Although I didn't resolve to stop complaining this year (I refuse to deprive myself of my favorite pastime), I still think it would be nice to start 2011 off with an uncharacteristic rave about one of my favorite things to rant about: the CTA.
Waiting for the train at the Quincy/Wells station yesterday, I witnessed something in the flesh that I thought only existed in the delusions of CEOs and fabrications of press releases: customer service. I have seen customer service "emergency" buttons, but after mistaking them more than twice for heater and elevator buttons, I've concluded that they're just there for decoration. I've also seen customer service windows, but they're usually in front of empty chairs and covered with signs that say things like, "NO CHANGE PROVIDED."
I could go on ... but this post is positive. Yesterday I saw with my own eyes what I believe to have been a customer service representative... or at least a CTA employee providing a service to customers!
In an attempt to escape for a few minutes the misery to which we've condemned ourselves for 3 to 4 months by signing a lease or purchasing property in Chicago, commuters such as myself tend to wait for their train inside rather than freeze to near death on the platform. This can be quite a risk at stations that service multiple lines, however. Someone with her head in a very interesting book about Elizabeth the First that reveals just how laughable the nickname "Virgin Queen" was, for example, might not notice her train approaching and miss her chance to get through the door first and snag a seat - or miss her train entirely.
But yesterday this fine gentleman bearing a CTA badge took it upon himself to call out the trains as they were approaching. So I want to say thank you, CTA, for hiring and keeping an employee gruntled enough to add a bit of cheer to my commute - and New Year.