Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Muggy Morning Commute

Belch! It was muggy this morning. Plus, when I arrived to the office, our AC wasn't on. So it was 83 degrees. Egad! Double-double muggy.

This morning's commute was fine. The P508 has been running a few minutes early of late, so it behoves people (and when I say people, I mean me) to be at the station early as well. The train arrived to Grafton at 7:07 a.m. and we arrived at South Station at 8:19 a.m.

If you work for the MBTA, decide to skim some funds and get caught, what happens? Well, if you're Gilberto Carrasquillo, you get fired. Read all about it in today's Boston Herald. Carrasquillo, who worked for the T for 22 years, admitted that he had stolen funds from the T at least 4 other times.

The Herald also ran a great editorial about the T this morning titled MBTA passengers taken for a ride. It is all about the T's 9% raise to managers, the T's debt, and other ongoing issues.
But MBTA riders who are trying to get by without raises at all in this dismal economy won’t see it that way. And neither do we.
The Herald isn't all brawl in the editorial either. They acknowledge that the employees who are receiving the raises haven't received a raise since 2005 and they will be paying more for their health care insurance deductibles. Yet the editorial staff made this point too:
But with $8 billion in debt, the possibility of a massive fare hike looming and no money on hand to meet its ever-growing obligations, the MBTA quite simply can’t afford to engage in a practice just because it’s always been that way. No one can!
In other T news, CNet published a nice article about Zack Anderson, one of the MIT students currently involved with the "hacking" issue. Zack is obviously super-smart and has big plans for his future. Good luck to Zack and the other students involved in this messy affair.

Finally, Inside Higher Ed weighed in on 4-day workweeks. A number of colleges, especially community colleges, are experimenting with 4-day workweeks, which directly impact students. I could see this model working for community colleges, but I would think it would be tougher for residential colleges to implement.

1 comment:

AJ said...

You know, I was actually going to play Devil's Advocate a bit the other day with this whole raise thing. I did wonder how long it had been since these managers had received a raise. Having now found out, I still have mixed feelings but definitely lean towards dishing out raises is ridiculous.

I do believe that not having a raise since 2005 is a long stretch. I also feel that a 9% raise at that point is mediocre because the cost of living on average has gone up 4.7% in the last year alone.

However, these are standards I hold for standard businesses. The MBTA is far from standard or profit based. You can't compare the 2 because had my company been run like that not only would there be NO raises, there would also be no company. It would have gone belly-up long ago. I also have very little sympathy for people over 100K per year not getting a raise for 3 years (although I'm pretty sure if I made over 100K I would feel differently). I'm also assuming these are the high-end people who directly affect day-to-day operations and have gotten the T into this situation. That warrants a raise?

In the end, I still don't feel for a company with so many problems the thing to do is reward past behavior. That's essentially what this is. Most people get raises based on performance, and this team has done nothing to steer this ship in the right direction! If there were a light at the end of this tunnel, or the T had just unveiled some radical new plan that would bail them out without resulting a ridiculous fare increase (some increase is to be expected), then perhaps this move wouldn't be so scrutinized and even then not acceptable but maybe tolerable.