Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Horror... the horror...

The Toronto Star reported on May 31st that the TTC currently has 319 "TTC drivers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder", presumably on medical disability.

This severe form of stress is typically found among survivors of combat, natural disasters and rape. But bus drivers?

Sure, they have to drive in Toronto's traffic clogged streets made worse by the city's inept roads planning. And people aren't thrilled by the TTC at the best of times, not just when they are threatening strikes in order to get an extra slice of cake on their birthdays and pet medical insurance. Plus so much money goes into their payroll there isn't much left over to maintain vehicles and clean stations.

So passengers get cranky with them. A few whackos even take a poke at them, which no one deserves. But most TTC drivers and ticket takers I've encountered lately haven't exactly been graduates of charm school. It takes a small nuclear device to get them off those stools they sit on by the cash box or inside the booths, and human communication is limited to grunts and sign language Koko the gorilla would find primative.

But over 300 of them currently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder? I wonder how that compares to Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan?

Oh, and the TTC announced in December that it had hired the same company NASA hired after the Challenger shuttle exploded to review safety procedures. Not that the TTC is overly dramatic when it comes to the tough life its brave employees face.