ratpag Talks Career-Killing (Something We’re Very Familiar With)

This could be you.

This could be you.

ratpag’s New Jersey correspondent doesn’t want you to live in a fantasy world where you blame your problems on everybody else [Editor’s note:  fantasy?].  Chances are, you’re doing something wrong [editor’s note:  that sounds like something you would say] .  Our friends at the BBC pulled together a list of things you are probably doing that will kill your career. Building off the BBC’s suggestions, your correspondent presents four characteristics that will hurt your career and will also hurt a rail-and-transit system.

1.  Producing well below expectations:

If you don’t meet expectations, your career may suffer.  Expectations aren’t met when the traveling public cannot use part of transportation system.  For example, in Boston, travelers expected to be able to use the Old Northern Avenue Bridge, however, it was closed due to “deterioration beyond repair.”

It’s nicer when expectations are exceeded.  The District of Columbia has had a great year for bicycle commuting, with about four percent of workers travelers to the office using this mode.  And, out in California, expectations have been exceeded in multiple modes of transport:  Amtrak had record ridership over the Thanksgiving weekend, and California highways have had the biggest annual increase in traffic in over 10 years!

2.  Being stagnant, and refusing to change:

Refusing to change can be detrimental to your career.  Jobs change and workers need to adapt to the new job.  Unfortunately, some politicians are resistant to change – like Governors Cuomo and Christie, who vetoed reforms of the Port Authority. And, of course, sometimes politicians recommend changes that aren’t a good idea, like the proposal to shut down overnight PATH train service.

Luckily, Amtrak has not been resistant to change.  They’re adding new service through Vermont and northern Massachusetts, and they’re adding more connections for passengers in the mid-west.  Sometimes new ideas are just returning to old ideas – and Amtrak is doing that, too, by resuming normal service on its Empire Builder line.

3.  Acting illegally:

Breaking the law is usually not good for your career.  For example, out in Ohio the supreme court ruled that municipal authorities do have the legal authority to use cameras to enforce traffic rules.

Sometimes transportation agencies try to change the law and regulations so that previously illegal activity is now legal.  Freight railroads are trying to do that, as they seek to change the regulations and allow for trains to be operated with one-person crews, rather than the normal two-person crews in use today.  In Minnesota, politicians are debating possible changes in the tax laws as a way to finance transportation improvements.

4.  Communicating poorly:

Poor communication in the office can kill your job.  Sometimes, in the rail-and-transit world, transportation agencies try to control the story and stop bad news from being published.  Oil transporting railroads cannot be happy that negative coverage is showing the danger of their trains.

On the other hand, the USDOT is trying to communicate more openly, using BuzzFeed to broadcast their message.

So how does this all relate to you, dear reader?  ratpag can tell that you have been communicating poorly.  How?  ratpag has readership statistics, you know, and we can see that they have remained stagnant (see point #2) ever since our miraculous return.  This is causing ratpag to produce below expectations (point #1) and will likely result in our acting illegally (point #3), at some point in the near future, to drum up readership.  This is all your fault, dear reader.  All your fault!

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