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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2006 6:24 PM. The previous post in this blog was Everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey. The next post in this blog is From a study group of one. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Perfect gig for a "creative class" member

Looks like the Floating Twinkies are going to have a "concierge":

Description
This position provides all riders of the Portland Aerial Tramway with a broad range of customer services. These customer services include, but are not limited to, information regarding Tramway fare instruments, way finding, and Tram educational materials. In addition, employees in this position assist with the resolution of public relations issues by referral to appropriate higher-level staff. The Tram Concierge is also responsible to advise, when necessary, Tram riders concerning adherence to procedures required for efficient and safe use of the Tram. This includes Tram safety regulations, boarding process, and materials transport. In instances of planned and unplanned shutdown during scheduled operations hours, the Tram Concierge will assist OHSU employees and patients to efficiently utilize the shuttle service.

Qualifications
Two years of experience in customer service relations, one year of which must have included interpretation and explanation of rules, regulations and policies and responsibility for dealing with unique or unusual situations. Demonstrated excellent customer service skills. Ability to enforce and interpret Tram standard operating procedures. Demonstrated ability to problem solve, and deal with conflict. Strong verbal and written communication skills. Ability to function outdoors in weather is important. Standing and walking for long periods of time. Pushing wheelchairs occupied by Tram riders.

Schedule and Salary Range
Monday-Friday, TBD; 1.0 FTE; Salary Range: $11.50-15.29/hour.

Hmmm, "procedures required for efficient and safe use of the Tram. This includes Tram safety regulations, boarding process, and materials transport." "Materials transport"? I wonder what's going to be prohibited. But I note that the "concierge" will be working only on weekdays -- will contraband be the order of the day on weekends?

Comments (32)

Thats a pretty good wage for just standing around. I wonder if they will get PERS?

Ability to function outdoors in weather is important.

Is that for the concierge or the tram?

Am guessing that wheelchairs and luggage will need to be secured at least as carefully as on a bus. Probably more due to the swinging and swaying. Probably there is a limit on tie-down spots. Probably these wheelchair tie-down spots get rationed per ride. Probably none of this was thought out aforehand. Probably the make-doozs are a doozy.

What I can't wait to see is the ad for the cabin attendants. "Must be able to pull 160 feet of wet 10,000lb test rope 160 vertical ft for up to 70 reps." Hunky!

That's actually not the full title of the job. The full title is Concierge/Hostage Negotiator.

Not to worry. OHSU does not enforce any rules or regulations if they are an impediment to doctors or medical students.

If you don't like the concierge, or what they have to tell you, just complain and get a few others to do the same. Lie if you need to, OHSU administrators do. Just contact OHSU and state that the concierge was rude. OHSU values customer service for high-status individuals over decent service for hoi polloi, rules, or safety.

A couple of months back, OHSU passed out truly laughable prompt cards to each and every employee (which were expected to be worn with every employee's identification badge) regarding the "Nine Principles of Integrity"...of which the administration at OHSU has not one iota. The info on the badge lists the principles (of which the initial letter of each "principle" corresponds to one of the letters in the word "integrity"), stating that "these principles support a strong commitment to honest, ethical, legal behavior."

Yeah...right.

Somebody needs to inform their legal department.

I wonder if they will get PERS?

No. PERS is dead. All new state employees are now in OPSRP, the hybrid defined-contribution/defined-benefit program that has much lower cost to taxpayers than PERS.

Am guessing that wheelchairs and luggage will need to be secured at least as carefully as on a bus.

I have never seen anyone secure their luggage on a bus or MAX. Most of the time, they leave it out in the aisle for you to trip over.

Hilarious! The "creative class" should apply for this "concierge" job! Your waiter is really an actor, and your tram concierge is really a designer, or a hair stylist, or whatever. Oh, I'm sorry - I meant "artist." Whatever! Those positions should be called what they are: Hostess Twinkies!


Gosh! They city fails to address the big issue: which of the two cars do the job applicants want to work in? "Tess" or "Tickles"? (The citizen naming committee did not say which is left and which is right). As you might guess, those two women's names are the winners of the tram naming competition. Because the citizens panel agreed that the tram was essentially a "boy toy", they felt two women's names would help to equalize things.

I'm sure applicants would want to know which car they are applying for, so I will contact the city and suggest they fine tune the application process to include this preference option.

Is it too late to suggest U and Dat Monkey as tram car names? I mean, people have definitely been acting the donkey.


I neglected to mention that since "future vision" and having a "concept interface" were important to committee members, they stayed with "twinkie vision 2040" as the "active vision realization concept" for the tram.

No. PERS is dead. All new state employees are now in OPSRP, the hybrid defined-contribution/defined-benefit program that has much lower cost to taxpayers than PERS.

Uh huh. Do they program you at night, while you're sleeping, or do you actively memorize this stuff?

Hostess Twinkies!

No, Twinkie hostesses!

Uh huh. Do they program you at night, while you're sleeping, or do you actively memorize this stuff?

You do remember why the unions hated Kulongoski so much from 2003 to 2006, right? It was because he killed off PERS, remember?

Some people call OPSRP the "PERS Tier 3" but that's really just for convenience sake. Anyway, all the info is helpfully available on a handy google for OPSRP.

Had a conversation with Greg Macpherson about this the other day, and he pointed out that the huge cost of PERS is all related to past benefits already committed to employees. Legally, you can't take 'em away.

Even if you eliminated all future pension benefits of any kind, you'd have this massive bubble working its way through the system -- we're just waiting for all the expensive PERS people to retire over the next 20 years or so.

Not PERS? Lemme guess....you change the name, you change the disease?

"Tess" or "Tickles"... As you might guess, those two women's names are the winners of the tram naming competition.

Seriously?!!


At 8:30 a.m., in response to a phone call, the administrative assistant working with the citizen committee naming the two cars clarified that "Tess" is left, and "Tickles" is right. (Secretarial oversight, but at least now we will know which car is which when we are tram gazing).

Lots of people are surprised that the naming was finished this soon. There may be an issue of lack of citizen input from citizens OUTSIDE of the citizens committee.

Tess & Tickles, it took me a few moments and a cup of coffee this morning before I figured that one out.

Let's see....
That's 3, three oz bottles in one, 1 qt zip lock bag...
Do I have to remove my shoes in the rain prior to boarding?
Will I be wanded because I have a knee replacement prior to boarding?
Shall I just walk up the friggin' hill?

Among the duties are "...way finding..." ?

Too cute by half.

In English that does mean giving directions, right?

The creative class needs to be a little less creative and a lot more in touch with real people in the real world.

At 8:30 a.m., in response to a phone call, the administrative assistant working with the citizen committee naming the two cars clarified that "Tess" is left, and "Tickles" is right. (Secretarial oversight, but at least now we will know which car is which when we are tram gazing).

Uh..."left" and "right" are relative terms. Is that when one is viewing from the lower station, looking up, or from the upper station looking down?

"...information regarding Tramway fare instruments, way finding..."

Way finding?

On the TRAM???

If Tess and Tickles are consistent with their origin/genesis, which one will ride just a bit lower than the other? Will both ride higher when it's cold? Think about it.

"No. PERS is dead."

Then why hasn't it been interred yet?

I smell something.

i wonder if the author realizes that he himself, as a laywer, is part of the creative class concept that he is mocking.

not that i have any stake in the term, but there seems to be a widespread misunderstanding of the term that the "creative class" is the underemployed twenty somethings with liberal arts degrees slinging coffee, and waiting tables. what it is really meant to describe, the combination of knowledge workers (not only programmers, engineers, and scientists, but also accountants, lawyers, and doctors, and so on) with art/design professionals (architects, graphic design, writers, other media, etc). you know the "post-industrial" economy.

I see it now. The City Council isn't made up of Commissioners.
These are the Portland City Council Way Finders.

i wonder if the author realizes that he himself, as a laywer, is part of
the creative class concept that he is mocking.

I was doing perfectly fine, thank you, before some clown sociologist put this label on me and sold a million books.

In Portland, the phrase is a mantra chanted by the people who are sucking the soul out of the city and turning it into a condo jungle in which only rich California retirees and their servants can live.

I was a bus monitor in grade school and whipped those little kinders into compliance. Someone has to insert some sense into this system. I am perfectly suited for this job. LINE UP!


". . . art/design professionals (architects, graphic design, writers, other media, etc). you know the "post-industrial" economy."

Promotion of the "post-industrial" economy is part of the problem with attempts to foster the so-called "knowledge" community here, and it makes life difficult for even clean and outstandingly creative light and heavy industrial businesses. I have experienced those trying to promote this as sheltered and unknowingly elitist (though well meaning) and among the least creative and knowledgeable people I've known. We need diversity of businesses and culture, and we need to retain a balance between the industrial and knowledge-based economies. Then we can really have a creative region.

I'm not in favor of this homogenization notion that tends to want to send all physical labor and creative industrial businesses and jobs to other parts of our region or state, or to other states or countries. That weakens us economically, intellectually and phyically. A head without a body (so to speak) is vulnerable not only to disorientation, but also to attack by a variety of diseases.

This attempt to homogenize our culture is in fact based on the mechanistic concept of man and nature that gave RISE to all the problems and exploitations of the industrial era. It is merely taking the mechanistic, compartmentalized view of man and nature and applying it so the social, economic and cultural worlds. In a way, it may be MORE powerful and effective at isolating and alienating the individual from his environment than in the industrial era, because it locks the compartmentalization into rigid land use patterns. Those patterns are now rapidly creating an unlivable, uncreative urban monoculture in the Portland Metro area.

Here's the thing: Over in the community radio news department, we've been trying to figure out how much the tickets will cost to ride the darn things. We have not gotten very far -- and Sam Adams'office says they do not know.

I saw an estimate somewhere....but it had a wide range... HOW CAN THEY NOT KNOW HOW MUCH IT WILL COST TO RIDE THE TWINK--- er, the car thangs? Are they not transit? Did we not pay for them?

I think they're probably figuring out first whether and when we'll be able to ride. If PHART becomes a tourist magnet, you can bet OHSU will seek to restrict public access. Their people aren't going to wait in line for 20 minutes with tourists to ride the thing.

And I guess that since the cars kinda don't really go anywhere -- a horsepital?-- then why would tourists have any destination attached except to go up and come right back down.

Dang. I guess it's all really sinking in now.......all that money....and for what?


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