The traffic warden

In the old days (I can easily say that, it was not more than two years ago), if people were needed to control the traffic, they used to let the police do that. The way I figured it, these officers had had two hours of training and were then ready for the big, bad world of traffic control.

And it worked.

Today, the city of Amsterdam employs traffic wardens, and I have no doubt in my mind that they have had a six month worker reintegration course, of which two solid months controlling trafic.

And it fails.

For some reason, the traffic warden new style has to shake her ass in front of her colleagues, while not paying any attention to the actual traffic. Or the traffic warden new style has to chat with his buddies, while blocking all traffic. Or three of them have to chat on the bike path, for whatever reason, forcing me to stop or bike onto the tramway.

Some ten years ago the government introduced some sort of modern slavery, called Melkert’s jobs, after the minister whose bright idea it was. (Yes, that sounds like Melkor.) The idea being that people on welfare who haven’t had a job in a long time, get easy jobs in order to get them used to working again. You cannot refuse, because you’ll lose your welfare, and once you’re in, you’re stuck.

There are two types of people that I have met that get these jobs. First, there are the highly talented, who through some bad breaks have been unemployed too long. Melkert’s jobs are often used for institutions who don’t have the money to apply for real personnel. I know of at least one person who got middle-management type responsibilities (and who was good at it!), and who still only got welfare level pay.

And then there are the people who really should not be given any type of responsibility, and who society would better sponsor to stay out of the workforce. My guess is that these traffic wardens belong to the latter group. The only reason I can see why they would get to regulate traffic is that as soon as I see one of them, I tend to be extra careful in traffic.

One response to “The traffic warden”

  1. […] BoingBoing. Photo by Jerry Michalski, some rights reserved. (See also my adventures with traffic wardens, and this bit about letting people choose their own paths.) These icons link to social […]

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