MBTA Worker To Be Disciplined After Christmas Prank

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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A worker put "Deck The Halls" lyrics on an MBTA sign.

A worker put “Deck The Halls” lyrics on an MBTA sign.

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – As almost any daily commuter will tell you, riding the T isn’t necessarily a barrel of laughs.

But on Christmas night, an MBTA worker wanted to lighten the mood, so he made the public address system his personal caroler.

He typed in some of the lyrics to “Deck the Halls”, which were then scrolled across T information signs at the same time a robotic voice “sang” the song.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

It echoed throughout the Park Street stop on the Red Line.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi heard the song and, “thought it was great fun.”

The Harvard graduate student was on the subway at around 7 pm, returning to Cambridge from a Christmas-night Occupy Boston celebration; she is a member of Occupy Harvard.

Gharavi recorded a few seconds of the broadcast and posted it on her Twitter account.

“I think the person who did it obviously had a really great sense of humor and impeccable timing,” she says. “Immediately as I entered the station I heard this festive, very unexpected announcement message and it just repeated over and over and over and I wanted to capture it before the train came.”

She says she and about 30 other passengers loved hearing the song. They started smiling and laughing, wondering if the T had been hacked by someone inside or outside of the agency.

“I think they should really just look at it as a moment of really spontaneous public relations, and they should celebrate it,” she said.

Far from celebrating, the T plans to punish the employee when he goes back to work on Tuesday, “for entering an unauthorized message into the customer information system.”

That’s a move passengers like Gharavo aren’t so sure about.

“I thought this was such a little small event, that became a public event, a piece of public art on public transportation,” she explained.

“And I would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to him and I would urge the MBTA to rethink serious reprimand for him.”

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