After sitting on the train at Union Station for a few minutes and then moving approximately 2000 feet away, this announcement (almost word for word) came over the loudspeaker:
“Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay. Because our signals are down, we are required to wait for paperwork before we can move forward. This paperwork ensures that we will have a safe and easy journey for all of the passengers on board. The paperwork must be delivered when we are stopped. Once it has arrived, we will resume our normal speed. Thank you for your patience.”
Oh, come on.
What is this paperwork going to do to replace the function of a signal or the function of the traffic controllers that work at the station? More importantly, when was the last time you were given a piece of paper that “ensured you a safe and easy journey”? I’d like to get something like that to stick in my wallet. Think I can buy one in the Cafe Car?
HR gets criticized a lot for requiring a preposterous amount of paperwork. In part, it’s the nature of the job – overdocumentation is not going to be a factor in a lawsuit. But the critics are partially right – there’s a lot of crap that HR asks for that is really just a nuisance for employees.
Sure, there’s stupid paperwork – you’ll find it everywhere you go. At my office, we need you to fill out a form before we’ll change your address. But it’s the lack of legitimate explanation that pisses people off (and that’s true for more than just paperwork, in case that wasn’t apparent). Going back to my example, our payroll department requires a signature to process these changes so that if anything goes wrong on a government tax form or on a deposited check, we have backup to show why the address was updated the way it was. Simple, right? It’s still annoying, but at least it makes sense enough for people not to argue back.
Hey Amtrak, maybe you should explain yourself a little better. Though I will say thank you for the big laugh you gave me in addition to this entry while we were stalled in the terminal.