Conductors ... a coveted job!
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).