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Notes from underground

The ticket clerks have by far the worst job on the underground. Being rude to customers is the best way for most to restore their battered self-esteem

By Dan Kuper   April 2006

In the old days, the station staff and the ticket clerks lived in parallel universes. The station railmen were in the NUR (later the RMT) and used to work polishing the brasswork, sweeping the platforms and pocketing the excess fares. The clerks, by contrast, worked inside poky offices, joined an association (the TSSA), and behaved generally as though they were a cut above the railmen by virtue of the fact that they could read and add up and weren’t pissed all the time. They were also paid significantly more money. However, there arose a new dawn and it was decreed,…

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