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View Diary: Ask Not for whom the Toll Booth-taker toils, because soon they'll Toil, No More. (52 comments)

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  •  On a related note: (6+ / 0-)

    wise words from a real human being that actually knows what it takes to be a toll collector.:

    Don't lose human contact

    Thank you for printing "The buzz online about cutting bridge toll-takers." It was good to read the positive comments from our patrons.

    I am a retired toll collector and I can't help but be reminded of the various duties I performed while working on the Golden Gate Bridge, above and beyond receiving cash (including many pennies).

    Some which come to mind are:

    - Giving numerous people directions - sometimes the same person more than once.

    - Directing drivers of stuck recreational vehicles how to back out from a narrow lane into the wide lane.

    - Calling for assistance for medical emergencies.

    - Calling for assistance for possible suicide attempts.

    - Reporting potentially dangerous drivers approaching the bridge.

    - Reporting bomb threats.

    - Working with the highway patrol and other officers to close lanes for emergencies.

    - Dealing with incapacitated drivers.

    - Counseling distraught patrons was a given. I never delivered a baby, but I know a toll taker who did. I did offer condolences to the family who brought flowers to place where their loved one had lost her life.

    The list could go on and on, but I think those listed make the point that the loss of the toll collectors will have a serious impact.

    That being said, I'd also like to mention that one of the greatest losses, in my opinion, is there will be one more place that it won't be necessary to have human contact.

    The other day I went into my bank and as I was standing in line, the banker who helped me refinance my loan stood up from his desk and greeted me by name. It made my day.

    I was told, many times over the years I worked on the bridge, "You made my day!"

    Just having someone with whom to share the awesome beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge is sometimes enough to "make someone's day."

    I believe the bridge board has had to make some very difficult decisions and I don't pretend to know the answers. I just felt the need to speak on behalf of some wonderful workers.

    Shirley McGrath, SAN RAFAEL

    •  wow thank Marie (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, Catte Nappe, JeffW, DawnN

      there is more to Public Service,

      that just "making change."

      I wonder if "temp laborers" would be as "conscientious", and the career worker you cited ?

      I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
      -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by jamess on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:28:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems to me that before (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tinfoil Hat, jamess, DawnN

        the US economy converted to a service economy, there was more service, both public and private.  Shops with sales clerks that knew the customers, inventory, and could make change without a machine.  Gas stations that checked the oil, water, and washed the windows with a fill-up.  Meter readers.  Milkmen.  and on and on.  No wonder we we nicer back then and valued school teachers.

        •  I remember those days too. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, DawnN

          anymore "customer service"

          is little more than "phone jail"

          dropped calls, and basically "the run around".

          times sure have changed.

          Someday we'll learn to demand better.


          I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
          -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by jamess on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:54:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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