Yesterday I was on an Orange Line train going toward Vienna, sitting in the back of the train with my bike. Behind me, shut in the rear cockpit, I could see a Metro employee sitting behind the controls, seemingly asleep.
This was the rear of the train, so the only thing that I found disturbing was how amazingly oblivious this guy was to PR. Operator error almost certainly didn’t cause last month’s Red Line crash, but this seems like a freaking awful time to get caught sleeping on the job.
That said, what would have happened had I taken a cell-phone video of the guy and e-mailed it to Fox 5 or some other arbiter of outrage? For all I know, the guy wasn’t actually asleep but deeply bored, to the point of catatonia. He snapped right up at West Falls Church and exited briskly, even saying hey to me as I wiggled my bike out of his way. I can’t think of the last time a Metro employee acknowledged me without me forcing them to. So maybe he’s not as bad at PR as I initially thought.