Picture working an eight to nine hour shift with only one 10-minute break. During those hours imagine you are being screamed at and having things thrown at you.
All the while you are to remain friendly and helpful to your clients. You are responsible for hundreds of people's security working at times with old worn out equipment.
That's the life of a toll booth employee working for the Toronto Transit Commission.
One toll booth worker spoke to Digital Journal requesting his name not be used.
Workers do make a decent wage. Drivers start out at $21.90 an hour with a health care and dental plans, group life insurance and a pension plan.
Drivers and toll operators do not have weekends off until they have been with the company for twenty years. As the employee I spoke to said, "If you make your thirty years you deserve your pension."
On Sunday I traveled to various areas of Toronto asking drivers and toll operators what they found the most difficult about their job. The overwhelming answer was those who treated them harshly over issues they had no control over such as the recent fare increase.
"It's gotten much worse in the past three months since the fares really increased. This past month has been really hard. The public keeps looking for something to pin on us."
Of all of those I spoke to on Sunday only one streetcar driver was unfriendly. He angrily told me that no pictures were allowed to be taken.
I could understand his feelings. It has been a blood sport in Toronto to 'catch' a bad apple in the TTC cart of employees.
Very little is written about what is going right with the TTC. For the very few that make the news because of negative behaviour there are many more employees that give good customer service with a smile. The employees that do their job correctly, transporting residents of Toronto throughout the city aren't given the press that they deserve.
They are the ones that insure riders safety each day. They are the ones that quickly make change when twenty people are lined up to get home at 5 pm each evening. They are the ones that go the extra mile and give strangers directions when they are asked how to get somewhere.
They are the majority of TTC employees. Toronto is lucky to have them on our side.