Wayside wrote:Don't pay attention to the gripers and complainers. UP is a good place to work.
And despite the gripes, ultimately, the railroad IS a good place to work. I can't speak for UP because I worked for SR/Norfolk Southern. There are complaints stemming from management's handling of employees, and a sometimes atmosphere of fear/intimidation. The rest of the complaints seem to come from those who work HARDER to get OUT of working than they would've if they'd just gone ahead and done the job! These are the ones who are always speaking ill of the company, and you'll find 'em getting much of the disciplinary time, too!
The adage applies that one should DO your job the best he can. While in the Transportation Department, I never got ONE run-off over an error or a rule violation. I came close, tho, when I billed a car off-line via the wrong route. Turns out it was a mistake by the computer program itself!
The system at the time "matched" route & destination automatically. If you billed a car wrong, when you hit "SEND", it would send the cursor "flying" down the page highlighting all the errors in red. This forced the bill clerk to stop and see what the error was. Well, I was called off the "board to protect the Bill Clerk job on Saturday. I was the only Freight house clerk there that day. I was billing pigs for the afternoon hotshots just as fast as I could to keep from delaying the trains. We had come to depend on the the TIPS (Terminal Infomation Processing System) to correct typo and other bill errors; it DID cut down on a lot of mistakes. OTH, we didn't spend time looking over waybills to fix mistakes: we didn't have time.
SO here I was that Saturday typing just as fast I could. Printer was going "BZZZZZZZZZZZT-BZZZT-BZZZZZZZT-BZZT-BZZZZZZZT".
The hotshots came and went, and I went home tired to await another call off the Extra Board. About a week-week 'n a half later-I came in to protect a 1st trick Yard Clerk job. The Terminal Agent called me into his office and closed the door.
"Mr. J, take a look at this waybill on the desk and tell me what's wrong with it, he said kinda stern-like.
Now I recognized it as one of those bills from the pig train sessions, but, Gosh, I couldn't be expected to remember a specific one from near two weeks ago!
I could see a thing the matter with it. My stars! I must've billed 100 cars that day!
As I stared at it, he broke in saying, "Mr J, you billed this car offline to Huntington, IL It should've gone to Huntington, INDIANA (IN). It cost us $1600 to get that car back".
I knew then he aimed to give me time off.
"But Mr. McKenna, isn't the computer supposed to FLAG errors like that and not let them go thru?"
It was almost like I had slapped him out of a daze!
His stern face instantly changed.
"ER, UH, AHEM (cough), sputter"!
He sat up and, recovering his composure< said, "AH, YEAH, Jerry (now he was all friendly-like)----I wanted to ask YOU how the computer DID that!" We, uh er.....seem to have a problem with the computer! (AS if *I* somehow knew about the problem and how to correct it)
He dismissed me, I went to work as Yard Clerk. Never heard another word about it! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!
Such is life on the railroad!