Quality Assurance Inspector | Chicago, IL | Nov 19, 2020
Great People, Low Stress, & Job Security...with a catch
The description for this job was very lacking when I applied, so I wrote about it in some detail.
In this particular role, most of your time will be spent examining and measuring fasteners of all different kinds (nuts, bolts, screws, washers, lock washers, locknuts, etc.), as well as lots of custom fasteners, components, and assemblies that are made exclusively for the CTA. This includes dimensions, hardnesses, finish/plating, material, etc.
If you have a mechanical engineering background, you are probably well suited for this job. You need to be able to understand basic engineering drawings and concepts, be willing to learn about the variety of subsystems that are a part of the buses and rail cars, and ideally have an interest in how the parts that we inspect are actually used in the field.
I am not a mechanical engineering major, and knew only a little bit about fasteners before starting this job. In the time I worked there, I learned a ton about them, as well as about the variety of subsystems on the buses and railcars. However, there is no engineering design work in the job, it is purely an inspection role. That being said, this job is repetitive in nature and very task oriented. If you don't mind this kind of desk work, this is a laid back, straightforward job with fair pay for the work.
The two other pros of this job, the people and the job security, go hand in hand. The people in this department have been here forever (one for 35 years). In certain areas of the
ProsFlexible environment, low stress, great people, straightforward job, can lead to a full-time gig if you're a good learner and worker
ConsPay is mediocre, little opportunity for career advancement if you stay, most things are outdated (computers, desks, tools, office, etc.)
retirement friendly & MANY 1st-time workers start at 38 yrs old & up!
:) I'm in consumer rail operations, WHICH IS COOL! this requires constant customer interaction ie. providing information, directions, making special announcements and sometimes assisting ADA passengers on and off the train; making sure we all travel safely from one terminal to the other without incidents/accidents.
What I've learned: GO TO WORK for you and your family "ONLY". You MAY make some friends and 'SEVERAL ENEMIES' with co-workers and management. But remember you don't come to work to make friends, lol!
Be NICE to your clerks at the bus or rail terminals; YOUR LIFE is in their hands if you're "on the board" aka daily assignment worker. It's much better when you're "Frozen" or can pick your job assignment/location while you're "Unfrozen" after you've chosen your to "Freeze" (or Lock) your classification, ie. Operator, Switchman, Towerman, Clerk or Customer Assistant.
The hardest part of the job is adjusting to the up and down WORK SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS until you can "pick". You could be scheduled to return back to work between 8-10 from your last shift, but "SOME" accomodations can be made if there's manpower errors. Be mindful that cta is a 24 hour/7 day operating company, even when some train/bus lines shut down & re-open at a specific times.
But overall we have fun, some days you do "hard work" and somedays you do "easy work". You learn a lot, it can be family environment (depending on location), we bond together in times of trouble. Union Env
Prosthe benefits after becoming full-time, some uniforms are "neat" to wear
Consit's a seniority game, short breaks, fast paced, REMEMBERING to call-in EVERYDAY in the late afternoon for tomorrow's schedule, even when you sign-up for overtime. If you fail to report to your assignment you will get a "MISS".
Customer Service Representative | Chicago, IL | Mar 14, 2014
Good Company in the Wrong Hands
The company is union ran and seniority based. About 90% of people were handed their jobs nepotism and politics. A lot of people are related to each other some kind of way. Work is stressful and its been made even harder by micromanagement.
Not everyone is meant to manage they lack common sense, communication, leadership and compassion. Families and marriages suffer and dissolve due to lack of better scheduling of employees by management. If you live south you could be forced to work northwest. You can get off at 5am and have to report back at 1pm because it 8hours between if you and your spouse live south you actually have less than eight hours to rest and head out to work.
The training is quick and your set up to fail. The hardest reality is that the employee morale is decreasing rapidly which is resulting in more accidents and people getting sick. There is a lot of unsafe working conditions that need resolve but the company is reactive so they do something after and incident has happened.
There are some who love working with the public like myself and we have some wonderful passengers but are looking elsewhere due to lack of opportunity and ignorance.
The best companies have happy employees. If no one operates buses or trains there is no need for CTA upper or lower level. Transportation can be great under the right leadership its currently in the worst hands.
People think employees make a lot of money but politics, union and just because fees are taken o
ProsTransportation can meet really nice people.
ConsMicromanagement, Nepotism, politics, ignorance, cut medical benefits, lack of care and respect for employees bad planning and scheduling
Customer Service Representative | Chicago, IL | Jul 21, 2021
C.T. A. Cover Thy Self lol
Even-though it’s stated that it’s room for growth that isn’t necessarily the case. It’s definitely a process and not a speedy one. The wages are very low considering the cost of living in Chicago, at times your work environment can be unsafe and stressful. You have to be mindful that when working with the public you will come in contact with people from all walks of life. And Because of that you’ll have people who are Happy to see you and then you will have those that Dislike you because you work for CTA and they assume your making the big bucks and because of that alone you become a Instant target.
I will say this if I could’ve possibly became Full-Time sooner which In return would have provided me with a better salary I might still be there and I’m saying might because of interactions I’ve had with customer that could have led to bodily harm and when it comes to Safety and peace of mind you can’t put a price Tag on that. I’ve learned that Every job isn’t for Everyone so choose wisely. I did meet a lot of wonderful people while working for CTA and also had some pretty good moments. I obtained some great experience and became more knowledgeable in regards to Public Transportation so all in all it was cool .
I’m Thankful for the opportunity even though. I left sooner than I ever imagined. But always do what’s best for you. Remember you can replace your job but if you have a mental break down, or stroke, etc you may not come back from that.
ProsEmployees ride Cta buses/trains for Free, Overtime is always available since your Fellow co-workers Enjoy calling off, Interacting with new people
ConsPay, advancement, depending on location you may be unsafe, co-workers Enjoy calling off so you may end up forced into working overtime.
• Report to work on time and perform scheduled duty as directed. All duties ex: towerman, motorman, switchman, customer assistant and flagman are done with the customer in mind. Assigned duties may change as needed and directed per management or supervision depending on employee qualifications.
• I became qualified to perform the duties of a towerman, motorman, customer assistant and flagman. When performing any of these duties, different protocals needed to be abided by depending on the duty but, all required communication with the Rail Control Center, mostly in the event of a Safety or Delay related issue.
• Management is under a lot of pressure as well.
• Co-workers develope a family like bond. It is essential to have a teamwork mindset with co-workers to handle situations in a timely and effective manor while abiding by protocals or direction given by those in charge.
• The hardest part of the job is like anything else in life, trying not to become complacent.
• The most enjoyable part of the job is the ability to take part in the operation of our city's train portion of the public transportation system. Many personalities from the chicagoland area as well as tourists from all over the world visiting our city was fun and interesting!
ProsRiding throughout the rail system and becoming familiar with the chicagoland area
ConsAs many public servant jobs, you can expect to possibly work during various weather conditions, events, holidays and hours, it may not be for everyone especially if you have a fear of heights.
We played ping pong ,Basketball ,Baseball, went to the gym on our swings and played cards and had lunch in the park. But that was when I started.
it’s a great job if you mind your business and keep your business to yourself, if you just do your job, even if what they asks you to do on the routes don’t make sense as far as reroutes are concern. Just do what they ask and you will be fine. As far as managers are concerned they are trying to keep there jobs as well as we are, so don’t expect to much leniency when you screw up, even if they were cool with you. But the good one’s will try to help you as much as possible. I remember when I started in this company years ago we were like one with the company as far as managers, supervisors and co workers. If there was 3 feet of snow we were there to get those buses down the street and pick the people up. But sense then the morale has change and that was not good because no one cares anymore. They do there job and go home ,no more hanging after work for 3 to 4 hours after you got off and laugh about the day you just had with managers, supervisors and your co workers. That’s when The CTA was strong and as one until we were divided and it’s been like this every since. The hardest part of my job was the change from unity. The best part of my day was when it was a job well done, and your company appreciated you.And the unwinding with co workers that became your extended family. But other than that it’s still a good job.
Worked for Cta for 5 yrs as a bus operator, loved my job so much with Cta, enjoyed my coworkers and all staff, sometimes the passengers can get to you, but best way to over come them is kill them with kindness once in a while it will not work but there is always one bad apple that falls from the tree. You must love to deal with people and have a great control of your mind and feelings. Never take anything personal. Always know your place and carry yourself as a professional. Be kind and polite and helpful and I promise you you will love to work as a bus operator and you will enjoy the perks of the job, specially now there are very little jobs out there that will give you a full retirement pension with medical, dental, vision covered and for your Immediate family members. When I see people write bad things about being a bus operator for Cta it’s because clearly that job is not for them! Being a bus operator is not for everyone, but I tell you one thing if you learn that it’s for you the job itself will give you a great life if you take advantage of what Cta has to offer, you can build a future for your family. Along with great full pay at $33+ an hour and work as much over time as you can. You will be able to provide for your family and when you get old Cta pays you back by giving you a lifetime pension for the years you serve them. I mean seriously. The American dream is still alive.
ConsNothing, unless you are lazy and irresponsible
CTA offers great pay but in a real world the stress is not worth it. I am a bus operator and not being able to have a 5 minute grace period when reporting to work is ridiculous. You cannot account for traffic or real life events. Even when I leave home 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours early I still may clock in 2 minutes late and not be allowed to work. It's very stressful working with the customers and having them call and complain on you and you have no recourse. You are always at fault if a customer complains. In this case the customer is always right. I had an ex girlfriend that I was quarreling with and she called to say she was on my route and complained even thoughshe never graced my bus because she complained I got written up. It was unfair and I recieved dicispline. I was sick with the flu and pnemonia and had to be hospitalized and recieved a sick book entry. If you are part time you have no paid vacation, if you are on a show your entire day is messed up and the 2-4 hour swings are the worse. You pay union dues for union representatives who don't care to represent you in the best possible way and they barely call you back when you need them. Please don't allow CTA to be your end all, use them as your leverage. It's a job but not somewhere you want to remain if you are seeking good health and prosperity.
Consshifts take up you entire day leaving you with no work life balance.
I Loved The Job At First A Few Years.The Workplace Was Great, Management Was Great. We Had Management Who Actually Cared About Their Operators.If For Any Reason We Would Have A Problem, They Would At Least Try To Find Out Why We Had The Problem Before They Charge Us. They Would Repimand Us And Work With Us To Get Us To Be Better, To Make Us Better At Our Job.Management Back Then Was Great, Then Management Changed.The New Management Did Not.They Did Not TRY To Help You, Not At All.Whatever Came Into Their Office On You As A Warrent, You Were Chargedl.They Took The Word Of A Spotter Or The Public.They Would Not Try To Find Out For Themselves.Thats When The Job Changed From Nice Place To Not So Nice Of A Place To Work.I Know They Got Their Orders From A Chain Of Command,So I Just Can t Blame Management.If You Want Great Workers, In My Case An ( Operator) You Need To Treat Us As HUMAN BEINGS , NOT SOLDIERS In a Militant Army. So Now Management Have Their Picks Of The Workers They Like That Do No Wrong, Meanwhile Everyone Else Suffers.Now You Come To Work Just Trying To Get Thru The Day.I LOVED THE JOB, JUST SAD THAT THEY DON T CARE ANYMORE. THEY JUST CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THE MONEY.
It use to a good environment, until they start putting manager that never drove Bus dont know what we go through on them Bus stress that it brings
When you're dealing with the public in transportation a lot of stress on you and your body and stress cause heart attacks and weight gain and diabetes a lot of the drivers is dealing with health issues back problems when we hitting potholes out there all day in the seat going up and down when a customer is calling in with false reports CTA do not support the drivers and a customer's knows this on the bus I believe when the customers call in they is always right but it's two sides for every story it should be a fair trial not just based on one person who called in should meet face-to-face with the bus operator we is out there every day 5 days a week maybe 7 days a week we see these customers are they portray themselves to get over on the system but if you never work for CTA you will understand the streets the cons a manager who just getting put in that position never drove a bus down the street. As we are bus operators deal with. On the bus what we go through out there we are counselor collect Revenue and watching out for the safety for others on the bus and focus on the road. I'll call that multi-tasking.
Questions And Answers about Chicago Transit Authority
What is a typical day like for you at Chicago Transit Authority?
Asked May 10, 2020
Long and everyday isn’t the same each street, route, and area worked is different based off the side of town you’re working on and the demographic you’re picking up
Answered Jan 11, 2023
Answered Dec 22, 2022
How long does it take for you to be contacted after taking drug screen and physical for the csa position?
Asked Oct 2, 2016
During the pandemic it took me 2weeks to hear anything back regarding the drug screen and physical.
Answered Apr 18, 2021
Mine took about a month and half to two months, for a response.
Answered Mar 16, 2020
How often do you get a raise at Chicago Transit Authority?
Asked Jul 11, 2022
Every 6 months and every 2080 hours
Answered Jan 13, 2023
Answered Dec 1, 2022
What is the vacation policy like at Chicago Transit Authority? How many vacation days do you get per year?
Asked Nov 3, 2021
It varies on the Union Contract with the Chicago Transit Authority. There are several Unions and this information is found clearly in each unions present contract which is also found on the employee portal and MMIS
Answered Jan 22, 2023
Answered Dec 1, 2022
What is the work from home policy at Chicago Transit Authority?