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RE: [FJGRailroad] Exciting News!!

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  • Paul Larner
    Congratulations John. Railroading is a great career and your background should allow you to enhance it very well. I will share the best advice I can give,
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 13, 2010
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      Congratulations John.  Railroading is a great career and your background should allow you to enhance it very well.  
       
      I will share the best advice I can give, especially since your initial step is into train service.  This is a caution, not to scare: you must consciously always be aware that your next step could be your last.  Situational awareness is paramount ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE.  Hurrying can get you hurt or killed; do not let anyone distract you from your task.  Participate in job briefings with your crew members; understand what it is you are expected to do and where others in your crew will be positioned.  When promoted to conductor make sure you tell everyone in your crew what you are doing.  Everyone should understand the next move. If you don't understand don't be afraid to ask; do not asume you understand.   Don't trust your future to luck, though you will soon learn you need a measure of luck blended with your skill. 
       
      Follow the rules.  Acing a rules test and knowing the rules are not the same.  There are three types of rule violators and each has its remedy.  The first is the individual who doesn't know or understand the rule.  This is the case where a new employee has shown proficiency enough to be cut loose but still doesn't "know" the rule.   If he hasn't done irreparable damage, this situation is solved with education.  The second is the case where a man "knows" the rule well enough to take a shortcut to accomplish his task.  Usually resolved with some time on the street, a reprimand and some education.  The third situation is the case where a person simply doesn't think the rules apply to him which usually results in dismissal.  Every shortcut in railroading has the potential to shorten your life.
       
      Now, after you have mastered the craft, try and sell your skills to Amtrak.  The quality of life is better than freight service and the pay was every bit as good. 
       
      One principle I shared with new men:  I understand pay scales may have changed in the past three years, yet generally, a new railroader will take home more money that in any other job opportunity he has experienced.  Avoid the temptation to live large.  "Live on forty and invest the rest."  Following that plan until you reach forty, you can be working because you want to, not because you have to.  Continue it through your railroad career and your retirement years may be better than your working years.
       
      PKL
       


      To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      From: johnnychristman4@...
      Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 14:02:55 +0000
      Subject: [FJGRailroad] Exciting News!!

       
      Hey Guys!

      I just thought that you would like to know that I just got hired as a conductor on the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern RR and my training begins in 10 days in St. Paul! Any advice!? Thanks!

      John





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    • johnnychristman4
      Paul, I m sorry it took me a long time to reply, I m in St. Paul and I ve been studying hard! Thank you for your advice. I think I m going to try and stay with
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 28, 2010
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        Paul,

        I'm sorry it took me a long time to reply, I'm in St. Paul and I've been studying hard! Thank you for your advice. I think I'm going to try and stay with this company until I get my engineer card, then I'll try to come back easy with either Amtrak or a different freight railroad. I'm actually glad that I read your post after I started, because now I can appreciate "situational awareness" better than I would have previously. Thanks again and I'm sorry I never made it to VT to meet you. Next time I'm in Plattsburgh it'll be a priority!

        John

        P.S. Thanks everyone for your advice!

        --- In FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com, Paul Larner <pklarner@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Congratulations John. Railroading is a great career and your background should allow you to enhance it very well.
        >
        >
        >
        > I will share the best advice I can give, especially since your initial step is into train service. This is a caution, not to scare: you must consciously always be aware that your next step could be your last. Situational awareness is paramount ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE. Hurrying can get you hurt or killed; do not let anyone distract you from your task. Participate in job briefings with your crew members; understand what it is you are expected to do and where others in your crew will be positioned. When promoted to conductor make sure you tell everyone in your crew what you are doing. Everyone should understand the next move. If you don't understand don't be afraid to ask; do not asume you understand. Don't trust your future to luck, though you will soon learn you need a measure of luck blended with your skill.
        >
        >
        >
        > Follow the rules. Acing a rules test and knowing the rules are not the same. There are three types of rule violators and each has its remedy. The first is the individual who doesn't know or understand the rule. This is the case where a new employee has shown proficiency enough to be cut loose but still doesn't "know" the rule. If he hasn't done irreparable damage, this situation is solved with education. The second is the case where a man "knows" the rule well enough to take a shortcut to accomplish his task. Usually resolved with some time on the street, a reprimand and some education. The third situation is the case where a person simply doesn't think the rules apply to him which usually results in dismissal. Every shortcut in railroading has the potential to shorten your life.
        >
        >
        >
        > Now, after you have mastered the craft, try and sell your skills to Amtrak. The quality of life is better than freight service and the pay was every bit as good.
        >
        >
        >
        > One principle I shared with new men: I understand pay scales may have changed in the past three years, yet generally, a new railroader will take home more money that in any other job opportunity he has experienced. Avoid the temptation to live large. "Live on forty and invest the rest." Following that plan until you reach forty, you can be working because you want to, not because you have to. Continue it through your railroad career and your retirement years may be better than your working years.
        >
        >
        >
        > PKL
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
        > From: johnnychristman4@...
        > Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 14:02:55 +0000
        > Subject: [FJGRailroad] Exciting News!!
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Hey Guys!
        >
        > I just thought that you would like to know that I just got hired as a conductor on the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern RR and my training begins in 10 days in St. Paul! Any advice!? Thanks!
        >
        > John
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection.
        > http://clk.atdmt.com/GBL/go/201469227/direct/01/
        >
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