“Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!”
We Americans have become so inured of numbers thrown out by our government and news media that we hardly stop to pay attention any more. We just assume for the most part that somebody, somewhere must know something we don’t or, more likely, we figure it’s all bullshit and go happily about our own business thinking, “It doesn’t affect me anyway.”
Well, it does. Whether the number-crunchers
massage the work you do or the taxes you pay, there are some out
there who think themselves wiser and blessed by God to tell you how
to do your job, run your life and even defend the country in which
you do all this stuff. These folks are called things like
“politicians” or “managers” or “religious”
leaders. Fact is, I don’t buy their bullshit for a minute,
and neither should you. These bastards are lying to you.
Every time I see an official UP report on how well we are doing and
how we compared with some other “service unit”, I remember the
total lack of real leadership that causes these jerks to pit their
subordinates against one another. If you can’t figure out
how to run a successful railroad, then figure out a way to blame
some other poor dumb bastard when it goes to Hell. Just hire
the accountant, statistician, or lawyer with no scruples and fix it
up so we look good to the stockholders. Unfortunately, this
sort of attitude creeps down into local management as well, and
turns mostly honest folks into liars and cheats for the corporate
goal of pleasing the bottom line. When you finally realize,
as a junior manager, that the guys up the ladder want to hear good
stuff, you put out good stuff, true or false. That’s the
way you get to be one of the guys you are lying to. Be
skeptical of everything you’re told and all you read. Most
of you who read this know our slant on things. Do you really
take everything we say as the absolute truth? Don’t kid
yourself. We all have an agenda. So what? At
least we don’t torture statistics to try to prove what we know
are lies. Railroaders have always been a practical
bunch and I believe even the present Nazi dictator Super we have
here knows that he’s running a losing game. God knows
he’s cost his employers a bunch of money. Anyway, don’t
believe anything you read, hear or see. Find out for yourself, do
the homework. Then and only then you’ll realize:
It’s all lies, damned lies and statistics. Work safely and look
out for each other.
We Get Letters, Part 1
A carman backed his jitney into an
engineer’s truck causing reportable damage, 1st MYO stepped off a
door sill and sprained his ankle, the next day he showed up wearing
one boot and one tennis shoe, 2nd MYO was startled when a
bowl of chili was upset by the wind and he fell backwards off the
bench, landing on the ground on his back and scraping his elbow.
The barbeque was held 50 to 70 feet from the work lead and the engines made several passes right by them before Don Seil remembered his ear plugs. Of course, this prompted the rest of the officers, who had them hanging around their necks, to plug up. None of the "safety" people wore plugs or safety glasses and none were cited for not doing so.
The real topper was that one engineer got the runs so bad he spent a good part of his shift on the can and a conductor had to lay off the next day for the same reason.
Moron Manager of the Month
This month's award goes to no less than
the Road Foreman of the entire NS Harrisburg Division. He was
riding with a student engineer to qualify him for the final exam,
when all of the sudden, the train goes into emergency...the crew
springs into action to do the things they're required to do by rule
in this situation, when this moron steps in and not only forbids
His punishment? No merit
increases this year (raises) and no performance bonus this year,
either! It’s a small price to pay for innocent lives, if
you ask me.
Go Directly to Jail…
The other day someone said working here is like being in prison. Just in case you ever get the two mixed up, this should make things a bit more clear:
IN PRISON... you get three meals a
IN PRISON... you get time off for
IN PRISON... you can watch TV and
IN PRISON... you get your own
IN PRISON... they allow your family
and friends to visit.
IN PRISON... all expenses are paid
by the taxpayer, with no work required.
IN PRISON... you spend most of your
life inside bars waiting to get out.
IN PRISON... you must deal with
The Continuing Saga of the Green Goat
In case you don’t know, the Green Goat
is an experimental “clean” switch engine now being used in
Roseville, CA. It’s a battery-powered unit with a small
auxiliary generator on board to keep the batteries charged.
It barely makes enough power to move itself, so it has been
relegated to the diesel shop as a locomotive mover. It’s
also a good thing it works near the shop because it breaks down a
lot. But hey, it’s a roaring success.
10 Reasons You Should Not Become A Union Officer
1) The 2AM phone call from the member who says, "We put a bunch of cars on the ground and they want to pee-test us. What should we do?"
2) You’ll find out who your real friends are. (This could get scary.)
3) Having your spouse say, "If I was one of your damned members, you wouldn't treat me this way" and knowing she's right.
4) Spending 97% of your time representing the same 3% of the membership, repeatedly.
5) Listening to that same 3% bad-mouth the union.
6) Having to actually read an agreement, instead of letting some engineer tell you what it says.
7) Everybody thinks you know somebody in organized crime.
8) No one shows up for meetings, but they all ask you what happened
9) Trying to justify the bus.
10) Trying to remember what it was like to
have a life.
Quote of the Month
“Man will occasionally stumble over the
truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue
We Get Letters, Part 2
(This intercepted by your editor. It was in a trash can at the Roseville yard office. Really, I dig through these all the time. Really.)
Dear Mr. Davidson,
Free at last, free at last! I’m
free at last!