Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Railroad Anniversary

For me, today marks one year of service with the Union Pacific Railroad.

It's been an eventful year. In that year I've made a lot of good friends and seen some of them lose their jobs. I've received an education in railroading from the ground up. I've met the CEO and worked midnights in chemical plants. I've lived in Texas and Omaha, and I've seen a good bit of the country. I've worked with veteran railroaders with more than 40 years of service; I've learned to run engines and switch cars and manage yards and dispatch a busy railroad. I've experienced a lot, but at the time same time I've only scratched the surface.

Somebody asked me recently if I planned to go to grad school. I said no - in the last year, I've earned a master's degree in railroading. And my railroad education will serve me well no matter where I go, no matter what I do. But I think I will stay on the railroad. As a boy I loved trains; as a man I love railroading. It has become part of my identity: I am a railroader. And so this anniversary, I think, is but the first of many. Happy anniversary to me and the UP, and may there be many, many more.