Created | Updated Jan 28, 2002
Peaked caps are the sort of headgear worn by army officers, traffic wardens and commissionaires. The sad thing is they have a devastating effect when worn by civilians - they become 'jobsworths'. A jobsworth is a person in some form of civilian job with a certain amount of power. If asked to help or do something which veers ever so slightly away from their job description or would require some stretching of the regulations, they utter the almost automated response: 'It's more than my job's worth'.
Everyone knows the dangers of taking employment that involves the wearing of a peaked cap, but nevertheless many are lured by the licence to wield power - however insignificant that power is in reality. To the jobsworth, their power is absolute. Nothing will deter them from carrying out their duty. They are totally immune from reason.
Take traffic wardens. Go two minutes over the allotted parking time and no excuse will prevent them from writing out a ticket; you could have had an accident, return to your car with both legs in plaster and temporary blindness in one eye, it doesn't matter - there is no acceptable excuse.
Or the car park attendant for a private office block - if an earthquake had reduced the building to rubble and you arrived on the scene to help the wounded, pulling into a reserved parking spot - his stoic reaction would probably be 'Can't park there, mate'.
Don a peaked cap in civilian society and you will instantly become a social outcast - shunned by friends and family alike. Off-duty you'll become the butt for all manner of puns and jokes, people will constantly seek ways to put you down; on-duty you will be ridiculed and despised.