Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back to Work - Again!

So my husband got called back to work a couple of months ago. I don't know why I didn't update the blog. I really should have. I think the roller coaster ride has burned me out- but now I regret now not posting all the little intricacies of life in the railroad bureaucracy- because by now I've forgotten most of what's happened.

But in a nutshell: My husband got called back by the Original Class One Railroad- the one that furloughed him. It was quite a surprise, because we weren't expecting him to start work until at least January 2011. He went BACK to conductor school, which was a LOT easier for him this time, considering it was his THIRD conductor school in two years. He was always at the top of his class, but it does get to be less stressful every time.

He's been bouncing around between commuter (passenger) service and freight. As a matter of fact, they're short on work again- so they put his whole class back on the training board again, and they are training again- which my husband is quite happy about- the more training the better. Being a conductor is a lot of responsibility.

Probably the hardest thing for my husband was learning to do the radio work. There's a lot of radio verbiage to learn. You just can't say things any old way on the radio in the railroad- you have to say things pretty specifically and in a certain order. Some of the younger guys seemed to pick that up a bit quicker, my husband said. But when you are past 40 (I won't say how far past 40), it's a bit harder to learn new tricks.

For me and the kids, the hardest part is the unpredictable schedule. For some reason, we have a hard time maintaining a normal sleep schedule when the family conductor's schedule is all over the place. It doesn't help when the railroad crew caller calls us at all times of day and night and wakes us up looking to tell my husband to go to work, EVEN WHEN MY HUSBAND IS ALREADY ON A TRAIN! Alright- I exaggerated. This does not happen at all times of day and night. It only happens IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, WHEN WE ARE ALREADY ASLEEP. And it doesn't USUALLY wake up the kids. It just WAKES ME UP.

But in this economy, we're just happy to be here. This beats unemployment. It beats odd jobs. It pays better than-- well, for us, it pays better than just about anything else.

More about railroad life later. Thanks for reading.

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