Updated: Apologies after SDOT tweet calls West Seattle Bridge drivers ‘scumbags’

May 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 122 Comments

1:18 PM: If you haven’t already seen this via The Seattle Times or via Reddit … someone at SDOT thought it was funny that the eastbound bridge was backed up this morning while the westbound bridge was closed for a rollover/spinout crash (as reported here), and proclaimed drivers on the eastbound side to be rubberneckers. If you use social media, you may know it’s considered cool for government agencies to use humor (major case in point, SPD/pot/Doritos). What do you think?

P.S. We have a question out to SDOT’s communications director for his thoughts. The West Seattle Transportation Coalition has already had something to say.

P.P.S. The “scumbag hat” reference is to this meme.

(You might also recall it was just a few months ago SDOT said it only had interns to staff the Transportation Management Center during peak hours – see this December story).

2:42 PM UPDATE: We contacted both SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan and Mayor Murray’s commmunications director Jeff Reading. Their responses both just came in. From SDOT’s Sheridan:

The use of the hat meme was not intended to insult drivers but to highlight a roadway problem and help drivers make decisions about their trips. We apologize to anyone that was offended by the tweet.

Our traffic management center personnel typically use humorous memes to highlight problematic situations for drivers. The staff member was trying to note that rubbernecking near a collision site was creating delays.

We have removed the tweet from our Twitter feed. The staff member’s supervisor will also reinforce the department’s standards for social media. Again, we apologize if anyone was offended.

And from Reading in the mayor’s office:

It’s never acceptable for a city employee to ridicule members of the public. I understand the tweet in question was meant humorously, but many — myself included — took it quite differently. Mayor Murray holds a high standard of respect for communications with the public across all city departments. We will ensure that this type of offending humor is not repeated in communications to the public by City of Seattle employees.

122 Comments

  1. “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of ‘em are stupider than that.” – George Carlin

    Comment by DTK — 1:23 pm May 5, 2014 #

  2. Not at all funny. Glad to see the transparency, however; all this time I was wondering if we’ll ever see the traffic problem fixed, but it’s clearly a joke to SDOT. Very poor taste.

    Comment by Maxine — 1:25 pm May 5, 2014 #

  3. Hmmm… I am all for humor, but someone is going to have to fill me in on the joke. I don’t use the Bridge to commute so maybe there is something obvious here I am missing, but why would someone be a scumbag for being stuck in a line of cars going to work? What does that have to do with the accident on the other side of the bridge? Someone help me connect the dots.

    Comment by Westside — 1:25 pm May 5, 2014 #

  4. Humor only works for gov’t social media if they aren’t actually insulting people (i.e. their constituents).

    Comment by E — 1:27 pm May 5, 2014 #

  5. Westside, I had to look up the meme: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/scumbag-steve

    Comment by WSB — 1:29 pm May 5, 2014 #

  6. But why might someone think that these drivers are “scumbags?”

    Comment by Militant Moderate — 1:32 pm May 5, 2014 #

  7. “Sucker” hats would be more appropriate :(

    Comment by helridge — 1:33 pm May 5, 2014 #

  8. funny.

    Comment by quiz — 1:34 pm May 5, 2014 #

  9. Not that everyone wasn’t rubbernecking, but part of the reason why east bound was backed up was because the left lane was blocked with fire/aid crew, at least when I passed by. We all had to merge into one lane.

    Comment by Joleen — 1:35 pm May 5, 2014 #

  10. Our ongoing nightmare is a joke to the city, AND they haven’t removed the tweet. Disgusting. Would love to know Murray’s reaction.

    Comment by k — 1:36 pm May 5, 2014 #

  11. If you are going to make generally insulting comments, at least make them funny. I wasn’t a driver so I should be fine pointing and laughing. But this wasn’t funny, and too obscure to get without a online tutorial.

    Comment by AEL — 1:40 pm May 5, 2014 #

  12. “Scumbag Steve is an image macro series featuring a kid with a sideways fitted cap standing in a hallway. The overlaid text generally centers around unethical behavior regarding drugs, partying, and other hedonistic behaviors.”

    Wow, I must have totally missed the mark in this mornings commute. I was making a concerted effort to be an ethical person by being on time for work during our fabulous commute this morning. No drugs or partying going on in my car.

    I can appreciate the attempt to bring brevity to a frustrating situation. Seriously, Monday morning brings enough challenges without being insulted by SDOT. I wonder if it was the same intern that waited hours to alert a superior that there was a single car wreck on 99 that put folks hours behind and late for work a few months ago?

    Comment by Evidentally I'm a Scum Bag — 1:41 pm May 5, 2014 #

  13. I get that it’s supposed to be funny, but they definitely missed the mark. Makes zero sense to me.
    On a serious note, today was a bad day for rollovers. I was about 45 seconds away from witnessing the Marginal Way accident. Saw the guy get pulled out of his car by bystanders. I had to turn around and go 35th to Roxbury to get out of west seattle.

    Comment by AM — 1:43 pm May 5, 2014 #

  14. I think it’s funny, but don’t get it in this case. I get the meme, but not it’s application here. Scumbags for driving not bussing??

    Comment by Person — 1:43 pm May 5, 2014 #

  15. This is why I will vote no on any initiative to raise taxes to pay for city services. If you live in West Seattle: the mayor doesn’t care about you, SDOT doesn’t care about you, Metro doesn’t care about you, Sound Transit doesn’t care about you, and the city council definitely does not care about you. The city gives developers carte blanche and the residents scumbag hats.

    Comment by The Real CW — 1:47 pm May 5, 2014 #

  16. SDOT social media needs to take a lesson from WSDOT social media. WSDOT is great at putting humor into its posts–but where appropriate and without insult.

    Comment by Katy17 — 1:49 pm May 5, 2014 #

  17. I have no idea why this is considered funny, or what it means.

    Comment by Morgan — 1:50 pm May 5, 2014 #

  18. Really great to see what we get for our tax dollars.

    Comment by another person — 1:51 pm May 5, 2014 #

  19. I think it’s pretty funny.

    Comment by Christopher Neel — 2:01 pm May 5, 2014 #

  20. City phone ? on the job ? if this is the case one should be fired. But most likely they will invest more money and time in retaining the person responsible. Lots of good responsible people out there looking for a job. If nothing is done it just shows the quality of people we have in charge.

    Comment by wetone — 2:04 pm May 5, 2014 #

  21. Time to take the intern off of social media.

    The accident was further up the bridge towards West Seattle and one of the east bound lanes was blocked by all the emergency vehicles.

    Actually, there’s a scumbag hat right near where the ambulance and fire truck were located in the east bound lane…before all the traffic.

    Awesome sense of humor.

    Comment by Yardvark — 2:05 pm May 5, 2014 #

  22. SDOT and WSDOT have been passing this meme back and forth for at least a week. It started with a stalled car on the northbound on ramp to the viaduct next to the stadium. They photoshopped the hat onto the junker car that blocked one of the two lanes during 5:00 traffic last week, and they’ve both continued it for stalled cars over the week. And yeah, I also feel that people with junker cars that don’t maintain them or pay attention to how much gas they have and stall in the middle of the freeway during the heaviest commute hour are kind of selfish.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 2:07 pm May 5, 2014 #

  23. The original “scumbag” car: https://twitter.com/seattledot/status/461646719596261376

    Comment by trickycoolj — 2:08 pm May 5, 2014 #

  24. Seems accurate, usually about 6 scumbag drivers per every 100 cars. Funny…but I’m too old to know about all these memes. Is I can’t haz decent transit our new meme?

    Comment by John — 2:09 pm May 5, 2014 #

  25. Boy, I hope it was an intern. I think plenty of drivers are scumbags, but I wouldn’t risk my job for a chance to say so publicly. Dummy. Scumbag’s a mean word if it inadvertently gets aimed at someone’s who’s basically a good person but may have made a poor decision one day.

    Comment by amalia — 2:17 pm May 5, 2014 #

  26. Thanks for the context, trickycoolj … makes a lot more sense, and I can see how it would be funny if you were in on the joke.

    Comment by seaopgal — 2:20 pm May 5, 2014 #

  27. Not funny.

    I guess Murray didn’t get the memo about why nickels got fired. Don’t insult your constituents. We pay your salaries. You work for us.

    Comment by Not funny — 2:22 pm May 5, 2014 #

  28. I see another line getting longer in the immediate future. The unemployment line.

    Unacceptable.

    Comment by Just wow. — 2:28 pm May 5, 2014 #

  29. Regardless whether it is funny or not, do we actually pay someone at DOT to do this? What is the job description? More interestingly, who manages this position?

    It just kind of irritates me to see this when we are being inundated by various city entities with requests for more tax revenue because they claim to be stretched so thin.

    Comment by Jim — 2:31 pm May 5, 2014 #

  30. I still don’t understand what the traffic offenses being depicted in these images are.

    Nothing against ridiculing selfish, inconsiderate, lousy drivers (I think that such things should be encouraged!), but this looks like someone lost their damned mind.

    Comment by Militant Moderate — 2:32 pm May 5, 2014 #

  31. I moved my business to Renton eight years ago, mostly due to the unfriendliness of Seattle. If more companies move out of downtown, maybe they will realize that they need to make it more customer friendly. Oh by the way, I think Seattle never learned from the 70′s when downtown was a wasteland.
    Is there any supervision of these employees that seem to be unprofessional?

    Comment by Turn out the Lights — 2:34 pm May 5, 2014 #

  32. Really, someone is at a “job” intern or not and this is the product they put out….

    Comment by Mike — 2:37 pm May 5, 2014 #

  33. Humor only works for anyone when the subjects don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Comment by Delridge Denizen — 2:45 pm May 5, 2014 #

  34. it looks like that photo is taken down from SDOT’s twitter feed now? but several tweets from about the same time suggest that the intern running the show thought that all the traffic was caused by looky-loos. which seems to suggest they haven’t been on the job long because a) the back up appeared to be east of the incident and b) isn’t there a back up every day on the EB WSB?

    Comment by sam-c — 2:46 pm May 5, 2014 #

  35. Wow… what an idiot…. social media used by a govt agency in this manner is inappropriate. I wonder what hat that individual is wearing now?

    Comment by Wmyron — 2:47 pm May 5, 2014 #

  36. Oh, good gracious. Talk about a tempest in a teapot. Again with people taking themselves too damn seriously.

    Comment by Melissa — 2:49 pm May 5, 2014 #

  37. We’ll be needing a better apology, Rick.

    “The staff member was trying to note that rubbernecking near a collision site was creating delays.”

    Rubbernecking wasn’t causing the delays in this photo. That’s our daily commute. The accident scene was way before all this traffic. So the staff member was actually just calling all West Seattle commuters scumbags.

    Comment by Yardvark — 2:54 pm May 5, 2014 #

  38. Scumbag Steve gets government job. Wastes time posting memes of himself.

    Comment by Civik — 2:57 pm May 5, 2014 #

  39. If the intern was my kid, I would expect them to be fired or resign. Social media is “cool” and there are always going to be in jokes, but jokes are only good when you laugh WITH the customer, not AT them. And if your job is communications-related and you don’t have a clue about how to communicate with your customers, then you need to go back to square 1 and get a serious reality check.

    Comment by onion — 2:58 pm May 5, 2014 #

  40. I wonder how many commenting here are regular Twitter users? Reddit? Facebook? …AOL?

    Many companies hire people as full time staffers to work their twitter feeds as part of marketing and customer service. I have several friends who have been able to get good jobs with benefits at Microsoft doing just this for their “Tweet Fleet.” The average twitter user is probably under 30 and got a good laugh out of this morning’s tweet and knew to avoid the bridge and the typical back ways that people use to avoid the bridge. When I saw the tweet this morning I knew I didn’t need to rush out of house, I could take my time since it would be a while before I could get to work and I payed a little more attention than to all the other “noise” tweets of bridge is up, bridge is down, bridge is up, etc.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 2:59 pm May 5, 2014 #

  41. This is the mindset of the city towards West Seattle, the largest neighborhood. We are the last thought it seems when it comes to connecting up with light rail. We are made fun of when we are stuck in traffic on the bridge. Rise up West Seattle. Rise UP!!! Time to secede. Power to West Seattle.

    Comment by Wessyde — 3:01 pm May 5, 2014 #

  42. Insulting a vast & diverse group of people, intended as humor or not, is done out of ignorance, so wear your dunce cap proudly.

    Comment by drahcir61 — 3:02 pm May 5, 2014 #

  43. With all the publicity in New Jersey when one of Governor Chris Christie’s aides (since fired) was tweeting/emailing similar trash with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority over slowdowns on the George Washington Bridge; a situation that was all over the national news; you would think that SDOT employees would be more aware. This type of conduct is so disrespectful.

    Comment by iggy — 3:03 pm May 5, 2014 #

  44. ha, I tried to correct my comment but it wouldn’t let me, change it to:
    a) the back up appeared to be east of the incident and b) isn’t there a back up every day on the EB WSB?

    oops lol

    Comment by sam-c — 3:06 pm May 5, 2014 #

  45. haha I guess people in West Seattle also have no sense of humor.

    Comment by Chris — 3:06 pm May 5, 2014 #

  46. This has been an on going joke between sdot and wsdot. I personally don’t find it hilarious, but I also don’t find it so egregious that someone should lose their job over it. It’s not a personal attack on West Seattle. Crying about a joke that was made without malice makes our legitimate traffic complaints easier to dismiss because we just complain about everything.

    Comment by ej — 3:07 pm May 5, 2014 #

  47. Still no plan to improve the West Seattle commute. Meanwhile, high-rise apartments go up everywhere over here. Who are the scumbags in government ignoring West Seattle commuters? Let’s vote them out and get a real, comprehensive transportation infrastructure.

    Comment by Andrew Smith — 3:10 pm May 5, 2014 #

  48. People are honestly freaking out about this? Come on, who cares?

    Comment by forrest p — 3:15 pm May 5, 2014 #

  49. KOMO and Q13 are going to be covering this tonight. It’s been an absurd day.

    Comment by West Seattle Transportation Coalition — 3:16 pm May 5, 2014 #

  50. Fire these city workers, starting with Sheridan,
    than they can go get real jobs.

    Comment by Tom — 3:18 pm May 5, 2014 #

  51. The fact that this is our daily commute and it was turned into a joke makes our issues look dismissible. Calling them on it doesn’t.

    Comment by Kara — 3:23 pm May 5, 2014 #

  52. I’m with forrest p. Who cares.

    Comment by Bonnie — 3:27 pm May 5, 2014 #

  53. Ok, I am upset because 1. It’s so obscure I don’t get it. 2. It does not make any sense since the traffic I was sitting in this morning had very little to do with it, if caused by rubberneckers said traffic would clear after the accident which in this case it did not. 3. What’s a meme? 4. Not worth making such a big deal about it. Moving on…

    Comment by NM — 3:34 pm May 5, 2014 #

  54. If you note how the “scumbag hat” is oriented (over the cars and the memes circulating on the internet), it appears to obscure the wearer’s view to his/her left. I assume the SDOT jokester was pointing out that, had the affected commuters donned their “scumbag hats” this morning, said headwear would have blocked their view of the accident from their peripheral vision and thus foreclosed the possibility of rubbernecking creating the slowdown in the eastbound lanes.

    In short, this tweet was subtle, germane, and humorous, which is why I’m an avid follower of SDOT’s Twitter feed.

    Comment by Clay — 3:35 pm May 5, 2014 #

  55. Seriously? This is not apology-worthy. The only error was not knowing the number of stodgy whiners in West Seattle.

    Comment by z7 — 3:37 pm May 5, 2014 #

  56. I am not at all shocked that some would be offended by this–remember the waxing sign in the Alaska Junction that mentioned a beaver? End of days.
    .
    This is funny. Good to see some government entity with a sense of humor!

    Comment by KM — 3:40 pm May 5, 2014 #

  57. Not smart to “poke the bear” when you are going to ask the voters for $tens of millions of dollars later this year…..

    Comment by Ray — 3:46 pm May 5, 2014 #

  58. If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide. – Mahatma Gandhi -

    Comment by Gatewooder — 3:49 pm May 5, 2014 #

  59. ROFL.
    I’ll buy a beer for the WS resident that goes out and gets the following license plate:

    https://fortress.wa.gov/dol/dolprod/vsdpersonalplate/Available.aspx?plate=WSSCMBG

    Comment by wsn00b — 3:53 pm May 5, 2014 #

  60. Sam-C, yep, every day. This is the normal commute… Which is caused by many factors, especially the backlog waiting to get on I5 N, which can be stop and go on the weekend as well. Slowdown on 99N, but the main contribution seems to come from I5N and trucks waiting for enough room to merge or avoiding the line to I5N until the last second(which blocks both lanes of traffic).

    That SDOT doesn’t respect their constituents to whom they are supposed to provide a service comes as no surprise.

    Comment by Civik — 3:55 pm May 5, 2014 #

  61. Also, it’s neighborhood pride…I don’t think there isn’t a neighborhood in Seattle that wouldn’t have something to say, especially, if it’s an issue that hood is particularly passionate about.

    Comment by Kara — 3:56 pm May 5, 2014 #

  62. I’m not going to take this personally, and I hope other’s don’t as well. It wasn’t a wise post, to say the least… but alas — I don’t think this person should be fired, and they’re not a bad person… they just made a stupid mistake, and that happens sometimes.

    Comment by Interrobang — 4:00 pm May 5, 2014 #

  63. I am upset! I missed a great opportunity to rubber neck because I was texting, eating, and shaving.

    Comment by WMO — 4:01 pm May 5, 2014 #

  64. How much does this guy get paid to Photoshop hats on cars? Our tax dollars at work. Time to increase workloads at the City or reduce staff because some workers have too much time on their hands.

    Comment by s — 4:12 pm May 5, 2014 #

  65. I’m starting to think the only people ok with this type of behavior must work in a city or state job or ones pushing for $15hr. In the private working world one don’t get away doing this on company time and equipment, and you wonder why they always want to raise taxes. I guess so SDOT and WSDOT can spend more time doing this kind of stuff.

    Comment by wetone — 4:29 pm May 5, 2014 #

  66. If this was my employee, they would have been dismissed. End of the story. There are 10 more people waiting in line for good jobs.

    Comment by vanessa — 4:34 pm May 5, 2014 #

  67. Maybe people would consider it funny if SDOT didn’t have such a poor track record of ineptitude. Drive over the Spokane Street Viaduct lately?

    .

    Remember when the competent folks at SDOT incorrectly de-iced the bridge back in December of last year? http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-traffic-alert-crash-on-eastbound-bridge/

    .

    Did they assign themselves “scumbag hats” for that?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 4:42 pm May 5, 2014 #

  68. Scumbag would be a better name for the tunnel boring machine or the project in general.

    Comment by Babs — 4:48 pm May 5, 2014 #

  69. The employee responsible for the tweet needs to be let go immediately – no questions asked. This type of humor has NO PLACE in an official communications channel. Furthermore, if you are stuck in traffic (as I was), the backup is far less than humorous, not to mention possible injuries to other people involved in the accident.

    As someone already stated, this goes to show you what happens in a liberal haven – all sense of formality and decorum are thrown out the window under the rationale of inclusion. Just look at the police department’s blog and the “PR guy” Jonah Spangenthal-Lee who tries to include humor (albeit poorly) in official communications. The best example is Ed Murray’s staffer announcing the death of a very much alive city employee.

    Get with the game, Seattle. You are too big for such a significant lack of professionalism.

    Comment by Get real, SDOT — 4:55 pm May 5, 2014 #

  70. They should tweet hats on texting drivers – what’s up with SPD not enforcing distracted driving btw? Wasn’t that supposed to start in April?
    In my experience the worst traffic is caused by the last minute merge to I5 that Civik pointed out, and more so the massive number of distracted drivers.

    It’s frightening in this city how many people drive and stare at their phones.

    Comment by PutDownThePhone — 4:58 pm May 5, 2014 #

  71. Who cares about the lame attempt at humor? I’m just sad that SDOT appears to think this sort of backup only occurs when there’s rubber-necking.

    Comment by TheBiz125 — 5:07 pm May 5, 2014 #

  72. All the folks on here who don’t understand social media astound me. Every organization big enough to fill a bus has a social media staffer – all these “private organizations would never pay for such frippery!” folks need to follow Joe Mande on twitter – his retweets of the various inept stuff those folks put out is legendary.

    That said, Scumbag Steve is a little obscure for something like traffic tweets. I think the dancing baby from Ally McBeal might be as far as some of the folks on here have gotten meme-wise.

    But it always could be worse…google “us airways tweet” and see!

    Comment by G — 5:10 pm May 5, 2014 #

  73. It’s the old “let the intern do social media” stupidity. Those of you who voted against funding mass transit deserve to forever sit in your precious cars in gridlock.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 5:19 pm May 5, 2014 #

  74. How old are these interns? 10?

    Comment by CanDo — 5:26 pm May 5, 2014 #

  75. I am not offended by the joke itself, but the fact that SDOT apparently doesn’t understand that this is our daily commute, rubbernecking aside, is pretty irritating. #fail

    Comment by Big Red — 5:29 pm May 5, 2014 #

  76. It proves to me that SDOT is a joke.

    Comment by dsa — 5:33 pm May 5, 2014 #

  77. I’m with Yardvark on the so-called apology from Rick Sheridan. I found that to be more offensive than the tweet itself. Like, don’t take responsibility for your org’s actions, and then make it sound like the people who were offended were somehow in the wrong. Nice.

    Comment by Jill — 5:34 pm May 5, 2014 #

  78. EXTREMELY offensive! A government employee calls citizens used condoms (what did you think it meant?), as an attempt at humor?

    Comment by Community Member — 5:38 pm May 5, 2014 #

  79. I’m not too bothered that some, probably young, employee at SDOT made a very poor decision with his tweet today. What bothers me is SDOT’s “apology.” When you use the phrase “We are sorry if anyone was offended…” without actually agreeing that the tweet was offensive; it is not really a sincere apology. And when you try to justify the tweet rather than just saying that it was in really poor taste only weakens the words “We’re sorry” even further. It implies that something was wrong with the people who were offended, rather than that anything was actually wrong with the Tweet.

    Comment by dcn — 5:43 pm May 5, 2014 #

  80. TheBiz125, EXACTLY!

    Comment by Kara — 5:43 pm May 5, 2014 #

  81. I’m lmbo at being offended by this.

    Comment by Eric — 6:01 pm May 5, 2014 #

  82. I am deeply offended by the “deeply offended by everything” stance everyone seems to be taking these days.

    Comment by WMF — 6:05 pm May 5, 2014 #

  83. trickycoolj, I happen to manage social media for a large company, am under 30, and did NOT get a laugh out of this. If I called our customers scumbags (EVEN JOKINGLY) there would be hell to pay (first for the company, then me shortly after). I guess we have different standards for government, with the private sector under a bigger microscope.

    I’d like to see a scumbag hat on the mayor or SDOT logo on bumper stickers, on every car in West Seattle. Talk about true scumbags… we pay their salaries, then they call us names? That’d be like you calling your employer a scumbag, tell me how well that would go over!

    Comment by Mica — 6:21 pm May 5, 2014 #

  84. The amount of indignation over a harmless (and admittedly not funny) joke is hilarious.

    Comment by Jeff — 7:13 pm May 5, 2014 #

  85. People who think this is funny must have thought the Asiana pilot name prank was funny too.

    Comment by Not funny — 7:28 pm May 5, 2014 #

  86. “I’m sorry you were offended” and “I’m sorry I called you a scumbag” are a little different. I didn’t hear the latter from SDOT.

    Comment by 5lb bag — 7:30 pm May 5, 2014 #

  87. If this was my employee, they would have been dismissed. End of the story. There are 10 more people waiting in line for good jobs.
    .
    If this was an intern, they weren’t getting paid. Who’d line up for that?
    .
    This is the mindset of the city towards West Seattle, the largest neighborhood.
    .
    Are we including those of us east of 35th this week?

    Comment by datamuse — 7:39 pm May 5, 2014 #

  88. My scumbag hat’s off to SDOT for being so darn funny.

    Comment by scumbaghat — 7:39 pm May 5, 2014 #

  89. Interns are certainly paid.
    .
    And the entire department – interns, supervisors, etc – as government employees – aren’t just insulting the public, but they are doing it in the name of the public.

    Comment by community members — 8:29 pm May 5, 2014 #

  90. Lighten up passive aggressive citizens of Seattle. IT WAS A JOKE.

    Comment by Reality Checking You — 8:50 pm May 5, 2014 #

  91. So weird that our culture is beginning to accept dumb humor as a professional characteristic. Our society is becoming more and more daft.

    Comment by ttt — 9:07 pm May 5, 2014 #

  92. I think I’m getting old. I don’t understand why people think using the word scumbag is ok…especially coming from a government office. I don’t want my kid calling another kid a scumbag. It’s mean. I’m shocked that this isn’t the first time SDOT used this. Why is it ok to make fun of a car that has broken down? That car owner might be poor, ran out of gas, has a beater of a car, etc. So the city of Seattle thinks it is ok to call that car owner a scumbag? That’s kind of what I gleaned from this story and sadly that might be what our kids glean from it.

    Comment by ugh — 9:07 pm May 5, 2014 #

  93. Sounds like some good ? to ask at the next 34th D meeting

    Comment by rob — 9:18 pm May 5, 2014 #

  94. Define what is a scumbag?

    Comment by rob — 9:21 pm May 5, 2014 #

  95. SDOT should be ashamed for this classless tweet. Let’s not forget: our tax and fee dollars fund their salaries.

    Comment by John — 9:24 pm May 5, 2014 #

  96. Interns are certainly paid.
    .
    I wasn’t. (I didn’t intern for SDOT, though.)

    Comment by datamuse — 9:28 pm May 5, 2014 #

  97. The tweet was disrespectful, not funny. Period.

    Comment by fiz — 9:42 pm May 5, 2014 #

  98. Some City of Seattle Internships are paid positions, some not:

    http://www.seattle.gov/jobs/internships.asp

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 10:00 pm May 5, 2014 #

  99. The only funny thing about this is the reaction some people are having. People want this person fired??? Who hasn’t done something stupid or offended someone at least once at work? We all make mistakes and learn from them.

    Comment by Krm66 — 10:06 pm May 5, 2014 #

  100. And SDOT needs more money, maybe the time spent would be better spent fixing the dangerous potholes for bikes and cars, Wait that makes sense I forgot I am talking about SDOT.

    Comment by Max — 10:23 pm May 5, 2014 #

  101. So there is the scumbag thing, the deicer fail thay WSH reminded us about. Does anyone remember the intern a few months ago who dropped the ball when that car stalled on 99 north which crippled the WS commute. There are 3 major DOT issues in the last 6 months.

    Comment by Enough — 11:02 pm May 5, 2014 #

  102. DON’T FIRE HIM! It was awesome!

    Comment by tk — 11:10 pm May 5, 2014 #

  103. So the public servants we pay tax dollars to run the Seattle roads thinks we the tax payers are scum huh…
    This is a great case for automation and reduction in useless staffing.
    More road crews and less admin staff with time on their hands…

    Comment by Ralph — 5:49 am May 6, 2014 #

  104. ok everybody, simmer down. move to the right so the waaaaaaaambulance can pass!

    Comment by flimflam — 6:33 am May 6, 2014 #

  105. Not being one of the rubberneckers, ever, I find this hilarious. I think similar thoughts as I’m stuck in traffic waiting for the jerks in front to start moving and stop gawking. Some of us have jobs to get to :/

    Comment by DukeMalisto — 8:10 am May 6, 2014 #

  106. Bridge-Gate part two!

    Comment by lox — 8:12 am May 6, 2014 #

  107. This is why I don’t do Mondays. And to the entitled self righteous, climb a bit higher on your thrones.

    Comment by Rick — 8:34 am May 6, 2014 #

  108. Wsn00b, THAT was funny. :-) You should make it a bummer sticker or decal so we can all have one. I was getting way too into this thread, and that was a really appropriate and well-used mood lifter.

    Comment by cbof — 8:35 am May 6, 2014 #

  109. I don’t think the original joke was very funny but what I do find amusing is a bunch of old fogies getting bent out of shape because they don’t know what a meme is.

    Comment by Brian Connolly — 9:08 am May 6, 2014 #

  110. Who cares about a terrible joke SDOT made from a stupid meme. Some people are too sensitive.

    The real problem you should all be upset about is this tunnel debacle and the lack of foresight from all parties involved.

    Or perhaps the lack of planning reguarding Seattle’s current congestion that will only get worse with all of the new ‘pack ‘em and stack ‘em resdential development around town.

    Comment by RS — 11:15 am May 6, 2014 #

  111. WOW, I am glad I do not work with some of you people? Fire someone for THAT? I see it as trying to have fun with STUPID SOCIAL MEDIA, that is all it is people, social media.

    Personally, I thought it was funny as heck.

    Comment by T Rex — 12:49 pm May 6, 2014 #

  112. It’s not funny… 1) because the word is vulgar and offensive), 2) the people in the picture aren’t in a funny situation, 3) it demonstrates a severe lack of understanding that the people in the picture aren’t being bad drivers but are actually stuck in regularly occurring traffic, and 4) it’s a government agency using taxpayer resources to ridicule citizens.
    .
    This isn’t some stupid prank by morning radio disc jockeys. It’s just plain dumb.

    Comment by Mickymse — 1:58 pm May 6, 2014 #

  113. This was a hilarious tweet and that’s exactly how I feel every time I see rubberneckers. People in this town need to learn how to take a joke. And as to whether the WSDOT twitter feed is a useful service: YES IT IS! I check it every day before my commute and it’s saved me from several I-90 debacles. Everyone who crosses a bridge to get anywhere around here should be using it.

    Comment by Evan — 3:20 pm May 6, 2014 #

  114. Just to be clear – this was from the SDOT (Seattle Dept. of Transportation) Twitter account, not the WSDOT (Washington State Dept. of Transportation) Twitter account. @seattledot not @wsdot or @wsdot_traffic, completely different governments, etc. (since the bridge is a city structure and I-90, for example, is a state structure). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:33 pm May 6, 2014 #

  115. RS- couldn’t have said it better!!

    Comment by WSince86 — 4:40 pm May 6, 2014 #

  116. Perhaps if the joke was actually funny, I would have laughed.

    .

    I personally am not offended, I just think it was a lame attempt at humor by an organization with a documented history of ineptitude.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 5:12 pm May 6, 2014 #

  117. There are many posts on this thread that can be summarized as, “I wasn’t offended. Therefore it isn’t offensive.” This is a very insular point of view.
    .
    Even if only a few people were offended by this, it still shouldn’t have happened. There just isn’t any upside or justification for government employees to publicly belittle the citizens.
    .
    And SDOT has NOT apologized. Saying you’re sorry someone was offended is like saying you’re sorry they are ill, or their cat died, etc; it certainly isn’t admitting error.
    .
    Would you want the police to talk about you this way when you call 911? Why not?
    .
    Mickymse’s summary is good.

    Comment by Community Member — 5:23 pm May 6, 2014 #

  118. I hope someone at SDOT gets fired for this. Very offensive. We pay THEIR salaries? To be mocked and ridiculed, for waiting in traffic during our commute?

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 5:53 pm May 6, 2014 #

  119. This is funny and so true.. love social media

    Comment by Steven Russell — 7:29 pm May 6, 2014 #

  120. “Even if only a few people were offended by this, it still shouldn’t have happened.”
    .
    Oh man. Imagine if we applied that to other areas in life. We’d all be sitting on our hands with our mouths tapped shut.

    Comment by KM — 8:12 pm May 6, 2014 #

  121. We choose to live in an awesome neighborhood in seattle, and so we pay the price with traffic on the bridge. Resolving congestion can’t be fixed by SPOT alone. We too are responsible, and one solution would be less single occpancy driving to reduce congestion. I’d say people should get on mass transit, but clearly that’s a sore point at the moment.

    Comment by seriouslygetoverit — 8:26 pm May 6, 2014 #

  122. LOL! Didn’t this happen at an old episode of Park and Recreation? :) At least’s the nick name it’s not Anthony Weiner :-p Poor guy making that twitter comment, bye bye job? or a disciplinary warning?

    Comment by angela — 4:21 pm May 19, 2014 #

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