Posts Tagged ‘worker’

So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.

Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)

But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)

Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:

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This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.

Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:

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I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.

ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.

Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***

And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:

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File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.

Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son,
I’m Pisces, risin’

And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan
swine-thinkers

*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.

**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet. 

***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Get up to speed here.

And now for an update since that last post.

Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.

The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.

Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:

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Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.

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So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.

And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.

*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…

Uh Oh, FaceBook’s Corporate Buses are Using Busy Masonic Avenue as a Staging Area? Double-Parking to Block MUNI Buses

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Here’s a FaceBook corporate shuttle bus idling(?)/waiting on busy southbound Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak during the busy morning drive afore taking FB’ers on down to (MPK) Menlo Park:

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So that means that it’s blocking the slow lane of Masonic, as here on Saint Patrick’s Day 2015

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At first I thought, oh maybe it broke down, but no, this is where it was waiting to pick up more people in the Upper Haight area, at the assigned MUNI stops FaceBook has. If the drivers come back to SF early, they need a place to hang out, right?

When I see this situation, there’s always the driver plus a, IDK, let’s call him a starter, a handler, a scheduler – a person who makes the trains run on time.

So I thought, mmm, this isn’t a MUNI bus stop – perhaps the FB drivers got used to this lane being blocked at Fell the past few weeks? IDK.

But look, it’s the same thing yesterday too:

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So the #43 Masonic needs to merge into the middle lane from the stop at Hayes and then get back into, let’s call it the FaceBook Lane after passing the Big White Bus in order to get into the stop on the other side of Oak:

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So what’s the deal here, does this guy just hang out all morning waiting for more buses to double park?

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IDK.

But this lane just got freed up after all that lengthy construction, so it seems a shame that MUNI drivers now can’t use it…

Mid-Market Renaissance: Disinfecting the Chor Boogie

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

It’s NeMa, the New Market Street!

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Remember when Willie Brown turned Market Street into, I’m srsly, the “Champs-Élysées of the Western Hemisphere?”

I do. Good times.

The Most Ignored Person in the World Has Got To Be This “Pedestrian Monitor” for the Central Subway Boondoggle

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the scene down at 4th and Market, where the Big Dig West Coast Central Subway project is, well, digging big these days.

San Francisco’s horrible pedestrians want to get across the northern side of the intersection and it’s this person’s job to stop them from doing so.

It’s not working. Check it out sometime.

But don’t laugh at sad sack Charlie Brown here – the Theory of Prevailing Wages ensures that he makes more moolah than you:

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In closing, San Francisco pedestrians are the worst in the world just saying.

Scraaaaaaaape: DPW Truck vs. MUNI Bus on Market Street – But No Harm No Foul – The City Family Abides

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Is it easy to drive a big ol’ Ford F-450 Super Duty pick-em-up truck around Market Street what with all the MUNI buses and streetcars, and with all the peds walking around like a chicken with its head cut off?

Probably not.

As here, on Market the other day, when the driver of this white DPW truck, which has stickers on it saying “Tax Dollars At Work,” cut a corner too close and loudly scraped up the left rear corner of a MUNI bus.

The aftermath  – a little bit stuck:

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Now when you think about it, there’s really no point in reporting this one, because the bus still works and the truck still works and is the City Family going to write a check to the City Family to compensate for the losses of the City Family? I think not.

So all you can do is pick up the stuff what fell off the back of the big pickup and offer it up to the embarrassed DPW worker.

Dude, here’s your shovel back:

So, no harm no foul, except for a scraped-up bus, which probably had its fair share of scrapes already.

And it’s all, well yeah, I screwed that one up but no biggee.

Too bad others in SFGov can’t similarly admit mistakes…

San Francisco-Based Apple Retail Workers Union Celebrates Its First Anniversary

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The Apple Retail Workers Union just had its first birthday. Here are the deets, from last year:

Cory Moll, a worker at our busy, busy Union Square Apple Store, is starting up a (can you guess by now?) UNION.

Oh noes!

See? Check it:

“Work Different,” it says:

Via Cory Moll

It’s not much yet, but Cory’s been getting national (and international) attention the past few months.

And folk art – there’s folk art already:

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Hey, why doesn’t somebody, you know, in local media, look into this situation?

(Consider that a challenge to you, personally, if you want.)

All right, Apple workers, rise up and “Work Different.”

This is what it looks like when an Apple Store opens in the 415 – people seem genuinely happy, but who knows…

 

Good Times: Throwing Pieces of Structural Iron Off the Third Floor of John Swett Alternative Elementary School

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Do people actually get paid to huck heavy pieces of metal off of the top of John Swett Alternative Elementary School on McAllister at sunrise?

People do.

Heck, if they called me up, I’d do it for free, watching them triangles accelerate at 9.8 meters per second until the satisfying crash landing. Boooooonk! 

This activity sounds like a pile driver. It’s enough to wake the entire neighborhood on a Saturday morning.

What do these things weigh, 20 pounds? Fire in the hole!

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A third of a second later:

Another third of a second later:

 

And another third of a second later. See it at the bottom?

Hurray!

Shoplifter at the Union Square Apple Store – A Sidewalk Scrum for iPhone – Bad Security Guards on Video

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I don’t know how long you’ll be able to watch this one – all the action is in the first part and then it just goes on and on. (“Aagh, I can’t breathe!” “Get off of him!” “Aagh, I can’t breathe!” “Get off of him!”)

Not sure if the shoplifter had an actual iPhone. Seems as if he had, at the very least, some kind product endorsed by Dr. Dre, anyway:

Beats Studio by Dr. Dre – Hi-Def Noise-Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

And, indeed, those can retail for up to $350, so one of the security guards got that part right. As far as everything else though, there’s just too much to inventory – this is like a video on how not to detain a shoplifter. (Should you let go of the perp temporarily to show off the booty to sway the crowd? Probably not. I could go on, but, as always, You Make The Call.)

It ended up requiring the attention of both the SFPD and the SFFD. (I wonder if there’s an official report or two on this incident.)

Anyway, I’m surprised this one didn’t go viral:

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Let’s Be Careful Out There…

Are Apple Store Managers Nationwide Getting Trained for “Union Awareness” Right Now This AM? Yes, Per CNET

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

What’s this – Apple’s is doing “Union Awareness” training at Apple Stores all over the country this Tuesday morning, November 8, 2011?

Yes. Josh Lowensohn has the story.

Well, that’s news to me. Thanks, CNET!

And who’s the prime mover of this movement? It’s San Francisco resident Cory Moll, that’s who. (I don’t know why he doesn’t get more attention around town…)

Now if I were in charge of fighting unionization at Apple, I’d start handing out free bunny-ear iPhone cases to all workers. You know, as a way to win them over.

Like this:

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All right, we’ll just have to wait and see how this Apple vs union fight turns out.

In the meantime, feel free to send the unionizers a message, why not?