Yesterday morning, I received a phone call while at breakfast. The call came from a friend of mine, whom I have worked with since my transfer to San Francisco with United a number of years back. He and I were both supervisors in the operations center, eventually we both made the move to BART and green pastures.
He called to tell me he was relinquishing his position as Train Controller (in training) and going back to be a Train Operator. I was saddened to hear this news because he has the mind and skills to be a great controller. I guess he delayed calling me because I would have attempted to talk him out of it. Maybe I actually pushed him too much to get in during the interview stages. I don’t know.
Regardless, he and I will still be good friends and I consider him one of the best operators we have in the system just because he is so thorough and knowledgeable. He will be a better train operator now for going through the 2.5 months of training he had, but it makes me wonder just how good of a controller he would have been. I will be curious to hear the “rumors” fly around the office when I return off vacation.
I guess he knew in his heart that this position was not for him after operating trains. I know I have talked to other former operators who are now in the operations center and sometimes they wish they were back out in the system, just them and their train.