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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs


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Date: 10/02/19 22:37
Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: David.Curlee

I thought this might be amusing...






Date: 10/03/19 10:14
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Oh, my goodness!  Mr. Sayes' feelings were hurt!  

I wasn't aware that "snowflakes" existed way back in 1995.  Somebody needs to send him a stuffed teddy bear and a coloring book.  



Date: 10/03/19 18:33
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: ICE6A4001

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh, my goodness!  Mr. Sayes' feelings were
> hurt!  
>
> I wasn't aware that "snowflakes" existed way back
> in 1995.  Somebody needs to send him a stuffed
> teddy bear and a coloring book.  

Setting aside the need to write about this to the President of Amtrak do you find this to be acceptable behavior?

Posted from Android



Date: 10/03/19 18:37
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Railbaron

I agree with Mr. Sayes and his complaint. There is no excuse for a crewman on any train to "flip the bird" to someone for doing nothing more than taking photographs. I have seen this behavior myself and it shows how unprofessional some people are. 



Date: 10/04/19 01:21
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

ICE6A4001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Setting aside the need to write about this to the President of Amtrak . . .


Why should we set it aside?  The fact that this guy felt it was necessary to involve the President of Amtrak in this trvial matter only reinforces the absurdity of it all.  Is he really so thin-skinned that if someone "flips him the bird" he has to go to the top man at the Company to lodge a complaint?  Really?  REALLY?  And you're supportive of him in this?    

And railfans wonder why railroad employees don't always have a favorable opinion of them.   

> do you find this to be acceptable behavior?

I don't find it to be that big of a deal.  At some point has someone "flipped you the bird" in your life?  How did you deal with it?  If you're like most normal human beings, it probably bothered you for a minute or two and then you moved on with your life.    

If someone "flipped me the bird" I wouldn't feel compelled to write a letter to the head man of the Company.  The fact that it reached that level shows just how ridiculous all of this is.  And it shows that the guy is a too-sensitive snowflake.  He'd fit right in on a college campus where he could get "triggered" to the point of quitting college because something as egregious as sauce being served on the cafeteria food sent him over the edge.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/style/snowplow-parenting-scandal.html

Ever heard the saying  Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.?

Here's a variation of it:  Sticks and stones can break my bones but a guy "flipping me the bird" from thirty feet away will never hurt me.

https://youtu.be/ElU3NfyDPjg

The guy needs to (1.)  not be so sensitive and (2.)  get a life.  
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/19 02:00 by CA_Sou_MA_Agent.



Date: 10/04/19 01:34
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I agree with Mr. Sayes and his complaint. There is no excuse for a crewman on any train to "flip the bird" to someone for doing nothing more than taking photographs. I have seen this behavior myself and it shows how unprofessional some people are. 


So I guess that means that if you were "victimized" and "triggered" in this fashion, you, too, would be composing a complaint letter to the President of the Company?    Wow.   I guess this is what happens when people are too sensitive and have too much time on their hands.  So apropo for life in 2019.  Hopefully you're not one of these people who were so traumatized by the 2016 election that Kamala Harris has to act as a crisis intervention counselor.  

https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1176381729289818114



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/19 11:26 by CA_Sou_MA_Agent.



Date: 10/04/19 02:53
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: engineerinvirginia

No one but no one will ever live up to any one other's standards. I certainly don't expect anyone to approach my standards and I can't meet yours either.....but guess what? We are all the same lousy human beings. 



Date: 10/04/19 05:41
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Railbaron

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So I guess that means that if you were "victimized" and "triggered" in this fashion, you,
> too, would be composing a complaint letter to the President of the Company.    Wow.  ....


Did I at any point in my post say that? Go back and read it again and please point out exactly where I said that. 

I said I agree with Mr. Sayes opinion, period, and if he feels like writing a letter, more power to him. Personally, it's not a big enough thing for me to waste my time and postage to write such a letter; in the grand scheme of things it's barely a blip on the radar screen.

Oh, as a note, I have worked with people like this and I have said something about their childish behavior to them.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/19 05:45 by Railbaron.



Date: 10/04/19 06:28
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Englewood

What I find amusing is the cover sheet.  Poor Art McMahon has to spend time writing a letter for Downs to sign.
Downs is waiting to be advised of reaction.  Reaction from who?  The employees he is going to harass?
Having worked under Downs ( and exited partly because of his nonsense ) I think Tommy had bigger things he
should have been worried about.  

And the scribbled note about "customer relations".  The complainer traveled from Florida to California to take pictures of
trains.  It doesn't sound like he and his buddies were CUSTOMERS that actually rode an Amtrak train.  They are
like the steam fan leeches who never spend a dime to ride a fan trip but endlessly gripe over the lack 
of authenticity of a steam engine restoration. 

As for "flipping the bird", perhaps the crew member had been previously
turned into management for some other grievance, real or imagined, by a railfan.  After the posted letter he probably got
a bunch of grief from some Amtrak manager.  And then you wonder why some crew members take full advantage
of modern day security theatre to turn in every railfan they see on the property.

I remember as a young teenager a couple of us were taking pictures and the fireman on a freight train gave us 
the finger.  We had a big laugh when we got the developed pictures back. Growing up you realize that some
people like what you do and some people don't.  Deal with it and grow up.

And sometimes the person receiving the hand sign is so self absorbed that they don't realize it was not meant for them.
At one place I worked we had to stop a train for investigation because a Chicago police officer accused the conductor
of giving him the finger at a grade crossing.  You would have thought the conductor was hanging out the window
firing a pistol at the cop for all the grief it caused.  It turned out, and forward looking video proved, some a-hole pedestrian
had run across the tracks right in front of the train.  The conductor was leaning out of the cab yelling at the jerk and giving 
him the finger.  Overly self-important and overly sensitive PD thought he was the target.

One final thought on cab window etiquette.  Didn't we have a major flap on TO back in summer about how the engineer
of a certain steam engine presented a too friendly (and improperly clothed) appearance during his tour of the system?  Can't
please railfans.

Next can we have a discussion about those felon crew members who go around all day in 100 degree heat with the 
nose door open ruining our pictures on purpose? 

By the way, my grandson often waves at Southwest Airlines planes going over his house.  I have never seen a pilot wave back
or wag his wings back in a friendly response. Anyone on TO know who I should write to at Southwest to complain about this?

 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/19 09:02 by Englewood.



Date: 10/04/19 07:33
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Drknow

Englewood nails it. Nuff ced'.



Date: 10/04/19 08:29
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Waybiller

I've never had a train crew flip me off while taking pictures of their trains.  The vast majority of the time I get a wave.

However, I've been lucky enough to ride a number of private car moves behind Amtrak as well as office car specials.  Probably get flipped off by railfans about 10% of the time.



Date: 10/04/19 11:46
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did I at any point in my post say that? Go back and read it again and please point out exactly where I said that. 


You didn't say it but you implied it.   I just borrowed a chapter from Adam Schiff and did a parody of it.  ;<)

> I said I agree with Mr. Sayes opinion, period, and if he feels like writing a letter, more power to him. Personally, it's not a big enough thing for me to waste my time and postage to write such a letter; in the grand scheme of things it's barely a blip on the radar screen.

At least you and I are on the same page where we feel it would be a waste of time and postage to write such a complaint letter and that, in the grand scheme of things it's barely a blip on the radar screen.  It's actually kind of sad that Mr. Sayes felt a need to get as worked up over the situation as he did.  What did he expect Thomas Downs to do about it?  Doesn't he realize that Thomas Downs has bigger fish to fry?  Or does the whole world revolve around him and his hurt feelings?   

> Oh, as a note, I have worked with people like this and I have said something about their childish behavior to them.

Heck, this is nothing.  A few decades ago there was a trainman on the U.P. in Los Angeles who went to an adult book / novelty store and bought a piece of rubber that was about three feet long and in the shape of a certain section of the male anatomy.  When his train was rumbling down the San Pedro Sub, he would get out on the back platform of the caboose and have this object dangling from the open zipper of his pants as the train was moving slowly over the numerous grade crossings.  He'd shake it a few times just for good effect.  Needless to say, some offended motorists called the railroad and he was in quite a bit of hot water.  I can't recall if he had to do some time on the ground for it or not. 

In the grand scheme of things, Mr. Sayes being "flipped the bird" was probably much less traumatic!  
  



Date: 10/06/19 06:39
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Juniata

Hell; I’d have just given him “the bird” right back. Geez!

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/06/19 06:55
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: ns2557

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ICE6A4001 Wrote:

> I don't find it to be that big of a deal.  At
> some point has someone "flipped you the bird" in
> your life?  How did you deal with it?  If you're
> like most normal human beings, it probably
> bothered you for a minute or two and then you
> moved on with your life.    


> The guy needs to (1.)  not be so sensitive and
> (2.)  get a life.  
 
Almost an everyday occurance anymore. For me at least, not a big deal.  My response to anyone doing this towards me, esp if I see it is "To blow them a kiss", if that's what they want to do. That really throws them for a loop. Most of the time it really gets them going, but by then, I am not anywhere close and recovering from the "look" on their face when I do this.  Ben



Date: 10/10/19 21:33
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: junctiontower

I just have this to say.  In all my years of train watching, I have never been flipped off or anything of the sort, and if it DID happen, I wouldn't even bother to mention it here or anywhere else, let alone write a letter. It takes a LOT more than that to hurt my feelings.    BUT, I will also say this;  When you are on the clock, you are first last and always a paid representative of the company you work for and your behavior towards others, especially to the general public is a reflection not only on you, but the company you work for.  In the daily duties of my job, I routinely interact with customers and vendors, drive vehicles with the company name on it and come into contact with the general public while wearing clothing that identifies my employer.  I am expected to conduct myself courteously and professionally at ALL times, regardless of whether some jerk cuts me off in traffic, some idiot in a store makes some derogatory remark about my employer or some customer jumps all over me for some perceived failure on my part.  There are no exceptions. Not long ago a 30+ year co-worker was very nearly fired for anonymously shaming an employee of a sister company for the condition of the inside of his truck on Faceplant.  Keep in mind that you never know who is watching, and who is listening. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/19 21:34 by junctiontower.



Date: 10/11/19 04:20
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Korigaoka1811

I'm not sure where the crewbases were for the Desert Wind in 1995 but I do know that Cajon Pass is near San Bernardino.

I don't know if the naughty crewman was from San Bernardino but I lived there as a lad and I can tell you that in the Inland Empire a happily flaunted middle finger was a common greeting amoung friends.

So maybe that crewman was just saying "howdy" in his San Bernardino style way!

John.



Date: 10/11/19 07:07
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: HH

Hmmm.  I wonder if the Attorney put him up to it?

I'm curious about the writer's perceived need to detail the occupations of his companions, and why he thought that was relevant?
If I had to guess, I'd be inclined to think he had an overly elevated opinion of himself and his group?  I could be wrong though.

Hopmere Hank



Date: 10/11/19 07:28
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: Coast

THE crew base was laupt  . crews ran Laupt to Las Vegas  salt lake crews  to vegas.



Date: 10/11/19 07:46
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: junctiontower

HH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hmmm.  I wonder if the Attorney put him up to
> it?
>
> I'm curious about the writer's perceived need to
> detail the occupations of his companions, and why
> he thought that was relevant?
> If I had to guess, I'd be inclined to think he had
> an overly elevated opinion of himself and his
> group?  I could be wrong though.
>
> Hopmere Hank

I think it goes back to my comments about you never know who is watching or listening.  What if that person standing trackside was a senior Amtrak official, a relative of Tom Downs, or somebody on the staff of a congressman on a committee that has some power over Amtrak?  In my opinion, Amtrak can't afford having ANYONE have a negative opinion of the organization or its employees, not then, and not now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/19 07:47 by junctiontower.



Date: 10/11/19 09:38
Re: Correspondence from Amtrak president Thomas Downs
Author: SD45X

Typically the rule book has a blurb on public behavior for employees. Think it's in GCOR at the beginning.

I had a TO member ask me about a local that flipped the bird continuously. I asked the safety guy to talk to him about his photographed rules violation. Seems he couldn't put two and two together that somebody else could see the pics, like the general public. He stopped.



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