Two Fall Trips

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Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
I’m going to post two trip reports I’ve been meaning to write for awhile but haven’t gotten around to it.

Trip 1: United Job Interview
Trip 2: Christmas in Plains

Trip 1: United Job Interview
Sometime in July when I was tired of living in South Carolina heat and wanting to get out. But still do something in transportation I applied to be a flight attendant with United, American, and a few regional airlines. Well in November I was working at my second job at a local theater where I build sets, and crew shows when an email came in requesting that I interview in person in Houston, TX.

United provides round trip flights for applicants inside the United States to their hub in IAH. And after confirming and picking my day I received my routing.

Flight 1: UA 3792 CRJ200 CAE-IAD
Flight 2: UA 484 A320 IAD-IAH
Flight 3: UA 2153 B737-800 IAH-ORD
Flight 4: UA 3927 CRJ200 ORD-CAE

The only thing I had control over was making my hotel reservations for Houston. So I promptly made my reservation and prepped for the interview. I talked to several of my PV bosses, and friends to do mock interviews to prepare myself for the face to face interview. This was not my first time interviewing face to face with United because I had completed an interview in 2017 in EWR.

Day 1:

I left my house around seven AM to make the drive across town to the Columbia airport on a rainy dreary day. I made great time despite the weather and I remember I took a slightly different route to get to the airport than I do when I go to work at the theater. I had to circle the airport twice in order to find a parking spot but I did manage to find one with plenty of time to spare.

I walked from the garage into the airport, checked my bags and made my way to security with no issues. I then spent time behind security finishing a fan fiction I was reading on my phone before it was time to board the aircraft. United put me in Premium Economy for the flight and low and behold my seat mate in the window was my congressman for my district.

A few years ago him and I had met in DC to talk about the PV situation with Amtrak, and the system downgrades. And he actually remembered me which I was happy to learn. The two of us had a great chat on the way to Washington. Even though we differ politically we had a pleasant conversation which gives me hope. Hope that one day in the future that everyone can just get along again. He also told me that I would be a good flight attendant.

When we arrived in IAD my friend Malcolm met me at the gate which was really the tarmac to get lunch. He was on his way to a work conference in San Francisco on the same day. So we were able to meet up and discuss travels, trains, and just catch up. I really enjoyed our hour and a half layover in the United Club thanks to his AGR status.

I had some finger foods in the club but then went out to a burger joint near my gate before boarding my A320 to IAH. I brought along one of my iPads for United’s stream at your seat service and settled into watch Yesterday. Yesterday is such a cute and uplifting movie. Even though I would hate to live in a world without the Beatles.

The flight was fairly smooth and arrived on time. Then I started the hike from my gate to baggage claim. I followed the signs to baggage claim which I believed there might be a shorter route. But I always enjoy walking around airports and seeing where all the planes are going at the gates. Eventually I made it to baggage claim and picked up my two checked items and get my hotel shuttle.

I learned that my hotel the Doubletree IAH had a shuttle to where the interview was which made things easy. I had arranged to visit and have dinner with EHBowen to catch up. But while I waited for him to get off work I enjoyed relaxing in the outdoor hot tub. I had wanted to swim laps however that water was incredibly cold and I couldn’t get in. I did enjoy seeing all of the aircrafts passing overhead.

I showed EHBowen my Official Guide of Railways 1952 nap on my lap top which he was impressed by. Then we went to a restaurant in Spring Texas which was really enjoyable. I always enjoy seeing my friends from all over the country when I travel. That’s one of the reasons I like to travel.

After dinner I talked to my best friend Julia on the phone and felt something I can’t describe into words. She had just broken up with her long term live in boyfriend, moved out, then went back to get her stuff and she got very sick. And I just wanted to drop what I was doing and go and bring her food and nurse her back to health. I didn’t do that though.

Day 2: Interview Day

My interview started at eight in the morning near the airport and the doors open at 7:30 and they don’t want you before that or after. I arrived a few minutes before but I made a point to stay outside the building till 7:30 so that I was still obeying the rules. I was feeling a bit jittery and nervous so I called my coworker and best friend Ryan to put me in my place. He had no trouble doing that either and I’m very grateful for that.

I am not sure what I am allowed to disclose for this report as far as the interview process so I will refrain from posting any detailed information. However I will say I tried my best to entertain and calm my fellow candidates as they called everyone back one at a time. And I was more than happy to share stories from the rails that I found funny to calm peoples nerves.

What can I say I love talking about PVs and stories, and I was happy to help calm their nerves. I was called last for the interview; which is where I will end the details. I then took the United Shuttle back to the airport and checked my bags, which I shouldn’t have done.

After checking my bags I went thru security and by this time I was starving so I stopped at a 1950s style diner near the security gates. It was really good and then I went to the gate for the next flight to Chicago and attempted to standby on it so I could get a layover in Chicago that I could go and railfan on. I know I should have tried to get home sooner, but no I wanted to see trains.

Well because I checked my bags I wasn’t able to move to an earlier flight. At some point I found two other candidates from the interview and we spent time walking around the airport. Both of them were headed to Chicago as well but on a later flight than me. Eventually we met up with another candidate and the four of us sat down at an airport bar. I tried to comfort one of the young women who was a bit upset because she claimed to have had a poor interview.

And I am a very caring person so I tried my best to cheer her up before eventually I had to run for my flight. I then boarded my B737-800 for Chicago and settled in for Rocket Man. I didn’t manage to finish the film and I don’t think I ever will because I thought it wasn’t that great.

As we were landing and the flight attendants had made their sweeps to check the cabin I noticed the passenger in the window seat on my row was still working away on his computer. And in my mind I was wondering if this was a test and would be reported to the HR department that I didn’t enforce the rules. So I sat and debated if I would say something for what seamed like forever.

After nothing happened and I glanced out the window and saw we were at about 1,000 ft I told the man “sir please put your computer up we are landing.” In my best calm flight attendant voice. And he complied I felt really good about myself.

I deplaned and then went to the nearest restaurant to have dinner because I saw my plane to Columbia was delayed. So I went to the Chili’s I ate at before the flight to Europe I took from ORD. The service wasn’t overly that great and I didn’t really enjoy it. Then I went to my gate and talked to a friend on the phone while they kept pushing the plane later and later into the night. Again I was telling PV stories what can I say it’s my favorite topic.

Eventually they cancelled my flight due to mechanical problems with the aircraft remember that fact it’ll come in handy in a minute. As a non revenue passenger I am to be accommodated last because paying passengers come first. I didn’t have to be told this, I just knew to do it. So every time someone would come up to the gate agent I would move further back in line.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
I looked on the United app to see what my options for getting back home were. I knew I didn’t want to stay in Chicago because I didn’t have winter weather outfits because I wasn’t intending on lingering for any time. I came up with my solution to get the morning flight to RDU and catching the midday Piedmont to Charlotte.

Now comes what could have been my second test, but I’m positive now that it wasn’t. There was a businessman from Boston who was berating the poor gate agent. Screaming, and cursing, and really just making a big show. The censor here won’t let me type out one of his lines but I’ll paraphrase it. I don’t use this type of language but you missy are making me do that. To which in my head I called his bluff.

Then he tried to get me involved to agree with him. I put on my best flight attendant voice and said “Sir let’s just calm down, and look at the bright side of this. We may be a bit late due to a mechanical problem, but at the end of the day we are all going to make it home to our families and loved ones just late.”

To which he really became irate at and replied “well I travel all the time for work and this is just so inexcusable, and so (insert a rant you can imagine from an entitled elite).

And I was replied “sir I work in transportation so please don’t accuse me of not traveling all the time for work. The most important thing right now is the safety of the fifty three souls on board that aircraft including yours. So being late is perfectly alright.” By this point I was shaking and hoping it wasn’t visible to this man. He then turned his interest towards berating the gate agent more who was just trying to get him a hotel, and a flight to Columbia.

Eventually I had had enough and I said “Sir please calm down, yelling and cursing will not change the situation.” Well at that moment he grabbed my tie and yanked it off. A trick I’ve learned from working in transportation is you always wear a clip on. That keeps passengers from pulling you down, and on the railroad it keeps it from getting pinched moving around the train and hurting you.

So after the tie came off I just reacted I didn’t think. I used a move I’ve learned working in the veterinary field and just grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed him on the ground. Keep in mind he was a full six inches taller than me, but he was a bit caught off guard by my clip on. Once he was on the ground I proceeded to sit on him while the gate agent called the police to come and take him away.

I didn’t want to slam him on the ground or get physical because I’m not that type of person. And before that day I had never been in a physical fight before in my life. But I also don’t take crap from someone. After some of Chicago’s Finest took him to his hotel “the clink Inn” the gate agent made the changes to my flight.

Day 3: The Piedmont.

I spent most of my night talking to a friend on the phone partially to just calm down from the stress of dealing with the executive. And partially just due to stress I had due to relationships and other things. And it was really therapeutic and I did enjoy it.

Eventually it was time to get on board the B737-900 to RDU which was an almost empty flight. And having an entire row to myself I put one seatbelt on and laid out over three seats for the hour and a half flight to RDU. I don’t remember taking off and I barely remember landing. I was in a bit of a hurry because Train No. 75 departs Cary at 10:12 AM and my flight landed at RDU at 9:24 AM.

I rushed thru the airport to baggage claim and my bags didn’t come out with the rest of the bags. I went to the baggage office and explained I was trying to make a train and he made the arrangements to get my bags shipped to Columbia so I could go make my train. So I called an Uber to the Cary Station. And I made it to the station with five minutes to spare and bought my last minute ticket on the Piedmont.

I then boarded and took a seat in the second coach on the train a former Kansas City Southern car now made the Emerald. I went to the automat car to get a small snack on the way to Charlotte. I really enjoyed my little train ride. Even though it’s a fairly dull route I just love it. I enjoy going by small Southern towns and I enjoy seeing Elon, NC and the college campus.

We arrived in Charlotte a few minutes early and my best friend Ryan came and picked me up from the station. Then we drove to a Zaxby’s near the Lancaster and Chester before him and I went out looking for the train. We didn’t manage to find the train. But we did have a good time catching up as we zipped down backroads the rest of the way to my house.

I then took a nap when I got home for about two hours. Had dinner and my dad picked me up so that I could go back to the airport and get my car. And guess what my bags were there as well. So I took my bags home and my car. Spent a few minutes with my grandmother. And went to bed. All in all a good trip however I didn’t get the job.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
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Amtrak’s Piedmont Train No. 75 arriving in Cary.

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The Norfolk Southern Training our a First Responders train arrived Spencer.

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Amtrak’s Piedmont Train No. 75/76 at Charlotte.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
Trip 2: Christmas in Plains

As many of you know I work for the Sam Shortline Railroad in Cordelle, GA as a marketing guy, coach attendant, and mechanical minion. So I had a trip down to Cordelle to work the Christmas in Plains Special.

Even though this train followed our usual 35 mile one way trip out to Plains, GA with a passenger stop in Americus, GA. This one was special because we were going to President Jimmy Carter’s tree lighting in his home town. And there was even some rumors he was going to be riding our train into town. As you can suspect there was no way I was going to miss this event.

Day 1: A second Thanksgiving and servicing work.


One of my best friends is the general manager of the railroad and he was passing by the area I live in on his way back to Georgia from a Friendsgiving. So I drove out to a friends house close to the interstate and left my car there so he wouldn’t have to drive too far out of the way. Then the two of us made our way four hours down the road to Cordelle. On the way we discussed everything in life. We had lunch in McDonalds in Wren, GA with his mother and grandmother who came down to ride the special.

The food wasn’t great but what do you expect from a chain in a gas station. I wanted to go to the diner down the road. People kept calling his work phone requesting tickets for the train that was sold out minus a few seats that were being held for walk ups. He thought he had thirty walk up seats but he had wrong information about his consist and only had ten seats because the person he had recently took over from told him all the cars are 88 seat coaches.

However most of the cars are 76 seat cars, with one 88. So then it became my job while we went across Georgia backroads to figure out how to seat everyone. Once we arrived in town we went straight to the yard/shop/station at Georgia Veterans State Park. We went and joined our friends on the Dearing to say hello and see what they needed.

Nelson the car owner asked if I would wash his windows to get the freight train grime off of it. And I was happy to to do it especially because they invited me to thanksgiving dinner on the car the day after the real thanksgiving. So I washed all of their windows, and then continued to wash all of the windows on the entire train. Three coaches, and the first class Americus car. Two of our cars were out of service, and with limited time I didn’t do our food service car.

After I finished washing all of he windows, and the locomotive windshield it was time for Thanksgiving aboard the luxurious Dearing. And man can Borden cook. We had great conversation with my best friend, his mother, grandmother, and Borden and Nelson the car owners. I then started servicing the cars after doing dishes. Our hoses in our facility are very slow so it took me about an hour to fill all the cars by myself.

After I had finished and we said goodnight we went to the car. And looked up and the stars were absolutely beautiful in the middle of nowhere. We then went to his apartment and went to bed.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
Day 2: The longest day

We got started at six thirty waking up to take our showers. After that we went and grabbed notecards from Walmart in order to make seatchecks for our coach passengers. Then we grabbed Burger King for breakfast before going to our headquarters where I started making seatchecks. And doing our last minute paperwork.

I ran out of notecards because we didn’t buy enough so we ran back to Walmart and grabbed more. I then made myself an office on our food service car and finished making my seatchecks. I then started setting up the coaches so that they were ready to accept passengers. Then we had a nice hour long break where we just sat and talked in one of the coaches with my best friend, his mother, and his grandmother.

We were wondering what person pulled up in a SUV hauling a boat. Then he came and were like oh that’s Casey Thomson the Norfolk Southern corporate photographer. He’s a good friend of Nelson the car owner of the Dearing so he was doing them and us a favor photographing our train. The boat was for our first mile of track over the causeway. We caught up for a few minutes and then my best friend left with his family to get lunch leaving me in charge.

I went over to the Dearing and got leftovers from their brunch service and welcomed my sister’s best friend Lisa to Cordelle as their singing group was our musical entertainment. Their official call time according to the GM was 2:00 PM I told them 12:30 PM because I know how late my sister runs and they were not going to mess this gig up for me.

After my boss returned I turned the Dearings Water off and proceeded to service the car while Casey took photos and had me hide behind a light pole to not be visible in his shots. Around two the tank was full and I turned the water back on and went to the crew briefing. Normally I’m the wandering floater on the train but because a coach attendant called out I filled in on the Cordelle coach which today was our first car.

I had all the groups of two and a few of four assigned to me. I greeted my passengers at the vestibule with my flight attendant smile and waited for all to be aboard and the horn to sound to button my trap up. I then introduced myself to my seventy passengers and went for a bottle of water. I saw Casey in his boat as we crossed the causeway and told the singers to start singing in my car and end in the Dearing. Lisa’s Family were four of my passengers her sister I dubbed Miss Hollywood.

She actually did work in Hollywood for Tom Cruise which made it appropriate. However I said miss Hollywood because her and her husband didn’t look like they fit in Cordelle, GA. My friend Malcolm and his father came down to ride the train as well. About every fifteen minutes I would walk down the aisle and answer questions, and talk to my passengers after the singers finished their twenty minute set.

My sister as the rest of the Carolina Golden Girls are real troopers for doing five twenty minute sets on a moving train. When I wasn’t attending to my passengers actively I was standing in a vestibule allowing them to have the amazing opportunity of an open Dutch door. I made sure to be available to open the door in Americus if we had any groups boarding there, to which no one wanted to board.

A short two minute stop to detrain a family and we were off. We had to be exactly on time into Plains as we were being Santa into their parade. However due to some slow orders we arrived fifteen minutes behind schedule. We arrived right at sunset and we quickly detrained all of our Coach passengers on the first spot and then first and the Dearing on the second.

I enjoyed my layover to take a few pictures of the town all lit up for Christmas and the train station at night. Then I went back to the train for a quick Chick Fil A dinner before starting the reboarding process. I found three seats for the Golden Girls in my car but they really weren’t able to sleep. Not with the lights completely on and a blaring recorded Christmas story on the intercom.

However I made their night and Lisa’s family’s night by showing them how amazing a Dutch door is especially on a crisp star filled night in South Georgia. And they enjoyed the last twenty miles in the vestibule the whole time. I would check in on my other passengers again every fifteen minutes trusting my sister and her friends to behave well.

We pulled back into Georgia Veterans on time and we started our long drive home as everyone had a rehearsal the next day. On the way home about sixty miles from home we blew a tire on a run flat. So we limped thirty miles on the interstate till we could get to a safe place to leave the car. My dad then had to come pick us up from my sisters in-laws at three something in the morning. I had him drop me off at work at four in the morning and I slept there till eight, clocked in and went to work.

After work I went over to the new Israeli Burger Chain in our suburbs near where I left my car with my family. And it was actually quite good. It’s a bit out of my normal way but if I’m in the area I would consider it. Then I spent time with my friends Gina and Robin and their son Greyson before picking up my car from their house. A week later Gina ended up being put in a medically induced coma and we almost lost her to a very severe bacterial infection of her lungs.

So from everything being relatively normal on that Sunday it gave me a lot of food for thought after that. And in case anyone is wondering she is fine now, she has a raspy voice for a bit from the tube down her throat but she’s recovering and very thankful for her second chance at life. Just shows how fast things can change in life.

My next winter trip is for my American Airlines interview in Dallas but that’ll be in a separate thread because I’m taking the Pacific Surfliner, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Southwest Chief, Crescent, and maybe the Empire Builder and Cascades to get to and from it. So that deserves is own special report.

Thank you for reading.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
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Our Sam Shortline consist sitting in our yard/shops/stations.

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Our motive power on the west end of our train.

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Servicing the train after dark.

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The Dearing while we were getting ready for the next day.

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The singers in my coach.

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An Amtrak 10/6 sitting in Americus.

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Heart of Georgia high hood power that works out of Americus.

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Arriving in Plains.

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The Plains, GA Seaboard Station and Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters.

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The Dearing at the Plains platform.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
282
I’m going to post two trip reports I’ve been meaning to write for awhile but haven’t gotten around to it.

Trip 1: United Job Interview
Trip 2: Christmas in Plains

Trip 1: United Job Interview
Sometime in July when I was tired of living in South Carolina heat and wanting to get out. But still do something in transportation I applied to be a flight attendant with United, American, and a few regional airlines. Well in November I was working at my second job at a local theater where I build sets, and crew shows when an email came in requesting that I interview in person in Houston, TX.

United provides round trip flights for applicants inside the United States to their hub in IAH. And after confirming and picking my day I received my routing.

Flight 1: UA 3792 CRJ200 CAE-IAD
Flight 2: UA 484 A320 IAD-IAH
Flight 3: UA 2153 B737-800 IAH-ORD
Flight 4: UA 3927 CRJ200 ORD-CAE

The only thing I had control over was making my hotel reservations for Houston. So I promptly made my reservation and prepped for the interview. I talked to several of my PV bosses, and friends to do mock interviews to prepare myself for the face to face interview. This was not my first time interviewing face to face with United because I had completed an interview in 2017 in EWR.

Day 1:

I left my house around seven AM to make the drive across town to the Columbia airport on a rainy dreary day. I made great time despite the weather and I remember I took a slightly different route to get to the airport than I do when I go to work at the theater. I had to circle the airport twice in order to find a parking spot but I did manage to find one with plenty of time to spare.

I walked from the garage into the airport, checked my bags and made my way to security with no issues. I then spent time behind security finishing a fan fiction I was reading on my phone before it was time to board the aircraft. United put me in Premium Economy for the flight and low and behold my seat mate in the window was my congressman for my district.

A few years ago him and I had met in DC to talk about the PV situation with Amtrak, and the system downgrades. And he actually remembered me which I was happy to learn. The two of us had a great chat on the way to Washington. Even though we differ politically we had a pleasant conversation which gives me hope. Hope that one day in the future that everyone can just get along again. He also told me that I would be a good flight attendant.

When we arrived in IAD my friend Malcolm met me at the gate which was really the tarmac to get lunch. He was on his way to a work conference in San Francisco on the same day. So we were able to meet up and discuss travels, trains, and just catch up. I really enjoyed our hour and a half layover in the United Club thanks to his AGR status.

I had some finger foods in the club but then went out to a burger joint near my gate before boarding my A320 to IAH. I brought along one of my iPads for United’s stream at your seat service and settled into watch Yesterday. Yesterday is such a cute and uplifting movie. Even though I would hate to live in a world without the Beatles.

The flight was fairly smooth and arrived on time. Then I started the hike from my gate to baggage claim. I followed the signs to baggage claim which I believed there might be a shorter route. But I always enjoy walking around airports and seeing where all the planes are going at the gates. Eventually I made it to baggage claim and picked up my two checked items and get my hotel shuttle.

I learned that my hotel the Doubletree IAH had a shuttle to where the interview was which made things easy. I had arranged to visit and have dinner with EHBowen to catch up. But while I waited for him to get off work I enjoyed relaxing in the outdoor hot tub. I had wanted to swim laps however that water was incredibly cold and I couldn’t get in. I did enjoy seeing all of the aircrafts passing overhead.

I showed EHBowen my Official Guide of Railways 1952 nap on my lap top which he was impressed by. Then we went to a restaurant in Spring Texas which was really enjoyable. I always enjoy seeing my friends from all over the country when I travel. That’s one of the reasons I like to travel.

After dinner I talked to my best friend Julia on the phone and felt something I can’t describe into words. She had just broken up with her long term live in boyfriend, moved out, then went back to get her stuff and she got very sick. And I just wanted to drop what I was doing and go and bring her food and nurse her back to health. I didn’t do that though.

Day 2: Interview Day

My interview started at eight in the morning near the airport and the doors open at 7:30 and they don’t want you before that or after. I arrived a few minutes before but I made a point to stay outside the building till 7:30 so that I was still obeying the rules. I was feeling a bit jittery and nervous so I called my coworker and best friend Ryan to put me in my place. He had no trouble doing that either and I’m very grateful for that.

I am not sure what I am allowed to disclose for this report as far as the interview process so I will refrain from posting any detailed information. However I will say I tried my best to entertain and calm my fellow candidates as they called everyone back one at a time. And I was more than happy to share stories from the rails that I found funny to calm peoples nerves.

What can I say I love talking about PVs and stories, and I was happy to help calm their nerves. I was called last for the interview; which is where I will end the details. I then took the United Shuttle back to the airport and checked my bags, which I shouldn’t have done.

After checking my bags I went thru security and by this time I was starving so I stopped at a 1950s style diner near the security gates. It was really good and then I went to the gate for the next flight to Chicago and attempted to standby on it so I could get a layover in Chicago that I could go and railfan on. I know I should have tried to get home sooner, but no I wanted to see trains.

Well because I checked my bags I wasn’t able to move to an earlier flight. At some point I found two other candidates from the interview and we spent time walking around the airport. Both of them were headed to Chicago as well but on a later flight than me. Eventually we met up with another candidate and the four of us sat down at an airport bar. I tried to comfort one of the young women who was a bit upset because she claimed to have had a poor interview.

And I am a very caring person so I tried my best to cheer her up before eventually I had to run for my flight. I then boarded my B737-800 for Chicago and settled in for Rocket Man. I didn’t manage to finish the film and I don’t think I ever will because I thought it wasn’t that great.

As we were landing and the flight attendants had made their sweeps to check the cabin I noticed the passenger in the window seat on my row was still working away on his computer. And in my mind I was wondering if this was a test and would be reported to the HR department that I didn’t enforce the rules. So I sat and debated if I would say something for what seamed like forever.

After nothing happened and I glanced out the window and saw we were at about 1,000 ft I told the man “sir please put your computer up we are landing.” In my best calm flight attendant voice. And he complied I felt really good about myself.

I deplaned and then went to the nearest restaurant to have dinner because I saw my plane to Columbia was delayed. So I went to the Chili’s I ate at before the flight to Europe I took from ORD. The service wasn’t overly that great and I didn’t really enjoy it. Then I went to my gate and talked to a friend on the phone while they kept pushing the plane later and later into the night. Again I was telling PV stories what can I say it’s my favorite topic.

Eventually they cancelled my flight due to mechanical problems with the aircraft remember that fact it’ll come in handy in a minute. As a non revenue passenger I am to be accommodated last because paying passengers come first. I didn’t have to be told this, I just knew to do it. So every time someone would come up to the gate agent I would move further back in line.
What does PV stand for? I'm sorry I couldn't figure it out especially with it being your favorite thing to talk about.
 

Maglev

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
843
Thanks for the trip reports and photos!

What does PV stand for? I'm sorry I couldn't figure it out especially with it being your favorite thing to talk about.
"PV" stands for "Private Varnish." It means private passenger car.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
2,766
Eventually I had had enough and I said “Sir please calm down, yelling and cursing will not change the situation.” Well at that moment he grabbed my tie and yanked it off.

So after the tie came off I just reacted I didn’t think. I used a move I’ve learned working in the veterinary field and just grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed him on the ground. Keep in mind he was a full six inches taller than me, but he was a bit caught off guard by my clip on. Once he was on the ground I proceeded to sit on him while the gate agent called the police to come and take him away.
They should have upgraded you to First Class!:)
 

jiml

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
723
Two more great reports. You don't really want to be a flight attendant; you want to be a writer.;) Hopefully your AA interview will be at their training center - it's a very cool place to visit, even if you don't get the job.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
It is at the training center I believe. So was the United one. And like you said it’s a very cool place. Hopefully it’ll go over well. I actually am a writer. I have a book that’s written in a similar form to my trip reports. However it needs editing its 1,200 plus pages.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
550
Are or were you one of the SCAs on the Silver Star?

Editing post: Disregard if I'm not allowed to ask that question. You bring to mind, our SCA on the Star some years ago. He was super nice, and very interesting, with lots of experiences to share and a conversational style that seems to overlap somewhat with your writing.
 
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Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
550
Anyway, regardless of whether you are the same person or not, take some time to think things over before taking on the FA job if you get an offer. Your experience at the gate is illustrative of the stress airline employees encounter on a near daily basis and trust me, there is almost no good outcome if an employee is viewed to be in an altercation with a passenger. I would assume that the situation you described at the gate has been thoroughly documented. When you go to your next interview don't trust anyone - you never know what is and is not a setup. Remember UA got very unfairly burned by the whole Dr. Dao ordeal - the last thing they want is repeat bad PR. AA old school management is similar to UA, not sure if there is any philosophical difference with the US merger. From an employee point of view likely not much.
Airline passengers react to things on a whole different level than do railroad passengers. They just do. It's not to say a person can't be their warm authentic self when dealing with the flying public, but those who survive develop a hard shell surrounding that personality, out of necessity. And again that's not to say you wouldn't be able to do that. It's just something to think about and among your friends and acquaintances, getting the honest opinion of current and former airline employees could be helpful,
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
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Dec 31, 2014
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3,404
Are or were you one of the SCAs on the Silver Star?

Editing post: Disregard if I'm not allowed to ask that question. You bring to mind, our SCA on the Star some years ago. He was super nice, and very interesting, with lots of experiences to share and a conversational style that seems to overlap somewhat with your writing.
Nope that’s not me. I’ve only ever worked the cars on the rear of the train. However I know a lot of people who work the Star. And I could probably tell you who it was.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
550
Nope that’s not me. I’ve only ever worked the cars on the rear of the train. However I know a lot of people who work the Star. And I could probably tell you who it was.
Unfortunately I don't remember his name. It's been a few years. For a while, I had a card in my wallet with his name on it, because I was trying to use the online form (Amtrak website) to convey a compliment. The form didn't work so I eventually called the 800 number. No longer have the card. Hopefully my comment was received, then again, I'm pretty sure he had many customer compliments anyway. A couple of the passengers in our car were fans of his, from previous trips. Anyway. Best of luck with the interview! Feel free to send me a message if you'd like any insight that I might be able to provide!
 

v v

Conductor
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Dec 4, 2012
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Trip 2: Christmas in Plains

As many of you know I work for the Sam Shortline Railroad in Cordelle, GA as a marketing guy, coach attendant, and mechanical minion. So I had a trip down to Cordelle to work the Christmas in Plains Special.

Even though this train followed our usual 35 mile one way trip out to Plains, GA with a passenger stop in Americus, GA. This one was special because we were going to President Jimmy Carter’s tree lighting in his home town. And there was even some rumors he was going to be riding our train into town. As you can suspect there was no way I was going to miss this event.

Day 1: A second Thanksgiving and servicing work.


One of my best friends is the general manager of the railroad and he was passing by the area I live in on his way back to Georgia from a Friendsgiving. So I drove out to a friends house close to the interstate and left my car there so he wouldn’t have to drive too far out of the way. Then the two of us made our way four hours down the road to Cordelle. On the way we discussed everything in life. We had lunch in McDonalds in Wren, GA with his mother and grandmother who came down to ride the special.

The food wasn’t great but what do you expect from a chain in a gas station. I wanted to go to the diner down the road. People kept calling his work phone requesting tickets for the train that was sold out minus a few seats that were being held for walk ups. He thought he had thirty walk up seats but he had wrong information about his consist and only had ten seats because the person he had recently took over from told him all the cars are 88 seat coaches.

However most of the cars are 76 seat cars, with one 88. So then it became my job while we went across Georgia backroads to figure out how to seat everyone. Once we arrived in town we went straight to the yard/shop/station at Georgia Veterans State Park. We went and joined our friends on the Dearing to say hello and see what they needed.

Nelson the car owner asked if I would wash his windows to get the freight train grime off of it. And I was happy to to do it especially because they invited me to thanksgiving dinner on the car the day after the real thanksgiving. So I washed all of their windows, and then continued to wash all of the windows on the entire train. Three coaches, and the first class Americus car. Two of our cars were out of service, and with limited time I didn’t do our food service car.

After I finished washing all of he windows, and the locomotive windshield it was time for Thanksgiving aboard the luxurious Dearing. And man can Borden cook. We had great conversation with my best friend, his mother, grandmother, and Borden and Nelson the car owners. I then started servicing the cars after doing dishes. Our hoses in our facility are very slow so it took me about an hour to fill all the cars by myself.

After I had finished and we said goodnight we went to the car. And looked up and the stars were absolutely beautiful in the middle of nowhere. We then went to his apartment and went to bed.
Just loved this report, full of surprises and you manage to make an airport sound interesting, first for me.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
Thank you for the kind comments VV. I try and make everything sound interesting partially because I find everything interesting. The Byrds sang and I believe Dylan wrote to everything there is a season. And I like to see how causes and effects play out. So I find every small detail fascinating.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,021
Dylan didnt write "Turn,Turn,Turn!" The Byrds did!( and made Dylan's "Mr. Tamborine Man" a Big hit!)
 
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