Muni operator Charles Haletky on teaching “professional paranoia”

Operators are the front-line glue holding this operation together. Still, The Public (myself included) have had a spicy word or two for an operator, occasionally on this very website. So often we’ve had a spicy word for any operator, stranger, or boss on the wrong day at the wrong time. Some wrong days are wrong-er than others.

Veteran operator Charles Haletky joined us at a special Muni Diaries Live in April 2024, which paid homage to the operators, mechanics, trainers, and everyone in the SFMTA universe keeping the machine running. In this recording from the show, Haletky walks us through the highs of “pure, exquisite joy of public humiliation” and the lows of, well…the lowest you can imagine. He reminds us that, as someone who trains the next generation of operators, he needs to be cruel on occasion—not to be kind, but for the greater good.

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Pic by Emily Huston

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