Thursday, October 13, 2011

What They Don't Tell You During Training Part 3

OK, last post I got a little upset and ranty. Now and then I, like most passengers, get pushed to the point where I lose my trolley. One tweeter suggested I take a holiday (I would if I could right now!), but I stepped back and took a deep breath. I've decided to return with the last installment of the magical knowledge you don't find out until you've spent some time on the rails. I've got some drafts of various issues and other such stuff waiting to get posted, but if you have a question or issue that you want explored, tweet me or leave a message here.

Take care out there!

41. Every second you've been able to make up while you're running late will be taken away several times over by the accident around the corner, the glacial light sequence you've complained about for four years, the slow tram you've caught up, the rubbish truck, the genius who sends out the track cleaning car during evening peak, the horse-drawn carts, some random protest, a broken down car, the emergency vehicles parked 1.6cm over the yellow line and anything else that can happen. It sucks, but it's not a race. Drive calm, in control and claim the overtime.

42. Emergency people such as police, ambos and firefighters are awesome.

43. There are douchebags working at every depot. You can transfer as much as you want, but you'll always find them. More to the point, they'll always find you. They're the ones that always beat your cool stories, try and take your good shifts, won't stop talking, steal food from the fridges, steal anything that's not nailed down and treat passengers like shit. They make life difficult for everyone and every workplace has them. Don't ever help them with their computer problems, otherwise you'll be popular with everyone who's not "a genius with solving computer problems". 

44. The only good thing Jeff Kennett ever did for trams was to paint taxis yellow - makes them easier to see. And the people who buy second-hand taxis drive them like they're taxi drivers. Oh, and if you're wondering about the good taxi drivers in Melbourne, all three of them always seem to be on holidays.

45. "Baby On Board" means "I put other lives at risk because I drive like a shithead". It's true, and the reason? Many late nights taking care of junior. It makes sense, but it doesn't absolve them from being responsible or thinking twice before getting behind the wheel.

46. The vast majority of accidents are the fault of motorists. If you're involved in one and the motorist says they didn't see you, hide your disdain and anger with a facade of knowing and understanding. Put it down on the accident report though.

47. You will learn to hate people using iPods and iPhones. For some reason, their conversations and playlists are supposed to protect them from physics and make the rest of the world look out for them. Oh, and when it comes to emergency announcements, they will expect you to cater for their willing decision to exclude themselves from the world around them. Blame these people for Steve Jobs getting cancer. And subsequently dying.

48. The ultimate contraceptive device is driving a tram full of school kids. If you could somehow bottle and market this little slice of hell, you could make billions. And the Pope would approve.

49. People who are beautiful aren't always smart. People who dress smartly aren't always either. Don't be fooled by this camouflage.

50. You will notice that Stop and Give Way signs are used for decoration on side streets. Gong a car breaking the law here and alert them to a potential accident, and they'll slow down, give you the finger, then put their phone down to put their seatbelt on. You'll also notice that you are the only person on the road who sees speed limit signs. However, you will laugh at every piece of shit the police manage to pull over.

51. Any major entity, be it the company, VicRoads, State Government or Department of Transport has the power to screw something up in no time. Try to get it rectified, and you'll have several birthdays before anyone even looks at it.

52. You will soon learn to predict the behavior of motorists based on the stickers on their rear windscreens. Or the business their vehicle belongs to. You will feel like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix discovering his amazing powers. Only it's not so amazing and the soundtrack is much worse. You will curse the day you learn this magic and they won't make sequels about it.

53. If things get too serious, I recommend a regular visit to, and search "fail compilation" in youtube. You'll feel much better seeing other people fail.

54. The moment you work out that weird smell is actually vomit from up the back of the tram is the same moment it goes from mildly unpleasant to "I'm about to add to that". You will also encounter all manner of liquids that get on seats and floors. Treat it like the blood from "Alien".

55. You will find new shoe boxes on your tram. You will find old shoes in them. You will work out what has happened and wonder why these lazy idiots can't find a bin, or even bother to keep a spare pair of old shoes in the house in case. It's because they're dicks.

56. You will get out and offer to help for every pram, suitcase and shopping jeep and the passengers will appreciate it. The one day when you wake up with a shit back from a bad sleeping position is the same day they turn on you like some dodgy workers comp story on a current affairs show.

57. You will drive for hours and hours before anyone comes up to let you know the ticket machine is broken. Thank them and report it. However, the second someone claims to have been shortchanged,  they will spend the next twenty minutes bitching about the ten cents change they didn't get as if you stole it from their grandparents.

58. If you happen to smoke, you will smell things at 1/10th of their true smell and the smells will be truly awful. When you quit smoking, you will wonder how the bowels of hell managed to fit in your tram and you will return to nicotine with open and loving arms.

59. There is no massive shortage of indicator lights across Melbourne. The city is just plagued by lazy dickheads.

60. If you get bored, play a game called "guess the offence". You see a car pulled over, try to think of the most amusing, yet plausible reason for that to happen. Maybe the guy's driving an awful car or having a Ray Martin "pink business shirt" poor choice of fashion day. Either way, it's one small straw to keep insanity off your back.


  1. Loving this blog! Will definitely return for more installments. =)

  2. Would love to see an elaboration on point #42!

  3. Thanks Jarks, I'll be sure to keep the posts coming!

    Alex, Any time I've had contact with them, they've always been professional and awesome. Can't really go into too much detail, but I've yet to meet any who've been less than excellent.

  4. As a bus driver many of your points are ringing true big time!

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