• Ever just get tired of it all?

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

My first railroad job was with a shortline freight outfit. I had this romanticized notion that I would ride the trains through towns, have fun and get paid alot of money. Well, reality reared its ugly head real quick the first time I had to walk to the end of my train in the middle of the night, in pitch black, while it was snowing. We had to shove back about 8 miles to our yard because the track in front of us was blocked. After getting hurt a couple of times, and putting up with alot of abuse from my co-workers (some deserved and others not so deserved) about my inability to learn the job, I realized 2 things. One, I sucked as a trainman and 2, I still wanted to work for the railroad. Eventaully, I hired out as block operator and 3 years later, I am with the MTA as a rail traffic controller. I finally got my railroad job that I am good at and that I love doing.

I just got tired of it all, again. The job that "promised" at least 60 hours a week, has turned into a begging to make at least 30 hour a week job. Time to add another card, to the collection, with a dash out to the Left Coast................. :-D

  by Aji-tater
So how many cards does that make now, G-A?

This last one now makes 14. I did manage to get an "A" card signing, here before I am leaving, and right now, we are at 50% plus two. 50% plus 5 was our goal. Some people are happy getting screwed, and you can't do anything about them. HOPEFULLY, they will get their Union, and then get a guarantee, bid jobs, and all of the holidays............. It sucks to see grown men have genuine fear in their faces, from the thought of signing a card. Turns the stomach, of this ex-paratrooper. Never would have made it, with the original ten Men, of BLE lodge #1 IF only they had cards, before '91. Man, I would be up around 19!!!!! Like Pokemon cards, I gotta get 'em all............ :P

  by SnoozerZ49
G-A, I get tired of it all sometines, but its not always the company that causes it. We had a young lad hire out a few months ago. Like a lot of guys he seems to move in slow motion all the time. Is it my imagination or are some old timers ( and I mean age not time on the railroad) faster that some young guys?

Anyways he just gave his notice that he is leaving to go work for Amtrak. I wish him well, Amtrak has a lot of good people but dealing with the public can be a real challenge in itself. Rather than just leave it at that this lad has decided to tell us all how bad it is working here. He didn't know and "nobody told me" that he would have to walk his brakes, pull and spot customers, work all kinds of shifts. He wants a "regular" life!

I am not under the illusion that life is perfect but I am happy to be working, happy to be working almost whenever I want to and secure that my company knows they can count on me ( adding value to the job is what makes us invaluable). I am truly tired of young guys that are still living at home, paying for expensive cars and SUVs whining about how unfair the company is and how persecuted they feel. These are the same guys that mark off all the time, don't pitch in when there is extra work to get done.

Enough said. I still feel like a pretty lucky guy. Good steady work and catching up every now and then with good people.

We got a saying "that guy moves like a herd of turtles"............ Yeah, some "old guys" I know fly on the ground. It makes for a good night, when you can run flat out while switching, and the guy on the ground is one step ahead of you, at all times. A lot of the slowness, I feel, comes from rushing guys into service, before they are really ready. A lack of confidence, is what I see, most of the time. Not really their fault, although I'm sure you know at least one guy who's "dad and grandad worked for the railroad, and I already know everything there is to know, already......." Usually the first thing this guy does, is run you through a switch, reverse you onto the ground, then clain you moved without a signal.......... :( (he finds four flats, after working that way, with me) Most old guys have forgotten more than the guys today are being taught. They came up with hacks, full crews, hand signals, etc. They gotta adapt, to survive. Today, you get a "shake and bake", a warning about the big, bad unions, the trainmaster has "got your back", and a warning that if you F&@# up, you are history. Not much incentive, for trying to work quickly. We used to get a QUIT, when the work was done. These guys think a quit means you are quitting the job!!! I dunno................ :P