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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2 (May 1, 1934.)

The Man Behind “The Man Behind.”

The Man Behind “The Man Behind.”

That is he—the man who nimbly steps off the rear end of the train as it glides to a halt at the station; neat, efficient, patient, punctual to the split minute— that is the “man behind.” Such words are not mere metaphorical bouquets, but constitute a worthy description, earned in daily service and justified by the traditions of railway-running since the days of “Puffing Billy”; hence the title, “guard”—the guardian of all those who entrust themselves and their belongings to the care of the rail. Like the “man in front,” the “man behind” does his job unobtrusively but thoroughly, promptly but unhurriedly, calmly and surely. He is never bustled, but what he does is done with despatch—with surety of action and systematic exactitude. He is human, of course; no mere automaton could meet the demands hourly made upon his initiative. He is always ready with information and assistance, and the passenger has learned to regard him, not as a mere official—brass-bound by uncompromising officialdom—but as one who, man to man, will explain a point and discuss a difficulty; for this is the man behind the “man behind.”