My work friends are pretty cool. We all have a job to do and we each play a different role to achieve a common goal. We are in the business of servicing customers and moving trains. Everyone knows that, and we all work hard at it.
Here’s my brief history:
I started at the job being a conductor/switchman. I loved it. Even during the rainy season, night shifts, scorching hot summer days and frigid cold winter months. The fact that I could work outside was a great change from my previous jobs. I grew and learned and showed respect to all of my coworkers. Within three months of hiring on, I was a qualified switchman.
Three months after that, I applied to take on another role. A role that I shouldn’t have been able to take on since the requirements from the company were that I must have two years experience switching on the ground. But since I was a go-getter and fairly quick at learning, I passed the testing and interview process and started my training as “Traffic Coordinator” aka Yardmaster. I barely knew the yard layout, but with my confidence and no fear ability to ask for help when needed, I became one of the best and most respected Yardmasters in the terminal.
I had been a Yardmaster and switchman for the majority of my career in the railroad. As I mentioned back in December: Changing It Up, I took on yet another role at my work. I went from a Union position to a management role as an “Assistant Trainmaster”. Now instead of directing crews as a Yardmaster- I now needed to look at a grander picture by focusing on train building, inbound/outbound workload, and the trains much further out from just our terminal. Because I never changed my personality and had years of experience in the railroad, the change was seemless. The switchmen, engineers and Yardmasters appreciated the fact that I was knowledgeable.
Much like when I started as a conductor, I wasn’t satisfied with just being an Assistant Trainmaster. Over the past few months, I pushed my learning and expanded my abilities. I found out what I needed to learn to get to the next level and pursued it. I went out and accomplished it by asking my coworkers questions, putting myself out there and taking on the challenge.
A little gift from my children.
With the help of Trainmasters, Assistant Superintendents and people in other departments, I learned as much as I could. My goal was accomplished in seven months. Again, this is a goal that would take most around two years to achieve. I am now a Trainmaster, not an Assistant Trainmaster any more.
No one will look at my career path and just hand me a promotion. I knew I could accomplish my goal, and so the pressure was on. No pressure from the upper management, it was a pressure I put on myself. By asking questions and demanding more of myself, I hit my goal. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me.
A big thank you to everybody who helped me along the way. I appreciate it all.