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    Questions about Station Agent position & the MTA


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    14 replies to this topic

    #1 Mugsy

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    Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

    I actually got called for SA AFC after having taken the exam in June 2008. I'm scheduled to report for the pre-interview & medical exam this Friday. I honestly thought the MTA was phasing out the SA position, and I'm genuinely surprised to have been called after all this time.

     

    With that in mind, is there any future as a Station Agent? The whole point of going to work for the MTA (or any public sector job) is to have a little job security. If I'm only going to be declared a "redundancy" in one or two years, I won't bother.

     

    Also, what does the "pre-interview" entail? The name suggests an interview before the actual interview. The late George Carlin would've had a field day with that particular piece of euphemistic whimsy.

     

    Lastly, I've been working for the HHC for the past three years as a Hospital Care Investigator (civil service position). The incumbent rate (which I'm currently earning) is between $40-41k per year. The problem with this position is that there are few opportunities for advancement. Sadly, the HHC is not a meritocracy. Most of the Senior HCI & Supervisor positions tend to go to the most sycophantic & duplicitous individuals in the office.  I’m not a very effective butt-kisser, and I’m no rat; hence, no viable future as an HCI.

     

    How is the culture in the MTA? Is it any better?  Are there opportunities for advancement? A sense (no matter how vague) of camaraderie, or is it the same back-biting viper’s pit that the HHC is?

     

    Thanks in advance for any responses.

     

    P.S. I haven't posted here in ages. Nice to see that this forum is still up & running.


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    #2 primomjr78

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    Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

    I actually got called for SA AFC after having taken the exam in June 2008. I'm scheduled to report for the pre-interview & medical exam this Friday. I honestly thought the MTA was phasing out the SA position, and I'm genuinely surprised to have been called after all this time.
     
    With that in mind, is there any future as a Station Agent? The whole point of going to work for the MTA (or any public sector job) is to have a little job security. If I'm only going to be declared a "redundancy" in one or two years, I won't bother.
     
    Also, what does the "pre-interview" entail? The name suggests an interview before the actual interview. The late George Carlin would've had a field day with that particular piece of euphemistic whimsy.
     
    Lastly, I've been working for the HHC for the past three years as a Hospital Care Investigator (civil service position). The incumbent rate (which I'm currently earning) is between $40-41k per year. The problem with this po








    sition is that there are few opportunities for advancement. Sadly, the HHC is not a meritocracy. Most of the Senior HCI & Supervisor positions tend to go to the most sycophantic & duplicitous individuals in the office.  I’m not a very effective butt-kisser, and I’m no rat; hence, no viable future as an HCI.
     
    How is the culture in the MTA? Is it any better?  Are there opportunities for advancement? A sense (no matter how vague) of camaraderie, or is it the same back-biting viper’s pit that the HHC is?
     
    Thanks in advance for any responses.
     
    P.S. I haven't posted here in ages. Nice to see that this forum is still

    up & running.


    The position of station agent will never be phased out . The mta cannot have unmanned booths
    Cameras serve their purpose but that cannot replace a human presence . I think you will have job security and the pay is very good for this position
    And there is built in overtime also so if you want more money and room for advancement go for it .
    The culture in the mta is a different story . You also have to love people to be successful in this title dealing with the public can be
    Difficult at times . Also the mta loves to nitpick and make your job more stressful than necessary
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    #3 peacemak3r

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    Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

    I believe when he said phased out, he means they drastically cut a lot of station booth agent positions as there are many station booths not even used.  For example around Canal Street there was a booth on Broadway where that booth is no longer there.


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    #4 primomjr78

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    Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

    I believe when he said phased out, he means they drastically cut a lot of station booth agent positions as there are many station booths not even used.  For example around Canal Street there was a booth on Broadway where that booth is no longer there.

    I believe when he said phased out, he means they drastically cut a lot of station booth agent positions as there are many station booths not even used.  For example around Canal Street there was a booth on Broadway where that booth is no longer there.


    The only reason there were layoffs in stations was because of revenge by the mta
    The union wouldn't back down from the 3% pay rise that the mta didn't want to pay so as payback they Initiated those layoffs
    I don't think there will be any more layoffs in the mta . I think that was the last time we will see layoffs in this lifetime
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    #5 WillBx718

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:34 AM

    Don't worry MTA by law has to have a Human presence on the station 24/7. They tried the customer service kiosk program which failed because people took advantage of the freedoms of being able to roam the station and not be locked in the booth for 8 hours. That's was supposed to be the future of the station agents job. I was told this when I was hired in 2006. My advice take the job and take as many promo exams as possible. The job is not an easy one and will have you stressed and mentally tired some days, and you may become jaded towards some types of passengers. But the pay and benefits are great. And it's one if the best titles to get your foot in the door to many promo opportunities. Top pay is $27.505 plus $1.2292 night differential from 6pm-6am, plus a paid 15 minute early report to relieve to agents in the booth. So that's an extra 2.5 hours OT each check. Average pay is $64,000 without OT once you reach top pay. Starting pay I think is $20/hr, you also get 4 weeks vacation after three years. Don't quote me on that because I've seen TA employment adds now saying five years to reach top pay, when it was three years when I started. And usually reaching top pay and four weeks vacation time coincided. Either way take the job and try and move up as quickly and as far as possible. And like I said if there's no agents then lots of other jobs will be cut too, so don't worry about the job being eliminated, it may be changed or broadbanded in the future however. Congratulations and good luck in Station Agent School. Don't worry about picking up everything 100% in class, because people will know you're new and be more than willing to help you out with questions and procedures.

    Edited by WillBx718, 15 January 2013 - 01:43 AM.

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    #6 WillBx718

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:54 AM

    I actually got called for SA AFC after having taken the exam in June 2008. I'm scheduled to report for the pre-interview & medical exam this Friday. I honestly thought the MTA was phasing out the SA position, and I'm genuinely surprised to have been called after all this time.
     
    With that in mind, is there any future as a Station Agent? The whole point of going to work for the MTA (or any public sector job) is to have a little job security. If I'm only going to be declared a "redundancy" in one or two years, I won't bother.
     
    Also, what does the "pre-interview" entail? The name suggests an interview before the actual interview. The late George Carlin would've had a field day with that particular piece of euphemistic whimsy.
     
    Lastly, I've been working for the HHC for the past three years as a Hospital Care Investigator (civil service position). The incumbent rate (which I'm currently earning) is between $40-41k per year. The problem with this position is that there are few opportunities for advancement. Sadly, the HHC is not a meritocracy. Most of the Senior HCI & Supervisor positions tend to go to the most sycophantic & duplicitous individuals in the office.  I’m not a very effective butt-kisser, and I’m no rat; hence, no viable future as an HCI.
     
    How is the culture in the MTA? Is it any better?  Are there opportunities for advancement? A sense (no matter how vague) of camaraderie, or is it the same back-biting viper’s pit that the HHC is?
     
    Thanks in advance for any responses.
     
    P.S. I haven't posted here in ages. Nice to see that this forum is still up & running.




    Starting pay will be about what you're making now and topping out at 64K. If you have a pension under NYCERS you can carry that time over to TA. So that makes you even safer if they ever did layoffs again because whatever time you had at HHC would be like working for TA that long. Many people with less seniority than me but prior civil service time at Traffic or school safety or whatever didn't get laid off if they had five or more years previous civil service time or a combined time of five years at TA and their previous civil service job. That time also helps you when it comes time to retire under TA's 25/55 pension plan. And if you were already under a tier 4 pension plan at HHC, you don't have to be worried about being shafted by that tier 6 bull shit either. Even under the new tier 6 pension TWU local 100 retained a 25/55 retirement plan for its members, the only local statewide to pull that off. If you decide to take the job and have any questions during class or the hiring process feel free to inbox me your questions and concerns.
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    #7 WillBx718

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

    Oh and to answer the rest of your question, there is no interview in the sense where they'll ask you why should we hire you and expect you to sell yourself. This process just consist of bringing in all documents they request and passing the urinalysis exam, and finger print background check. There are no medical guidelines established for the S/A title, so you don't need to past a medical screening. As long as all your paperwork is straight and you pass the urinalysis exam and background check you'll be sworn in on your final processing date and be given a class date, and have your photo taken for you pass. Probation is one year from your first day in class.
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    #8 Mugsy

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

    The position of station agent will never be phased out . The mta cannot have unmanned booths Cameras serve their purpose but that cannot replace a human presence . I think you will have job security and the pay is very good for this position And there is built in overtime also so if you want more money and room for advancement go for it . The culture in the mta is a different story . You also have to love people to be successful in this title dealing with the public can be Difficult at times . Also the mta loves to nitpick and make your job more stressful than necessary

     

    Well, I wouldn't say that I "love" people, but I've been called every name in the book (both in and out of bed) at least ten times over the years & have a pretty thick skin. Hopefully, that'll get me through on those days where all of my customer interactions seem to have a gypsy curse on them. :)


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    #9 Mugsy

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

    I believe when he said phased out, he means they drastically cut a lot of station booth agent positions as there are many station booths not even used.  For example around Canal Street there was a booth on Broadway where that booth is no longer there.

     

    Yes, that was exactly what I was alluding to. It seemed that I couldn't pick up a newspaper in 2010 without reading something about pending SA layoffs. I remember feeling lucky that the MTA hadn't called me yet. Hopefully, what primomjr78 wrote is true and we wont see anything like that again in our lifetime.


    Edited by Mugsy, 15 January 2013 - 08:30 PM.

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    #10 Mugsy

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    Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

    Don't worry MTA by law has to have a Human presence on the station 24/7. They tried the customer service kiosk program which failed because people took advantage of the freedoms of being able to roam the station and not be locked in the booth for 8 hours. That's was supposed to be the future of the station agents job. I was told this when I was hired in 2006. My advice take the job and take as many promo exams as possible. The job is not an easy one and will have you stressed and mentally tired some days, and you may become jaded towards some types of passengers. But the pay and benefits are great. And it's one if the best titles to get your foot in the door to many promo opportunities. Top pay is $27.505 plus $1.2292 night differential from 6pm-6am, plus a paid 15 minute early report to relieve to agents in the booth. So that's an extra 2.5 hours OT each check. Average pay is $64,000 without OT once you reach top pay. Starting pay I think is $20/hr, you also get 4 weeks vacation after three years. Don't quote me on that because I've seen TA employment adds now saying five years to reach top pay, when it was three years when I started. And usually reaching top pay and four weeks vacation time coincided. Either way take the job and try and move up as quickly and as far as possible. And like I said if there's no agents then lots of other jobs will be cut too, so don't worry about the job being eliminated, it may be changed or broadbanded in the future however. Congratulations and good luck in Station Agent School. Don't worry about picking up everything 100% in class, because people will know you're new and be more than willing to help you out with questions and procedures.

     

    Willbx718,

     

    First off, let me thank you for the comprehensive answers, and for the (hopefully not premature) congratulations.

    .

    I think it's cool that the MTA takes the time to at least attempt & train new employees thoroughly with a 30 day course. If I had to guess, I would imagine that great deal of class time must deal with staying alert for scams, counterfeit bills, and learning how to cope with difficult/belligerent customers. I'll try & stay alert.


    Edited by Mugsy, 15 January 2013 - 08:10 PM.

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