Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My class report

Today I went on a high school class trip. It was actually the 8am something on the Western Line (trains were running about 20minutes late so I have no idea which scheduled train it actually was).
But it took me back a couple of years to the school bus.
This bulky Waitakere Maori Warden woman prowled up and down the train carriage bossing us all about. She told people off for clinging onto the rail just inside the door even though, unlike the bus, there were no straps or overhead rails to hang on to.
She kindly bellowed at the high school boys to get out of their seats and let adults sit down (something I was grateful for; yep, those kids these days have no manners! What do they teach them for NCEA for goodness sake?)
The wardens, once volunteers, are now hired by Connex to keep order on the train. In principle a good idea, but the kids have never misbehaved and sit there quietly chatting, listening to their Ipod or catching up on sleep. I have never seen a drunken or troublesome adult – unlike the buses I used to catch after working late at McDonalds in Queen St.
The wardens are big, loud and bossy. They have a kind heart and are obviously there to help sort out the troublesome yoof. Who would welcome their job.
But the constant patrol up and down the carriage is unnerving. I'm not sure if I have to put my hand up to get off at the next stop or whether I will get clipped around the ear if I dare to put my backpack on the empty seat beside me after Newmarket when there are plenty of empty seats.
Please: can they do their job quietly in the background and not turn a pleasant train trip into a military operation?
We have enough punishment "being kept in" at the railway station because the train is late.


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