With terrorist bombings in the news, Metrorail must finally do something about its employees' appalling lack of concern about abandoned packages.

My experience July 3 demonstrates Metro employees' irresponsible attitude toward security. At 12:15 p.m., I noticed four boxes and a suitcase piled behind the bicycle rack near the entrance of the Dunn Loring station. I went to the station manager's kiosk to report it, but he was busy horsing around with another employee and gestured for me to wait. I insisted he speak to me, and he told me he would call the transit police right away.

When I returned to pick up my car eight hours later, transit police were just arriving to examine the packages.

A transit officer told me that transit police had not received the report until after 6 p.m., when another station manager came on duty.

The pile of boxes and accompanying suitcase were about 6 feet square. I shudder when I think about the damage that could have been done if they had contained explosives.

I have noticed a consistent lack of professionalism among the station managers at the Metro stations I frequent. It is irritating to constantly wait to get their attention while they joke around with co-workers and carry on personal phone conversations.

The Dunn Loring incident that I witnessed demonstrated that poor customer service on the part of station managers could have more devastating consequences than just annoyed customers.

KAREN ROBB

Fairfax

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So we are to report any suspicious packages or behavior in Metro? How?

We all pay Metro, but only those whose cell-phone provider is Verizon can get normal phone service in the underground parts of stations and in tunnels. This is against the public interest, especially at this time.

ALICE OLIVER

Washington