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mediccjh

The Schoolcar Survival Guide

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Now that I'm a month out, I would like to offer some advice from a Rookie, since many more of you who are members here are going to Schoolcar.

 

1. Forget EVERYTHING you know about Transit. You will be taught the Transit way. No one cares that you know the inner workings of an R32, or that you know the names of all of the stations. Study what is taught to you. Don't act like a know-it-all; you will be knocked down a few pegs. 

 

2. Study, study, study that Signal book. You will get it your first week of Schoolcar. Read it 30 minutes a night, 5 times a week. Read it so that you can write it down VERBATIM. Your TSSs will give you quizzes up to the time of the big Signal exam, to see how you are progressing. Remember, 100% or else.

 

3. You know NOTHING. Ask questions. You will have A LOT of information thrown at you in a short amount of time, and it can be overwhelming. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if it is simple, or you feel it is dumb. It's better to ask the dumb question than to look dumb when you do something wrong. 

 

4. Read your Rulebook. Self-explanatory. When in doubt, refer to the Rulebook, especially when it comes to flagging, operations, and signals. 

 

5. Study your notes every night. Do what you have to do to be able to retain the information. For me, it was creating a 42-page Word Document, with all of my notes. No, you can't have a copy of it. Sorry.

 

6. You will make mistakes. In the classroom, in the Yard posting, and out on the Road. Learn from them, and refer to rule number 3. 

 

7. Get to know your classmates. You will live and breathe transit for a few months together, depending on the Division. Make sure you get a master list of phone numbers, and call your classmates if you're going to be late. It will save your ass. 

 

8. Be respectful. I'm not saying be an ass-kisser, but be respectful. Say 'Hi' or 'Good morning' to people that work here, and if someone waves, wave back. Yes, some people are misanthropes; you're going to get that. If you act professional, it will probably help you. You are being watched all the time. Let your actions speak for you.

 

9. Practice, practice, practice. If you need more help on your skills, ask for it. The Motor Instructors will help you. 

 

 

10. DON'T PANIC!! It is overwhelming at first, but you will have that 'Ah HA!' moment when you least expect it. 

 

 

Anyone else who is more experienced than I am, feel free to contribute. Mods, make it a Sticky if you'd like. 

 

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This one is a big pet peeve. Lying.....DON'T DO IT! For any reason ever do not do it.

 

You will make mistakes down here. It happens but the best way to learn from them is to acknowledge that you made the mistake. If it's something no one could ever know about unless you tell then OK you got away with one BUT STILL LEARN FROM IT!

 

If anyone knows, like your partner then it's time to turn yourself in - remember trying to get your partner to keep quiet about something supervision might already be aware of gets you in trouble and your partner even more because your partner didn't report you and if they claim to know nothing when questioned then they may get in even more trouble for your mistake than you because they are knowingly lying about your actions.

 

If the customers know then everyone knows, turn yourself in.

 

If a TSS knows then be sure you are the first one on the radio turning yourself in.

 

The point is this. This is the new TA. Don't come in acting like a seasoned vet from the old TA. Your honesty may go further than you might imagine considering the mistake like dropping the handle and being honest about how and why it happened. Or overrunning a station. Over sleeping and missing your report time which is considered an AWOL. Being honest about these things actually gets some people on your side and those in a position of power are actually willing to help you.

 

Integrity gets your further down here nowadays. And just remember, if you don't tell on yourself, the train will, the TSS in the 3rd car will, the SUPT riding your train to Borough Hall will, the customer with the camera phone will, your partner will.

 

Oh and don't hit a signal! Please don't hit a signal! That's more unforgiving regardless of honesty and lying about it only throws millions of gallons of gas on an already hot fire. Hitting a signal will get your sent back to school car after spending time on the platform and possibly terminated if you're on probation and school car doesn't have the tolerance for you. Plus the alarms go off at RCC when you hit one so you're fully in it once you step in it.

 

Remember this lesson.....INTEGRITY! It matters. To your superiors and your peers!

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11. DON'T BE LATE. If your report time is 2:57, that does NOT mean be there by 3PM. If you ARE going to be late, get on your phone or radio and let whoever you are signing in with KNOW that you are going to be late AS SOON AS you know you are going to be late, even if the cause of lateness is due to a TA delay. This is the #1 thing that will make or break you here. When I was on probation, I always aimed for getting to my sign-in location at least 20 minutes early, or 40 minutes if it was early AMs/midnights.

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11. DON'T BE LATE. If your report time is 2:57, that does NOT mean be there by 3PM. If you ARE going to be late, get on your phone or radio and let whoever you are signing in with KNOW that you are going to be late AS SOON AS you know you are going to be late, even if the cause of lateness is due to a TA delay. This is the #1 thing that will make or break you here. When I was on probation, I always aimed for getting to my sign-in location at least 20 minutes early, or 40 minutes if it was early AMs/midnights.

 

Heck i STILL get to my reporting location at least 50 minutes before i start!

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I strongly advise reading chapter 1-2 in the Rules/Regulation ASAP prior to start of school car if given early and prior to being assigned your schoolcar TSS'.

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Stay off your Damn phone. Matter of fact turn it off and put it in your bag. Bad habits die hard. Don't worry, you'll survive without it.

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GET YOUR REST! I'm sure you're going to hear that a lot but it's true. You never know when things are going to go wrong. The other night i was supposed to work a nice job on the 1. When i got there i found out the regular guy came back from sick leave so they put me on the board. After 4 hours on the board they gave me a 10 hour job.

 

Sent from my LG-MS770 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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That's 14 hours folks. It happens often enough!!!!! Falling to the board and coming off of it for another job is as real as it gets.

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That's 14 hours folks. It happens often enough!!!!! Falling to the board and coming off of it for another job is as real as it gets.

 

Lost count how Many 14 hr days i had when i was extra extra...

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Lost count how Many 14 hr days i had when i was extra extra...

I forgot to include the most important point of them all. The limit for hours worked straight is 16. Imagine how many times we get or have come close to that number LOL!

 

 

Another important point. While operating if you see anything strange and unusual on the platform. REPORT IT! If you don't report it, then you never saw anything. If something does happen on that platform some time after you depart the station and you are called by control to ask if you saw anything and you answer yes.....you will be removed from service. This is one of those situations where you really have to think about your surroundings and what it does or will mean to you. Protect yourself at all times. It's better to report it and protect yourself from further questioning than to not say anything at all.

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I forgot to include the most important point of them all. The limit for hours worked straight is 16. Imagine how many times we get or have come close to that number LOL!

 

 

Another important point. While operating if you see anything strange and unusual on the platform. REPORT IT! If you don't report it, then you never saw anything. If something does happen on that platform some time after you depart the station and you are called by control to ask if you saw anything and you answer yes.....you will be removed from service. This is one of those situations where you really have to think about your surroundings and what it does or will mean to you. Protect yourself at all times. It's better to report it and protect yourself from further questioning than to not say anything at all.

 

So true and i have heard folks just hang themselves on the radio down here.. If it pops off and you in the station report it before you move that train...

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even though im not RTO does  "look sharp act sharp be sharp"   does that apply too?   and yes that is a quote from a tv show. 

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Can it get some insight on how to stop a 46 and 68A at 10 car stop marker. Thanks

 

That's something I feel your Schoolcar TSSs will teach you...

 

Every train is different....

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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When I was on the XX board, I picked up so many long-hour jobs, I wasn't sure whether the crew office liked me, or was trying to kill me. 

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This should be stickied.

 

Its Pinned so its easy access to it.  Just like the Schoolcar experience lots of good tidbits in both threads.

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Based on things I am hearing in the field I am going to add one more thing in here for all the students out there.

 

After your instructors have been with you for a few weeks and you have begun moving trains, practicing cuts and adds, and making station stops on an empty train on the mainline for a while...

 

If there is a subject, an area, a piece of equipment, or a procedure that you feel you have not had adequate exposure to, or practiced enough with...mention it to your classmates and collectively ask your TSSes if it will be possible to review or practice that item.

 

Do not wait until you are starting YX, or when you come back from YX, or worse, when you are road posting or on your own, to address this "thing that's been bothering you" for the first time.

 

There are horror stories in the field...people out here who don't know how to cut this equipment or that, who don't understand troubleshooting adequately (basic stuff they've already taken a practical on, yet they don't grasp the concept behind what they did and will likely forget the procedure soon), or people who are blatantly scared of or have never touched a particular piece of equipment. There are also numerous Train Operators who have been sent for reinstruction due to an incident on their own (goes on your permanent record, by the way) or others that have lost the job altogether. Do not become one of them because you are not willing to ask or bother your TSSes to go over something you don't feel you've had adequate exposure with.

 

You really need 4 things to learn:

-Read the book

-See it done

-Do it yourself

-Repeat

 

If you haven't done all 4, you haven't learned it. Your TSSes are there to help you, but sometimes you have to help them do that. If there is an area you feel deficient in, make sure you let them know. Do not "let it go" and just assume that you'll get it later....BRING IT UP!

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Subway Guy I have heard that term "this thing has been bothering me" a few times...

 

I'm like "What you learned in Schoolcar?"

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Yup and I'm seeing guys telling me they spent most of their schoolcar time on one or two pieces of equipment and hardly any time at all on the rest of the equipment...so therefore they are completely unfamiliar with it when asked to move it on their own

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Yup and I'm seeing guys telling me they spent most of their schoolcar time on one or two pieces of equipment and hardly any time at all on the rest of the equipment...so therefore they are completely unfamiliar with it when asked to move it on their own

Eff that I used to make it my business to "know"(heck still do it times) I took Schoolcar very serious. I never let folks way of doing things stop me I asked asked asked....

Edited by RTOMan

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@RTO...I wish I had asked more, I'd have finished schoolcar, been on the road and off probation soon...If I can get back in I will DEFINITELY do things differently!

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Another thread of juiciness.

 

Thanks guys. Reconfirming what I already felt. These books are intimidating but I realize that they don't expect us to read it all immediately. But THATS where the overwhelming kicks in!! I checked that feeling once I got settled in at home and started reading the rules. Next thing I knew, I was finished with the chapter. Most of this is common sense, but as we know, sense is not always common.

 

I can already see some people failing out of Schoolcar cause they still have that "I'm not doing that attitude" towards the rules they're being told on what NOT to do. A few of the TSS's told me out of 60 T/O's in a class, IF they keep 30, that's amazing! THATS CRAZY!! But I get it. Not everyone can follow rules, so they rather be victims to them. The cell phones and sleeping to, from and in Schoolcar is gonna get them.

Edited by L Bo

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