Ticket inspectors

I've been taking the train almost daily. And seem to encounter ticket inspectors at least every second day. Today a huddle of them were standing in front of me. The man with a loud, gruff voice said, "get your tickets ready!" And the five ticket inspectors, mostly obese, in dark suits, started to pounce on the nearby passengers.

They come in hungry packs, and it's almost like a robbery when they surround you. Sure fare evaders will feel jumpy, and so they deserve that - for hitching free rides on the public transport system honest commuters pay for with their hard earned money. But, it makes me jumpy too, even though I always have a validated ticket. What if I didn't bring my concession card today, what if I misplaced the ticket in my wallet, what if...

They may be men and women doing their jobs, but whether it's because of their role alone, or because of their conduct, it's no surprise that they are universally hated:

"They are variously described as scary, intimidating, nasty, evil, horrible, harassing", the report said. "There is also a strong visual sense that people associate with [ticket inspectors]: moving in packs, black leather gloves, trench coats, big balding men."

The modern day tax collector.



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