craigdebi wrote:I am a 25 year plus railroad wife, having your husband on call 24/7 isn't nice. Even when he can hold seniority the job still has goofy hours. Life is daily, kids in school are daily, railroad life usually affords absolutely no schedule or if it has one it does not run via 8 to 5 daily with week ends off. I have reached the end of my rope, I can't take the schedule anymore, I can't seem to make my husband understand that he will be making a choice between his job or being married to me. I am tired of being an only parent, I am tired of spending every week end and evening alone with no one to talk to, I am lonely and want the father of my children home and involved in their day to day life. Divorces are high on the railroad due to 24/7 schedule not being home for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, or any other celebration your family takes place in. He isn't here to attend weddings, funerals, or school functions for his kids. As far as I am concerned the compensation isn't worth what it has cost us as a family, and the tole it has taken on our marriage. I am hanging in by a thread, if he does not figure out something different to do, its not going to be nice, its come down to me saying I won't do this anymore, and him saying he won't change jobs so we are at a fork in the road, sadly both of us will lose, so will our kids that are still at home. Good luck, but if you value your family find a different line of work and don't stress life the way working for a railroad will.
Ma'am, I FEEL your pain. I LIVED it. My wife left after 13 years of marriage, and it was because of the railroad. Nothing hurt so bad as that. OTH, how does one just walk away from 65 days (accumulated) sick leave, 5 weeks vacation, 3 personal days and #2 on the seniority list. How does he abandon almost-free health insurance and all the other benefits to go to another job that may NEVER equal that of the railroad? And the pension and the company investment opportunities that are there? Like COEN77 said, you've only got 5 more years to pull for a potential pension of $3,000-$5,000(?) per month. Part of the pension comes to YOU as a railroad spouse. I KNOW what you are going thru--I DO. WE, fellow railroaders, have lived it. I can only ask you to hang on for 5 more years. if only for the kids' sake. Yes, he can't be there for the events in their lives. Divorce, despite what people say, leaves deep scars--scars the kids may not express, or may not be able to express. I saw those scars in my own daughter, particularly in her school work. Despite her high intelligence, she would NOT do her school work. It was because of her suffering thru divorce and being forcibly separated from her Daddy. Ours was not a confrontational divorce, and I was as involved in her life as I could be under the circumstances. Her Mom saw to that. It was, again, caused by the railroad and its intrinsic problems and difficulties. Still, it hurt her, and she could not help seeing the deep hurt that I was feeling, especially during that time.
I know its no comfort, but if you CAN hang on, I would advise you do to so. Five years is short compared to the 25 you have already invested. Unless your husband has some super education or other high skills, NOTHING outside the railroad will compare, not the pay, not the benefits. And if your husband is like me, you see, this stuff gets into the blood. Its a love-hate thing, but it gets hold of you and won't let go. Even if he walks away, if he is like me, he will miss it. I HATED the railroad when I was there, but I miss it. Even now, I sometimes "work" all night in dreams and wake up tired as if I were marked up!
If I were required to walk away to satisfy my wife, like 1992, I couldn't! There's simply too much invested, too much to lose once the railroad gets its "hooks" into you (and they know it!). It's like a trap from which there is really no release. "Saint Peter, doncha call me, cuz I cain't go--I owe my soul to the Southern Railroad"! I hope you can stick it out!