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.

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Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
15 years ago

I wonder who she’s related to?

15 years ago

A drive by post.

15 years ago

As long as we’re on the subject…
Perhaps someone could explain 7 “detail officers” at the Frenchtown Road Project or 5 “detail officers” at the East Greenwich Division Street paving project (a couple moths past) or 2 “detail officers” at the many tree trimming projects in and around Warwick currently… these examples just to name a few because the statewide list would just be incredible.
And, PLEASE don’t say “Safety” because that’s simply an attempt at a free ride to an argument (who could possibly argue against safety?). Most always, the “detail officers” are congregating together talking, or ear phones hanging from their ears (into the iPod most likely) or chatting away on their bluetooth earpiece.
Oh yea, how about the “detail officer” that MUST be present at the movie theaters but can most often be found sitting in the back row of the latest movie release.
Ever notice that Verizon or Cox truck must have a detail officer if they will be in the street yet the local landscapers can block the roads with trucks and trailers at will? Probably because a small business landscaper couldn’t possibly afford the $$$ to pay the city or town for a detail officer so we’ll just say they don’t need one and go after the deeper pockets.
I’ll be willing to bet all this “detail” pay is being used as a basis of calculation for retirement income. you know, top three years or final three years type calculations then we (the taxpayers) must fund the inflated retirement checks forever.
If a flagger is truly needed, lets train some hourly wage employees and put them to work.
This has gotten completely OUT OF CONTROL! and we’re paying for it!

15 years ago

Another banner day in wasteful spending today. Drove past the Rt 4 & Frenchtown road project only to see 5 uniformed “Detail Officers” and 3 women dressed in flagger garb. Interesting part is this… At the Frenchtown (and old detour ramp) there were two officers together both stepping out to stop all four cars (two in each direction) so a single dump truck could pull out. I guess those Cardi drivers aren’t very good at their jobs. At new overpass, was the next officer, DD coffee on the dash and standing behind his private car meddling in the trunk. Then there was the officer sitting comfortably in the unmarked chevy cruiser (strobes flashing) to make sure cars saw the hundreds of cones moving the lane so the lifts could be under the bridge. Then there was of course the officer stationed next to the cute blond flagger, obviously she needed much protection.
Hey Rhode Island!!!!!!! these guys are getting paid some $30 to $35 an hour for WHAT????? Apparently the 3 Cardi girls can’t do their job very well?
I know, I know… “it’s not costing the city because the contractor has to pay the city” but where do you think the contractor gets the money to pay the city. FROM THE CONTRACT PRICE THAT WE PAY FOR!!!!
If flaggers are needed then let them hire some hourly wage flaggers and train them. Then they could also train their truck drivers how to safely see when the lane is clear to pull out into traffic.

12 years ago

I have been a Registered Flagger for around a year and have yet to find a job..I spent my money and got a certificate and the troopers get the work hmm????

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