Saturday, December 5, 2009
What's the best job in Tallinn, Estonia? The reisisaatja, or bus attendant. And the best thing about it is you get a seat even when the bus is full. That's him in the bright yellow vest, seated while the two young ladies behind him stand. This reisisaatja wasn't chewing gum or listening to an iPod, though those are two clues to help you easily spot one.
The reisisaatja is a product of Mayor Edgar Savisaar and his Centre Party's new "social work" program: jobs for those who need them. Requirements for the reisisaatja? Stand around. Not stand around and look busy. Just stand around. They don't do conductors' work. They don't deal with indigents who've soiled their pants. They don't take beer away from the partiers in the rear of the bus. They do, however, sometimes lift a stroller into the bus.
In fairness to this reisisaatja, he eventually did stand up and give his seat to some passengers, though perhaps that was because your conspicuous correspondent had already taken a half dozen photos.
If you're hot on the trail of a new career, consider an opportunity as a Tallinn reisisaatja. It's just one email away. Write Edgar.Savisaar@tallinnlv.ee. His email lines are now open. He's waiting to hear from you.