There's this govenment ad campaign circulating on the radio now about anti-social behaviour in public transport. Made in the tradition of these ads it's tone is incredibly weasely, in the "we know how it is" fake way of government-pretending-to-be-your-buddy lameness. Every morning in the streetcar and train on my way to work I'm reminded of this campaign and fume.
I'm in a bad mood anyway, I hate getting up early, and will probably never get used to it. The renovation crap right in front of my home starts at 7 am and continues until I leave for work, making sure there's not a second of peace in the little time I have to get ready. This, combined with the housing situation in Amsterdam is another rant altogether. It does nothing to improve my mood.
The ad campaign lists behaviour in public transport that is irritating and obnoxious. Eveything mentioned is true and happens every single day. The ad's apologetic "omg, I bet you're not even aware you're doing this" tone is bullshit and it completely ignores what is the crux of my rant and that's the behaviour of the transport companies. These are public turned commercial enterprises, because the market forces would work their magic on the complex and cumbersome public companies and make it all wonderful. I'm sure it is wonderful for the shareholders and managing directors. For people who wish to go from A to B it's a nightmare.
Commercial enterprises that perform public services in a monopoly position are hell on earth. The worst of both worlds. Every morning when I wrangle myself in a super crowded streetcar, because you can never be sure when the next one comes; the schedule is a joke and the electronic signs that display when the next car comes are completely random, I am reminded that I, the passenger, am the lowest possible priority for these companies. The people you meet working from these companies can hide behind the "I can't help anything, I'm a lowly peon" if they can be bothered to emerge from their contempt for the general public. Nobody responsible for anything at all can ever be found. The phrase "we apologise for the inconvenience" should be shot and burned at the stake.
If the government really wants to encourage polite, thoughtful behaviour, they should put pressure on companies that perform a public service to treat people a lot better. Focus on the service they are supposed to provide instead of maximising the profit at all cost. And then you can expect people to behave better. But people who are treated like scum that should pay as much as possible for as little as possible will retaliate and no lame ad campaign will ever change anything. You could put that money to much better use.