High vis vests make anyone look official

If you every have to wear a high visibility vest, don’t walk through a railway station – confused passengers will flock to you like seagulls on a chip.

Funnelling V/Line passengers past the Myki gates on the Collins Street concourse

Just look at this contractor attempting to fix a broken myki gate at Southern Cross Station.

‘Q: The next train to Geelong?’
‘A: Sorry, you want the guy in the V/Line vest. I’m just a contractor’

'The next train to Geelong?' 'Sorry, you want the guy in the V/Line vest. I'm just a contractor'

‘Q: Where do I buy a ticket?’
‘A: Sorry, you’ll need to find one of the V/Line guys hiding over there’

'Where do I buy a ticket?' Sorry, you'll need to find one of the V/Line guys hiding over there'

Best to save your high vis vest for the zoo, the movies, or a gig. You’ll waltz right in without paying.

The world is a stratified place. Important people get into exclusive places. Everyone else has to pay shit loads of money, or watch longingly through the fence. But there’s a loophole into getting into places for free, if you’re so inclined. You just need to pretend to be an important person. And people who wear hi-vis are important in the sense that they fix things no one else cares about. If you see someone in hi-vis stepping through a barricade, or marching past a bouncer, you naturally assume they’re headed to fix something. This makes a hi-vis vest the keys to life.


Back in the days I worked in retail I had similar problems – walk into any shop in uniform while on my lunch break, and I’d get questions from confused customers asking where to find something, despite the fact I didn’t work there.

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10 Responses to “High vis vests make anyone look official”

  1. Several years ago, Bunnings were giving away free green t-shirts with the Bunnings logo on them.
    If I ever wore mine when shopping at Bunnings, I’d be hounded by people asking me where to find things! 😉

  2. James A says:

    I volunteer in the Visitor Centre in Fed Square and wear the bright red uniform that can often be spotted on street corners in the Melbourne CBD. One thing I learnt quickly was to cover my uniform while travelling to and from my shift if I don’t want attention. It’s hard to walk 100m in the city or sit on the tram for 5 minutes without some lost tourist or local asking for help!

  3. Anthony Y says:

    My uniform is grey trousers and a mid-blue shirt with logo on breast and epaulets. I have the same problem. I can’t wait for a tram in town without being approached. As a PT nerd, I usually find it easiest just to answer the question.

  4. enno says:

    Wherever I go in China, I seem to find myself in the queue for subway tokens behind some kind of hayseed bogan Chinese person who has never seen a subway token vending machine before, and is totally baffled.

    I show them how to use it.

  5. Dark Knight says:

    Well if my assumptions is correct it looks like they, whether its MTM or V/line or both has failed to revised their ultra strict requirements for a railway work and probably for the operator(s) point of a view a good thing.

    I recalled years ago sitting for a renewal basic level 3 Train Track Safety Awareness (TTSA) ticket a requirement to within the “danger zone” including sidings and workshops (for some reason but related to this, when a basic site induction is suffice), I sat with a small group of guys whom were like this fella a contractor for the Myki system.

    The fact which is ridiculous is these contractors will never work near the danger zone, yet had to sit through the whole course pass the same test which workers/contractors who work on within the danger zone, this would explain this fella is wear the rail safety act (vic) approved hi vis vest whilst working on site which is a good distance outside the danger zone.

    Final word why it’s a good thing for the operator(s).. well I can’t speak for V/line but I know MTM’s Mickey Mouse college/academy/RTO “flick and tick” school of scamming the government for education funding offer their own staff and importantly their contractors the in-house TTSA ticket which comes at a cost of course, in short it’s a money making machine and why the requirements hasn’t changed.. business is good.

    • B_Batfeck says:

      I had to undertake the TTSA Ticket and all I had to do was station carpark surveys, closest I got to the track was to the Station Masters office to sign into the stations that had them!

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I knew someone who worked in a desk job at Metro, but every few months they had to go out into the field to load timetable data. That resulted them being classified as a rail safety worker, and ruling out a liquid lunch on Fridays.

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