Here’s a fun exercise in corporate management.
Say you’re the MTA president. (Uh, don’t actually say it, duh.) Since everyone’s about
trimming slashing costs these days, let’s see how many places in the following anecdote you can find an opportunity to save the railroad–and, in effect, your customers–a bit of money.
I received a letter from the MTA the other day. Perhaps you did too. It was dated November 4. It was printed on heavy-stock stationery with ‘Howard Permut President’ and ‘MTA Metro-North Railroad’ emblazoned in blue ink.
As I said, it was mailed to me, as in the post office and the guy in the blue shorts and pith helmet who comes to my door. (Am I the only one envisioning Unfrozen Caveman MTA Chief? “Your modern ’emails’ confuse me. Hearing of your ”Information Superhighway’ makes me anxious.”
The letter informed me my “prompt action may be required to spare [me] inconvenience.” Turns out the MTA’s records indicated that I may not be taking enough out of my paycheck to cover my monthly Mail & Ride costs, and “could have an interruption in service.”
The letter told me to check with HR to see if I needed to pay outstanding balances, increase my withholdings, or provide a second form of payment.
Mildly concerned as I envisioned nasty spats with conductors, I contacted HR. They told me to contact Metro-North to see if this was related to a fare increase. I tried the Metro-North number on my letter, but got nothing but busy signals after several tries.
When I finally got through some time later, a man brusquely asked for my Mail & Ride ID number (“Bottom left corner of your monthly pass!”). I gave it to him.
He said, “Your account is fine–you can disregard the letter.”
I then asked why I received the letter in the first place.
“We sent them to everybody,” came the response.
There you have it.
Surprised by how often your fares go up?