Sometimes there are random instances of SJW cannibalism on Twitter that just warm the cockles of your heart and you microwave some popcorn.

Last weekend we had the epic confluence of race, gender, class, perceived privilege, douchebaggery, gutlessness, all with a dose of intransigence tossed in to flavor the brew.

This story takes place on the the DC Metro system. The DC Metro is, in my view, a good way to get around the DC suburbs, but, make no mistake about it, it is not the same system it was 30 years ago. Time has taken its toll and fat employee contracts, pillaged deferred maintenance accounts, corruption and general incompetence have made the aging process much uglier than need be. DC Metro employees probably rival USPS workers for not having any f***s left to give.

While the general upkeep and reliability of the system has been reduced, they have kept the original rules for riding.

Don’t

  • Eat, drink, smoke or litter on Metro vehicles or in stations. Metro Transit Police issue citations or make arrests to enforce the law.
  • Try to block or force train doors open. They do not reopen like elevator doors.
  • Touch the train doors when they are opening or closing.
  • Lean against the train doors.
  • Run in the station.
  • Sit on the platform edge.
  • Walk on the trackbed. The third rail carries 750 volts of electricity. Always stay away from it even if you think the power is off. The third-rail power is usually not affected during a station power outage.

 

Some of these are regularly broken with great frequency, in fact, they are broken to the extent that many riders probably don’t know they exist.

Last Friday, a woman named Natasha Tynes was riding the Metro. Tynes is a World Band employee. She’s written op-eds for the Washington Post. She’s had her own communications consultancy. She’s Jordanian-American and hence “POC.” She’s an author and was surfing the woman-author+POC wave to fame and fortune with a novel that was getting substantial publicity.

From Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947856758

 

 

I’m only half joking about this. If you have followed the fiction publishing world for the past two years you know that every agent and publisher is falling over themselves trying to find women authors particularly who are non-white and who are either homosexual or some sexual variety and who write about characters who are similarly non-traditional.

In short, Tynes is sort of the poster child for the author the publishing industry is looking for and life looked good.

Back to the Metro.

On her morning commute, Tynes encounters a Metro employee, in uniform, chowing down in a car on a Metro train (see rules). Tynes is incensed. She informs the Metro employee that they can’t eat on the train. The employee reacts with the bored indifference you can’t imagine unless you’ve experienced it. The employee tells here to “worry about herself.” And continues to eat.

Tynes does what any wronged Millenial would do, she goes straight to the top: Twitter.

 

Metro pretended to be interested, which was a very cute touch.

What followed next was utterly predictable. It was a feeding frenzy and the meal was Tynes.

This guy seems to make a habit of targeting women for Twitter attacks, he’s the guy who was ridiculing DC McAllister’s marriage.

Then her book distributor saw the tweets and…BOOM.

Rare Bird Books said in a statement Friday that it had learned the author “did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer. Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.

“We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”

The company then urged Tynes’s publisher, California Coldblood Books, to cut ties with the author as well.

Tynes apologized and has now fled social media. It looks like her book will still be published but she probably shouldn’t give up her day job because, as she found out, she no longer a POC, now she’s the privileged white woman who tried to get a Metro worker fired.

And the worker?

Barry Hobson, the chief of staff for the Metro workers union — Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 — said in a statement that the Metro employee was taking her meal break while in transit from one assignment to another. The statement notes operators have “an average of 20 minutes to consume a meal and get to their next access point to ensure all buses and trains are on time, safe, and ready to serve the riding public.”

Though the union acknowledged it is against Metro rules to eat on a train or in a station, Hobson’s statement also referenced an email from Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik sent May 8, ordering officers to “cease and desist from issuing criminal citations in the District of Columbia for fare evasion; eating; drinking; spitting, and playing musical instruments without headphones until further advised.”

“Understanding this email, our operator clearly was doing no wrong,” the union statement said.

Apparently eating before you get to work is illegal or immoral. Who knew?

I’d really like to have some sympathy for this person but what restrains me is this. If I’d sent that tweet, and there was nothing wrong in her reporting an employee who has so little respect for their job that they won’t even pretend to obey posted rules, where do you think she’d come down? I think we both know, don’t we? As long as these people want to play this silly game of dividing us up by race and class and assigning different allowable behaviors to each, if they want to burn each other to the ground it is fine with me.

At this writing, The Call Me Wyatt has an amazing 2234 reviews on Goodreads (it will be released June 11) and a average rating of 1.42 stars.

I ate so much popcorn watching this unfold that I couldn’t eat for the next two days.

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