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ferry WSDOT
The head of Washington State Ferries says he will personally apologize and reimburse a passenger for a meal and car wash after an angry ferry worker smeared food on her car. (Image courtesy WSDOT)

Ferry head offers to personally reimburse passenger for food smeared on car

After days of reporting on the case of a Washington State Ferry worker rehired after an investigation found he had smeared food all over a passenger's car, KIRO Radio's Dori Monson finally convinced the head of the ferry system to explain why this worker would be rehired.

"How is it that you have to rehire this guy?" Monson asked David Moseley, Director of the Washington State Ferries.

"Didn't have to rehire this person, chose to rehire this person," said Moseley, "the reason Dori, as you know, the purpose of discipline is to correct action. This was clearly an outrageous, egregious act and the purpose of disciplining people is to correct their action and to replace that outrageous action with good customer service."

Moseley said the ferry worker had been a good employee and had worked with the ferry service since 1995.

"There had been no service problems with him. There had been no record of discipline or any of that kind of thing in his past," said Moseley.

As for his actions of smearing beef stroganoff and a dessert all over a customer's car, Moseley said that kind of behavior baffles him as much as Dori.

"It would never occur to me to act in that manner. I have no idea what led this employee, who had been a good employee, to act in that manner that day," said Moseley.

With such unusual behavior, Dori asked if ferry passengers should be concerned that this worker has now been rehired to work on the ferries.

"I can't imagine the mentality of somebody who would even think to pour beef stroganoff on one of the ferry rider's cars. Are we safe on the boat with this guy? If a little kid bumps into him, how do we know he's not going to flip the little kid over the deck? If somebody is capable of this kind of rage, are we safe with him?" Dori asked.

"Yes. I think you are safe with him," said Moseley who explained as part of bringing the worker back on, he signed an agreement that if anything even close to this happens again, he'd be out.

"We think the combination of the suspension [initial firing] and last chance agreement, where he agrees anything like this and he's gone, will result in what we want it to result in, which is a high-functioning employee."

The victim of the crime had told the Dori Monson Show that Washington State Ferries had never issued an apology. But Moseley said he believed a mate on the boat that day apologized, as well as another ferry worker who followed up with the victim as part of the investigation.

But Moseley added he would also like to offer her an apology from Washington State Ferries. He also said he would personally reimburse her for the meal and car wash costs she incurred as a result of the incident.

Related:
Washington State Ferries never apologized, reimbursed woman whose car was vandalized
Your tax dollars at work: Ferry worker reinstated after smearing food on woman's car

Jamie Skorheim, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.
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