Being 'street wise' has proven to be a remarkable benefit to many a situation and it is no different to the railways whereby an engineman can find solutions to keep trains running.
This is often referred to as the clash of 'head knowledge' and 'hands-on know-how'. One complaint from locomotive enginemen is that the realities on the ground are very different from what is prescribed by the railway rule books.
This was exemplified in my time on the railway, when the Australian Federation of Locomotive Enginemen threatened to work to 'rules and regulations' which would have brought the railways to their knees.
It was not possible to have trains running on time as well as following rules and regulations; these things are mutually exclusive. To locomotive enginemen, the rules and regulations appear designed to protect the Railways – in reality the railways could never be seen to be at fault.
One incident comes to mind from the early '70s. I was the fireman on a steel train from Port Kembla to Goulburn. The 44 Class diesel we were on had a note in the repair book that a major hose had been repaired. When we heard the loud bang from the engine compartment, and immediately realised we knew it was that same hose again. And it was !
We were 2 km from Tallon. We first alerted the guard, then, as there was no telephone nearby I waved down the first vehicle that came along. Before being dropped off at Tallon, I got the vehicle driver's details and thanked him. A relief engine was called.
I followed the safe working procedures to the letter as I was conversant with them. It took 95 minutes to clear the line. What followed was classic 'Loco' and 'Traffic' rivalry, as the Traffic Inspector attempted to draft my explanation document with inaccuracies that would have put the delay issue onto 'Loco' (the driver and myself).
Although I was only a young bloke, about 23, I very smartly told him I was writing this letter and I knew what procedures were enacted. I even gave the name of the car driver and his registration number. I was leaving nothing to chance. I was protecting us from the many splendid wiles of 'Traffic'.
It was claimed on one occasion, that a Traffic Inspector, for a court hearing, had a guard practice losing his balance at the points, when in reality the guard had waved 'signal clear' and the driver moved forward colliding with an oncoming train (albeit at very low speed).
But my knowledge did not come from a vacuum. I'd recently returned from qualifying as an 'Acting Driver', part of which training was being conversant with safe working procedures. I topped the class, as I was also studying part time at Wollongong University at degree level and I'd developed retentive and analytical techniques of study.
The Good Book has a whole lot to say about 'skulduggery' and describes that the master of this technique (Satan) couches his stories in half truths it all sound like a good way forward, but in reality, ensnaring traps. A good dose of street wisdom is necessary.
There are two ways to ensure you are not taken in. Any one of us can read the Good Book over and over and you'll gain a spiritual sleuth detector that will help you identify instances of this 'double-speak'.
The other, recognising Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross for your sin is your sure protection from this terrible marauder (Satan). The Lord sent to each believer the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit), who will energize your detection capabilities so they are supercharged.
Now that is a wonderful dose of additional 'street wisdom'.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children