Scenes of Rhode Island
A reader sent in the following, and it took us some time to consider what steps to take — the difficulty being a request for anonymity. Given the whistleblower tinge of such notes, we thought it acceptable, provided the threshold is higher against personal attacks and unalloyed opinion.
We welcome future submissions along this line.
Well, I finally figured it out.
Every weekday I take the Gano Street exit off of the new I-Way (or the Suicide-Way as it’s called since it came out that Rhode Island had been fined because it didn’t inspect the concrete). Everyday I see a young woman working for the Department of Transportation standing by her truck at the end of the exit ramp. She stands, or leans, by her truck and watches us go by.
She is located at the end of the Gano Street exit ramp where a stop sign allows us to enter the new section of road. We stop at a “T” but there are no other vehicles coming or going from any other direction because it is a new road and doesn’t go anywhere yet.
I looked at the payroll and see that the average semi-skilled or level 1 operator for the Department of Transportation is $34,869. And that doesn’t include healthcare ($14,000) and pension. Why on earth, when we are all struggling to make ends meet, do we spend tens of thousands of dollars to have someone stand at the end of an exit ramp and watch cars go by?
But today I got it. I finally figured out why we spend that money. Today, the woman in question finally worked. She stepped out from beside her truck and carried another stop sign (different from the one posted at the end of the exit ramp) and held it in front of my car while a work truck went by.
So, there you have it. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation does not hire truck drivers who are capable of navigating around traffic so we have to hire assistants to make sure they don’t run into us. Hopefully, the DOT is saving enough money by hiring these less-skilled drivers so to afford the assistants.