Context Piece on Power and Corruption - Lisa.B
AUTHORITIES TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THEIR POWER
Authorities and people in power are often given way too much power and are given a free reign to do as they please. While authorities need this power to do their jobs, if misused their power can lead to corruption of themselves and abusive actions towards others. Without firm boundaries people in power can become intoxicated with their power and begin to engage in wrong behaviour simply because they can and they can get away with it or they become power thirsty for control.
You are probably thinking: how and why would this happen? Well I will give you an example of a personal experience that happened to me when people in authority took advantage of their power and used it against me. I was coming home from my part time work at Coles one day; I had only just turned 15 years old. I hopped onto the train with a valid concession ticket like I have always done ever since I began catching public transport back in year 7. I was on an absolutely empty train, no one around when three huge tall male ticket inspectors came across to me. They were quite intimidating for me as they all crowded me asking for a ticket all at once in a very demanding tone. I had a valid ticket, didn’t have my feet on the seats, I was obeying all the rules, I happily showed them my ticket. This is when they began to take advantage of their power of authority a little too far. They then asked me for some identification, something like my learners permit. I had only just turned 15, I was nowhere near old enough to get my learners, I was only just old enough to get a concession card which I had not got yet. I told them my age but they continued to intimidate me, by questioning my birthday details, They told me I looked like I was 18 years old and they began to threaten me with a fine and taking down my details. It got to the point where I was almost in tears when I hadn’t even done anything wrong, I had a valid ticket! If this is what innocent users that actually pay for tickets have to go through just to catch a train something is wrong. If this is the case which it is very clear to me it is, Melbourne’s PT systems needs to come up with a better way to treat their customers, or else the public will not put up with it anymore. This is what I call authority’s abusing or taking advantage of power. If we allow people like ticket inspectors to take advantage and abuse their power and get away with it, then they will continue to do so.
Authorities can become corrupt with power because the communication between people has changed greatly nowadays. Before we had big fancy machines we had real people to interact with and communicate with to purchase a train ticket from. Nowadays we have big scary intimidating ticket inspectors punishing people for making small mistakes with their system, rather than communicating and assisting customers with the Public Transport system.
The staff of the Melbourne Public Transport systems, continued abuse of its power and authority has got out of hand. It is getting to the point where users no longer feel safe traveling or asking for help from ticketing inspector staff, who are acting like they are the police and they can do what they want and get away with it. It’s about time we put our foot down. It’s at the point where the general public no longer have a choice of purchasing a ticket from a staff member or even the chance to get change to use the machines.