Now a Database Architect at Twitter

Just a small announcement:

Starting today, I am now “MySQL Database Architect” at Twitter, where I am joining some old friends on the small but hard-working DBA and operations teams there. I’ll be working to help debug, support, and scale the MySQL databases, of course, and who knows what else. I’m looking forward to the challenges and fast paced operations again. I’m also looking forward to writing a lot more on this blog about MySQL. I’ve had a Twitter account for a long time, but I suppose I’ll write a lot more on it now:

Since I will now be commuting from Sunnyvale to San Francisco nearly daily, I think my old “Commuting” category will get more of a work-out too.

A familiar voice…

I had my favorite light rail conductor again today… and he did the same thing!

A lady pushed the button for some reason, and he answered with the familiar “Is this an emergency, or are you disabled?” line. I knew immediately that it was him. After the woman responded “Stop here!” he hung up on her and made the same train wide announcement: “Would the parents of the small child please keep them from pressing the red button unless it is an emergency”.


Bona Fide Crazy

There was a great crazy woman on the light rail today. She got on at Santa Clara station, cell phone in hand. I first noticed that she was talking to the phone, not into the phone. She was holding it in front of her face, rarely if ever holding it to her ear.

I thought maybe she was using speakerphone, so I muted my iPod Shuffle to see. I didn’t hear anything. Weird, but hmm. Then, she fumbled around in her bag for a minute, dropping the phone into the bag. She pulled out a blue case, vaguely phone shaped, and started talking to that. I stared for a while.

My suspicions were confirmed. She was now talking to a make-up case. And holding it to her ear now. Bona fide crazy.

Egregious Behaviour from VTA

Today, I was shown amazingly egregious behaviour by and flipped off by a light rail conductor during my commute. I complained to VTA. Rather than rewriting the story again, here’s my complaint:

  • Date of Event: January 20, 2006
  • Time of Event: 10:50am
  • Mode of Transportation: Light Rail
  • Route: #902
  • Vehicle: #950A
  • Direction: North
  • Nearest Major Cross Street: Mathilda & Java

This complaint is regarding the horrible behaviour displayed by a light rail conductor.

I commute from San Jose to Yahoo! in Sunnyvale almost every day on light rail, from Fruitdale to Borregas station in the morning and back in the evening. I love the service and have never had any major problems at all. Bravo!

However, this morning, I boarded the northbound Mountain View train at Civic Center at about 10:19am. Upon departing the stop before mine, Crossman, I promptly pushed the stop request strip, and confirmed that it registered. It sounded the chirp, and the screen displayed “STOP REQUEST”. There were two others on board the train who prepared to get off as well.

The train did not stop at Borregas station, and continued on without slowing. After it was clear that we were not stopping at Borregas, and no announcement was made, I pushed the intercom call button.

The conductor answered after a moment with “Is there an emergency, or are you disabled?”, already displaying an attitude. I responded “You did not stop at Borregas station, and there was a stop request”. He promptly hung up on me, and made a train-wide announcement “Would the parents of the small child please keep him from pressing the red button unless it is an emergency”. There were many witnesses around the intercom that I was using that were equally aghast at his behaviour.

The train stopped at Lockheed Martin station, where I got off. I walked to the front of the train near the conductor’s window and flipped him off … and he responded in kind by doing the same.

I understand that stops might occasionally be missed, and it would be inconvenient, but acceptable as long as it’s infrequent. However, I would have expected the conductor to make an immediate train-wide apology, or at least an apology after a customer called him on the intercom. I completely did not expect such a customer-unfriendly, and frankly utterly rude, attitude.

As I said above, I love VTA and I love light rail, but this is completely unacceptable. Thanks for your attention in this matter and prompt discipline of this conductor. Please follow up with me as soon as possible.

I hope they fire his ass. It’s not like they’re paid to stop when I push the button. Amazing customer-minded attitude.


Today, while I was riding the light rail to work, I was sitting in the articulated section of the train, next to my bike. There was another guy sitting with his bike. He was kind of old, and seemed a little crazy. He kept mumbling to himself and occasionally said non-sensical things to me.

We stopped at a station, and nobody was there. He half stood up, and was looking out the window intensely, and announced to me and the train:

They’ve got rainbow-colored leopards … with six legs!!

I replied, “Um, OK.” Crazy people rule.

Update: Well, things are not always as they seem. We took light rail downtown tonight to see a movie, and upon the train stopping at San Fernando station, what did we see? Rainbow-colored leopards, with six legs. Or at least art that appears to be such. Maybe the guy is slightly (but not much) less crazy than I thought.