alex Says:

    The use of the term “customers” is intended to convey a service-oriented atmosphere. But it’s silly, because the only service we really expect from Metro is to get from Point A to Point B in speed and safety. We don’t want to be fawned over or marketed to. Just get us there, please. And if another “customer” is slowing us down by blocking the door, then the service industry’s mantra, “the customer is always right,” most definitely does not apply. Just close the door on his leg and get a move on.

  4. Nancy Kirk Says:

    Iirc, customers began back in the early 90s when the head of reinventing government, Elaine Kamarck, began to use it as a way for government workers to understand that the government was there to serve citizens, not to harrass them or make their lives miserable.

  5. Alex Says:

    that’s an interesting bit of history, and it makes sense. But people are fundamentally mistaken if they think the so-called service industry is any less abusive to its customers than government, when it feels it needs to be!


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