Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Update on Metro

Since I was going to be downtown taking photographs I decided to check out Metro once more. I didn't have any particular plans to take photographs of Metrorail but I knew I would be taking opportunities as I found them and that might include Metro. I didn't want a repeat of the field trip last October.

I returned to the Security Desk on the second floor at Metro and requested a "permit" to photograph Metrorail. Again I was greeted with looks of dismay and utter confusion. No one knew anything about a permit to photograph Metro. After explaining a number of times what I was requesting I finally remembered my original permit was still in my wallet. From that I produced the name of the person who has authorized shooting Metrorail back in October of last year, a lady by the name of Karen.

The fellow at the desk called Karen. Well, Karen was no longer authorized to issue permits and the new person, Rachael, was not in so they took my information and said Rachael would contact me. Since I fully intended to take photographs of Metro if the opportunity presented itself I wanted something to show that I had at least made an effort to obtain a permit. The Security Desk would not even give me a post it stating that I had been there. Since they had scanned my drivers license and issued me a stick on identification tag I decided I would use the tag as proof if I was stopped. When I started to put it in my wallet they objected and insisted on getting it back. What a pile of bureaucratic self importance the people at Metro must have. You would have thought that I was requesting to enter Fort Knox. I finally persuaded the fellow at the desk to give me his name and I left to take photographs.

Surprisingly, about an hour later I did receive a call from Rachael. She was actually very pleasant and after many questions said that she would notify the Metro Police Dispatcher that I would be taking photographs in the area.

I stuck around Main Street Square shooting photograph for quite a while. All the time a police car was parked across the street. I made it a point to walk in front of the car a number of times but no one stopped me from taking photographs.

So the next time I am downtown, I will not visit the Security Desk, instead, I have Rachael's number and I will simply give her a call and cut through the bureaucracy.

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