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It's Rough Out There: Mistreatment By T Employees and Strangers

Harassment on the T and on the streets, witnessing violent assaults with children children in tow.

And roughest for me when I'm out with my children.

- A few weeks ago, I took Jazmyn to her orchestra rehearsal at BU.  When we entered a Green Line train station, I was accosted by two MBTA employees- one on duty, one off- that I needed to pay for Jazmyn.  They were wrong- she was eleven.  I told them as much.  They demanded ID.  I told them I didn't have to give it to them.  They accused me of being a liar. 

I walked down to the platform and fumed; Jazmyn handed me her phone so I could call and make a complaint.  The Customer Service person was very apologetic and requested that I get the on-duty employee's badge number.  He refused to give it to me. 

My husband was incredulous that someone would treat us like that.  Of course he was- he's a six-foot tall, white male- he would not have been treated like that.  He went with me to try and get the man's badge number.  The discussion degenerated to the point where my husband pressed an assault charge against the employee.  I am not making this up.

Just this week we got a phone call that the employee had been suspended.  Good... but not good.  I don't want him to be suspended, I don't want him to lose his job, I don't want him to have something on his record.  I want an apology from this guy.

- This Sunday, as Jazmyn and I were returning from her rehearsal, we were literally minding our own business and waiting to cross the street when a very hostile bicyclist asked me to move.  "Ask" is too gentle a term- more like "ordered".  When he addressed me, he called me a derogatory word for a female organ and modified it with a gerund that begins with "f". 

This man was so hostile to a complete stranger that I immediately assumed a mental illness of some kind.  I have told my children repeatedly that people like that should not be engaged because they are unpredictable.  I did not take my own advice because 1) this man used those words 2) in front of my daughter.  I told him not to talk to me like that.  He asked me if I was going to get my "gang banger boyfriend".  I told him I was married.  He told me to go home; I told him to do the same.  I was unharmed; I was lucky.

Once again, my husband was incredulous and outraged.  Jazmyn, however, just might be used to this. 

- I wasn't harassed today.  Of course, because I didn't have Jazmyn with me, I had Simon.  Instead, as the train pulled into the Chinatown stop, we saw one man get assaulted by five other men as he was trying to retrieve the phone they had stolen from him.  I didn't know what was going on other than that it was one against five.  I yelled for the men to stop (which, in retrospect, may not have been the best thing to do with Simon in tow).  It wasn't until after they got on the train that I realized what had happened, but we couldn't stop the train.  The young man filed a complaint, but the other men were off the train by the time they had located it. 

Here's hoping that they can find the little bastards who did this on the basis of their Charlie Cards and the cameras at the train stop they exited.  I do want to see these young men punished, not just because they committed an unarmed robbery, not just because they assaulted the man as he tried to get his property back, but because they were cruel and they were cruel in front of my seven year old son.  I don't want to see them go to jail, but I want them to make up for it.

What are my children learning?

This is cross-posted from the author's personal blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

James LaFond-Lewis October 27, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Em, you are blaming the victims. There is no excuse for the behavior that Deb describes, whatever she looks like or did. Explaining it is one thing, but allowing it to continue by accommodating it only compounds the problem.
Em October 27, 2011 at 11:50 AM
I stand corrected - you don't have to show your ID in MA to vote, but you do in other states.
Bill October 27, 2011 at 01:04 PM
I've ridden the T since the late sixties, when smoking was okay and it wasn't uncommon to see a wino passed out on a seat, raving bag-ladies inhabited the trains and folks were pretty much on their own. The underground stations typically stank of concrete and urine, the above ground stations were built like wind-tunnels and the only T employee anywhere in sight was typically the fare collector in the booth. I saw fights, drunken parties and sex on the around town way too and fro. Oh, and about 90% of the employees were 'connected' White people. The T today is a bastion of modern convenience and cleanliness by comparison. It's unfortunate that Deb seems to have had more than one issue with T employees, and the old routine about 'getting badge numbers' -- inefficient as it may be -- seems the first line of recourse. Beyond that; date, time and place will help bolster a complaint, presuming that the T knows the location of most employees at most times, as well as witnesses if at all possible. This isn't the perfect world and normal is a cycle on a washing machine -- proceed accordingly.
deviant rascal February 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Funny, you say that you allegedly told your children not to engage people that you assume "have a mental illness of some kind" but then in the very same article you say that you yelled at the five fellows beating up the man that apparently got his phone got. And this is after you admittedly also spoke up against the cyclist (and against your own advice, twice in the same article) because of the vernacular he used and that it was displayed in front of your daughter. It sounds to me like you should have taken a long hard look at the world before you chose to breed. All the blogging in the world isn't going to change a damn thing either. LOL
deviant rascal February 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM
the good old days.. Before the Patriots ever won and Redsox hats were not pink.

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