Sunday, September 24, 2006

Conductors ... a coveted job!

This is more a story of an overheard conversation rather than a typical 'whinge' blog entry.

The last few days of last week I travelled via Yarra Trams from Port Melbourne to the CBD, as I stayed up in Melbourne due to work commitments.

Due to working a rather insane 17-hour work day on Thursday, and after a few hours of zombie state at work on Friday morning, my boss told me to go home. Whilst I was standing at the Swanston St/Collins St "super" tram-stop, I couldn't help but smile at the following exchange between two Yarra Trams employees (the ones who for some reason are at most of the super-stops now, they don't seem to be ticket-inspectors?)

1st Yarra tram guy: "How's it going "
2nd Yarra tram guy: "Yeah good, trying to get through the next few months without any more sickies, otherwise i get a warning"
1YTG: "oh yeah why's that? Didn't I hear something about V/Line hiring?"
2YTG: "Yeah yeah, that's where I want to apply to, want to keep a good record"
1YTG: "yeah that conducting business, have the whole train to yourself, that's the ticket"
2YTG: " yeah travel up country, get put up into hotels overnight, it's a prime job"

And so on the conversation went. To be honest, I never really thought about why people would be conductors or whether it had perks etc, but I guess to a tram employee it obviously does!

However I do have to wonder about the future of conductors on country-line trains, especially with the inability to traverse the carriages on the V'Locity trains on express services and with the impending introduction of the 'smart-card' ticketing service that will finally intergrate the country and metropolitan ticketing system.

Interesting times. I'm back on the trains this week (I think, depends on work).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

at anywhere from 40-80 grand a year its a great job especially for the ones that have been around for a longtime and would be unemployable to most

25/9/06 9:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The govt announced that there would be no job losses with Smartcard's introduction - so their jobs are safe!!!

26/9/06 3:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Vline running the old red carriges still and seeing where the disabled access is on the Velocitys (away from driver centre of unit) I'd say there jobs are safe. They will always be needed to load wheelchairs and to be there for the safety of the passengers especially on long distanced runs to Warrnambool, Swan Hill, etc.
People might see conductors as having lazy jobs but they are the first people who cop the abuse from all passengers from commuters to drunken yobbos and well paid for there efforts since they are required to be onboard from as early as 5am and as late as 2am, Ive seen conductors nearly assaulted for attempting to simply do their job. Next time anyone goes to have a dig at a conductor they should think about how they would feel if they were at there place of work getting ribbed?

5/10/06 10:24 pm  

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