ISSN : 2266-6060

Meters

They were fifteen – perhaps twenty – on the platform that day, with their blue vests, paper bundles and pencils. I saw a few of them when I arrived, sitting out of the wind, leaning over what seemed to be forms. My first impulse was to stop at a safe distance. Above all, to not cross their eyes. There’s no way I’m answering a survey this early. Besides, I didn’t have an opinion. On anything. Yet none of them were moving, or even seemed to pay attention to the growing number of riders. It was when the train approached that I discovered those I had not yet seen. Perfectly in rhythm with its slow run before the stop, a string of blue vests formed, each one in front of a door, form in hand, sharpened eye and pencil lead. It was not me they were surveying, nor any of the other users present that day. It was the train itself, each door of which spat out and swallowed a bundle of human beings, the exact number of which they had to record.
It is unlikely that the results of these calculations, which basis were taking form here, will ever be public. They will probably feed some internal report for the transportation carrier. Too bad. As I read them, I would have liked to be able to remember some of those attentive and tired faces, those hands that, for hours, drew the first marks of these data.



2 Comments

  1. PCH wrote:

    c’est un métier que j’ai exercé (les résultats sont internes à l’entreprise commanditaire en effet – les enquêteurs n’en sont pas même informés)(j’ai pratiqué sur les autobus le même type de travail, trains rer gare de Lyon à l’intercommunication etc.) (il y avait de quoi être fatigués, remarque, vu qu’on embauchait avant le premier tour, et qu’on en terminait avec le dernier – je me souviens d’une fois où, entre 4 du matin et neuf du soir, j’avais eu (en tout et pour tout) un quart d’heure de pause repas – le fait d’être chef d’équipe y avait à voir – 1,2 smic l’heure… – ah les conventions collectives…)