HR Strange But True!
June 24, 2004

We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange ...

The Toll of a Stressful Workplace

Toll booth attendant may not seem like a high-stress job, but you wouldn't know it judging from some of the complaints from motorists collected by The Smoking Gun.

In complaints to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) in the past year, motorists have accused toll collectors of a range of unprofessional behavior, including obscene language and gestures, threats to drivers, and shortchanging drivers.

In one complaint, a driver says an attendant objected to the condition of the coins the motorist was using to pay the toll. The motorist said the coins were dark from being buried in the bottom of his mother's purse, so he had washed them and put them in a plastic bag. When the attendant saw the bag of coins, the attendant asked, among other things, if the driver was a drug user, according to the complaint. The driver also accused the attendant of saying something derogatory about the driver's mother.

In another, a driver with a disabled left hand said an attendant refused to reach over to collect the toll from her right hand. After the woman tossed the dollar bill at the toll collector, the attendant cursed at her, according to the complaint.

Another driver, who rescues injured dogs, complained that an attendant said her van smells.

If you are driving in Massachusetts, it may be a good idea to have the correct change to pay the tolls. Of the 15 complaints collected by The Smoking Gun, four of the alleged altercations occurred when drivers tried to pay with large bills or a check.

The MTA's investigators recommended suspensions for many of the toll collectors involved in the 15 complaints.

Source: The Smoking Gun

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