Idiot PS

I have no idea what the federal government was thinking when they permitted vast swaths of public servants to leave their offices early on Tuesday. Even though (according to DND) the decision to release staff was made division-by-division -- not even department-by-department -- dumping a load of passengers all at once on the transit system that expects those passengers to be

  • A) spread out over three hours with increased service levels 
  • B) without said service levels in play 
  • C) with heavy weather in play -- record-levels of snow as it turns out -- 
well there was no way that this was ever going to work well. The outcome -- public servants standing at bus stops for hours on end watching full buses parade past them-- was inevitable.

You couldn't release all the public servants at 3:30PM on a bright, normal, sunny day and not have similar levels of complaining and issues.

The only possible thing to do would have been -- nothing. Keep staff at their desks until the normal end of the day and have them trickle into the system as the express service ramps up. Yes, it still would be a long slog home with some people not getting in until 8 or 9PM at night, but at least their agony starts at 4:30 instead of 1:30.

What possible logic could there be for releasing all those people? A kind gesture to try to get people home on time? Evasion of some kind of liability? I can't even fathom it.

Once you've permitted morning rush hour to start, you are committed to the working day. There's no logistical way to shut the city down in mid-day and get people home. And declaring an emergency would do -- what? Taking the buses off the road when people need them the most would cause all kinds of new problems, with the weather making things worse. Remember the provincial power outage? Now picture that, with snow and wind and cold. People will get hurt trying to walk home on their own.

Now to be sure I bailed on my office at 2:30 when I observed some idiot getting his SUV stuck trying to get into our office parking lot. However once I dug myself out and helped said idiot a bit, it turned out he had a front-wheel-drive with all-seasons on it. The truck wasn't even getting hung up on anything, it just lacked any traction whatsoever. It was a good thing I did bail when I did, there was no way Jenn was getting the Yaris out of the driveway in time to pick up Alex. And having me there to circle while she caught Nathan made logistics better. It was still 90 minutes in the car, though, no thanks to other idiots who parked at the side of the road, causing grid lock.

But my decision to go was OK because I had my own car with me and wasn't trying to travel across the city. My transportation wasn't in the city's hands.