All Aboard!

I do not try to hide my displeasure with my current employer, this company has done nothing to help its [surviving] employees since 2001. I have written about this many times before, but the situation, even now out of bankruptcy has not changed. They will continue to loose money even with new procedures in place and a “streamlined” workforce. Supposedly the “lucky ones” who survived all the cutbacks and layoffs. Please, don’t sugarcoat bullshit.

A few months back, one of our employees left the company to go work for BART [Bay Area rapid Transit], the local train service in and around San Francisco. Jim was hired to be a Train Operator on a part-time basis. He knew I had been looking to “get out” and get into a better situation.

Last week, Jim is out walking their golden retriever in his neighborhood and he runs into one manager who works in the Operations Control Center. After making small talk, he says he has a friend [that’s me] who would make a great candidate as a Train Controller. These people control what happens on the tracks and make sure the operation moves smoothly. I compare it to what I currently do.

So this manager, named Paula calls me last week, after Jim informed me she would be calling. My wife comes running into the bedroom and wakes me up in order to talk to her. We agreed on a date to meet at the control center and go over a few things and see the job.

Last night, I made the trip to Lake Merritt Station, where the OCC is located. I had only planned on an 60-90 minute visit, but left nearly 3 hours later! Paula was great, very high energy, peppy, knowledgeable and got “good vibes” about me.

She was impressed with my resume, asking for one minor correction when the job is posted on the web site. She gave me a tour of each of the different positions in the OCC and what they control. You can check out this link for a view of the control center. That is the route system you see up on the wall in the picture. After talking to Paula, she was excited, as was I about the potential job offer. I do believe if it were within her power, I would have been offered the position on the spot. Unfortunately, HR has to get involved, filter though the applications and filter our those who don’t meet the minimum qualifications. She believes my resume will move through HR without incident to the next phase.

In between now and when the job is posted, I have been invited back to the OCC and to ride, as an observer with Jim when he makes his run. This way I get to see the job in action and learn what is going on first hand, in order to be that more knowledgeable when the interview comes around. I was given a few manuals to read in order to get to know procedures, even if I do not understand everything I am reading.

So, between now and the posting, I am planning to ride with Jim and observe at the OCC twice a week. MAKE THE EFFORT, is the mantra I am living by right now. This job is definitely worth that extra effort. It would nearly double my current salary when I start at BART! Training would last 12 months, followed by an OJI [on the job instructor] with you for a certain number of hours.

Needless to say my wife and I are excited about the prospects that BART holds. I was stunned, overwhelmed, impressed, speechless with what I experienced last night. And yes Rob [Lt1], this would mean that my demeanor online would change. Hahah…so I will keep you all updated on the progress, but things are looking very good for my family.

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