Ken Washington, LSA Washington Crew Base
Washington DC based Lead Service Attendant Ken Washington looks more like an NBA forward than an ACELA Lead Service Attendant, especially when he's wearing a pair of his famous ?-hundred dollar pair of Nike basketball shoes.
He's like the railroad's very own cross between Shaquille ONeil and the soft-spoken Friendly Giant.
People who work with Ken are always amazed with the consistent high standards of service he offers the passengers, his always profession demeanor, and his ability to maintain his cool even in the most stressful of situations.
We could go on and on .............
Maybe you should know about the passenger Ken busted who just happened to be carrying a cache of concealed weapons including assault knives and assorted martial arts weapons. The general consensus amongst many, including the railroad police in Providence who arrested the individual, is that this character may have been on a mission to settle a score.
Ultimately, Ken may have contributed to the saving of someone's life. No matter what, his dedication and keen awareness had this potentially serious problem taken off the train. Ken was so professional in handling the situation that the passengers never even knew there was a crisis going down.
Ken was nominated for an achievement award for his great work and the fearless leaders, of course, found a reason to disqualify him. Others might have been offended, Ken really could care less. He knew we were proud of him and he found self satisfaction in doing the right thing and that's all that mattered.
There's another story about Ken that I always like to tell. The kind of story that defines what this great guy is all about.
One morning, on ACELA 2159, we were departing Route 128 Station enroute to Providence and New York City. After giving the high ball to leave "The Route" I walked up into First Class to lift the tickets from the passengers who had just joined us.
As I approached the galley area, Ken met me and had somewhat of a nervous look on his face.
"Brian......You're going to be mad at me," he said
I couldn't for the life of me think of any reason why I could be mad at this guy so I asked him what happened.
Ken told me that he had moved a woman who had a business class ticket up to First Class.
I could really care less because I know if Ken bumped someone up to First Class, it was for a good reason. I just made the wrong assumption.....And I am sure you know what I was thinking.
I worked my way into First Class and began collecting the tickets, simultaneously looking for the "babe" Ken bumped up to First Class. The car was about 2/3rds full and busy as the First Class crew was already hard at work taking care of their passengers.
I finally came across this elderly woman sitting in a single seat who seemed to have wiped tears from her eyes. She looked sad. I asked her if she was o.k. and she replied...."Oh yes, I am fine thank you."
I took her ticket which had been placed behind her headrest and noticed that it read "business class."
Well, here was that "babe" that Ken had bumped up to First Class. As I walked out of the car I asked Ken what the woman's problem happened to be and he told me the whole story.....
"Brian, the lady started to cry as she was saying good bye to her family and I felt bad for her so I figured if I moved her into first class so we could keep an eye on her."
So that's the finest example one could ever give of what kind of guy Ken Washington is.
Update: January 2006... Unfortunately, Ken chose to resign from the railroad and is now working as a lineman for a public utilities company in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. Another good Man moves on!
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." Margaret Mead
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