Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics


I have great affection for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, to the uninitiated), and I have no criticism to make of the BART police. That said, I was somewhat astonished a few months ago when I saw an advertisement for BART police recruits much like the one below, except that it quoted numbers well over $100,000 for the salary range. I think they deserve to be well paid. They have a difficult and dangerous job, and they spend so much of their lives down in gloomy subway tunnels that (to judge by the evidence of the photo below) they are left blinking in stunned amazement when they are summoned up into the light of day to be photographed, and all but one seem to have had their growth stunted.

Obviously I wasn’t the only one who was surprised. They have now put up exactly the same poster, but with numbers barely half as big, and now supplemented with the word base in bold-face type modifying “annual base, entry-level pay range”. Boldfaced type really stands out in this context. Particularly with the comma after it. That line looks like the typographic incarnation of embarrassment.

BART police (cropped)

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