Blogging from A to Z: D is for...Dispatching
Those who follow me on twitter --> @SpartaGus probably know this much about me:
1. I'm from Scotland. (One time a nurse stuck me with a needle to draw blood and all that came out was the quiet drone of bagpipes and the scent of heather. Granted, I might've been hallucinating...)
2. I wrote a book once (available from all good book stockists named after tribes of warrior women...yes, that means --> Amazon)
3. I work Wednesday through Sunday on the #BigTrainSet
So, what does working on the #BigTrainSet mean? (I hear you cry)
It means I'm a train DISPATCHER. (Got to the letter D eventually! Yay! The crowd goes wild)
A dispatcher is akin to an air traffic controller, except trains can't fly. Yet. My job is to line up trains through St. Louis and get them where they need to go in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
If you ever saw the Denzel Washington movie Unstoppable, about the runaway train, I'm like that one desk guy Rosario Dawson talked to...
|Hi, Rosario...sorry, yes...emergency thing...|
Except we don't have a gigantic map on one wall. Instead, I have an arrangement of 12 computer screens to look at. Also, Rosario Dawson doesn't talk to me.
This year is my 25th in the railroad industry and my 9th as a Dispatcher. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with anything like Denzel (or 'Guy at desk') did, but I've had my fair share of stressful shifts. It's important to keep a cool head (I keep one in the fridge...*boom tish*) and make sure everyone gets home in one piece to their loved ones.
If you're ever traveling through St Louis on Amtrak, you're going to run over some of the rail I control. So, give me a wave and I'll make sure I look out for you, get you where you need to go safely and, hopefully, on time.