BNSF Job offer

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BNSF Job offer

Postby Interceptor » Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:06 am

I received an email from BNSF for a conditional job offer for Conductor Trainee. I'm pretty excited. I didn't think I stood a chance against the other 127 people.

I'm scheduled to take a physical and drug test next week. The job offer is also contingent on a drug test and pre-employment background. I thought they would have already done the background prior to offering me a postion. Hope it doesn't take too long.

I'm looking foward to the career change. Most people I've talked with said I won't regret it.
Interceptor
 

Postby slchub » Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:11 am

Congratulations on your endeavors to become a trainman. Most likely the BNSF is like UP whereas they will run your name through a quick background check, it comes up clear, and once you start your training, their security dept/special agent/railroad police will perform a more through investigation into your background. As long as you have been truthful in your statements, you will be fine.

QUOTE

This enabled UP to conduct physical exams and background and drug checks on applicants before interviewing them.

See article in link : http://www.workforce.com/section/06/fea ... index.html

Also, earlier last year, there was a stink about the UP letting a couple of guys go after they had been through training. UP came out and said that while the employees where indeed through with their initial training, they were still under the umbrella of their probation period, and could be let go for falsifying information on their application for employment.

See article in the UTU site:
http://www.utu.org/worksite/detail_news ... leID=13929

When I went through training, I think it was day number 4 and 5 where the instructor received a call in the afternoon, and during a break, the instructor would ask a certain person to stay behind while everyone else left the room. The person(s) found out that they were released from the training program due to background check or drug use. It may take them awhile, but if you do have something to hide, or were not truthful, they will get you. Mgt. seems to like this approach for some reason.

Go to class. Don’t become overwhelmed by the amount of material on your desk the first day, read your rule book everyday, complete the study guides, get a couple of guys together and get a study group going and study your eyes out. If the BNSF is like the UP, you’ll have two opportunities to pass an exam. If you fail to pass the exam at 85% the first time, you will come back the next day before class and retake the exam. If you don’t get an 85% on the second test you are gone. 84.7% or 84.9% does not cut it. It must be 85%. Not to scare you, but just understand that this is serious business. Not just for you, but for your fellow railroader. Know your rules and keep reading that rule book for a year after you get out of class. Most of all, have fun, and enjoy the ride. It will be a long one!
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Postby Interceptor » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:42 am

Thanks! Those are interesting reads.

I have nothing to worry about in the background. I had my personal information and background raped before I was hired for my current job (Police Officer).

I tried to be as accurate as possible with salary info and employment dates of jobs I had five to six years ago while I was in college (I worked quite a few different jobs....I was a poor college student). I hardly remember any of that information. I just hope they are not too picky if I'm off by a little. That's the only thing.

I'm looking foward to getting the show on the road! :)
Interceptor
 

Postby freshmeat » Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:19 pm

I was hired by BNSF in May of 2004, so I can give you a little background.

We were led to believe that once you began class, the background investigations were already done. From what other people have said they only do one thing after another. So once you have the conditional job offer, you'll take the physical test. After the physical test/drug screen, they do the background check and the rest. The main idea from the carrier is that they don't want to spend any more money than necessary on a candidate that will be rejected. One guy in our class was supposed to be hired in the class prior to ours, but his file was flagged because of a drug making substance that appeared in his UA. So they waited and hired him 3 months later. Go figure.

Once you enter training, your probation begins. You will be on probation for 8 weeks. Now if you have already been informed, your class will be 13 to 15 weeks long, depending on whether or not you must get RCO qualified. This means that you will be covered by the collective bargaining agreement and union representation while you are still in class and being watched over by an experienced conductor. Pretty sweet if you ask me. You're really going to have to screw up if you want to get fired. The quickest way is to either act like you know everything a don't show any repsect or interest in what you old head is saying or just get hurt bad and violate one of the 7 deadly sins, repeatedly.

I personally made it a point to not get off the engine or do anything until I confirmed that is wha thtey wanted done. You'll work with a lot of people in a very short period of time. They don't want you hurt because that reflects poorly on them. Until you get to know who you are working with and what is expected of you, always always ask prior to doing something. That may sound like overkill but those crews will appriciate it.

As far as the employment history, I tried to give them every job I held, even in grad school. They really didn't seem to care about jobs in college. She just explained it away as "college."

Congratulations, you've made it through what I found to be the hardest part. Now all you have to do is a little studying and a lot, and I mean a lot, of listening and asking questions. The trainers that come from the training department are very good. You can play 20 questions with them all you want and hardly ever stump them on the rules. These guys live on rules. You will also learn a lot from them. If you can hook up with some guys in your class to study with, I would recommend that. This is not a competition. If all will have jobs at the end of the class, the only thing that dictates what job will be seniority and that is left to the luck of the draw.

As a cop, you'll quickly see who you want to work with and who you want to stay away from. These are the guys that will not do their homework, come in late or sleep in class. Stay away from them, they will end up getting you hurt or killed! Remember, you are your own keeper and your brother's keeper. If you stay alert and study, ypou'll earn a reputation among the old heads and they'll share whatever they can with you. Screw up and off, and that will follow you for a long long time.

Good luck!
freshmeat
 

Postby KarlJ » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:01 pm

[deleted]
Last edited by KarlJ on Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BoRhyne » Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:44 pm

I start school on the 21 of feb. On my original school application I didn't have all my dates of previous jobs exactly correct i'm sure. Is that the official application for the railroad or do i get to fill out another one at some point during school. Or should I tell them when i get to school and make any corrections then. Also I was arrested in 1990 for a misdemeaner but it was adjudicated so it's not on my record. What sources do they look at for your background check and how close do i need to be on my employment history dates. Thank you
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Postby freshmeat » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:50 am

BNSF gave us 5 days to correct our appication after the interview. I'm not sure who you are applying with so ask.

As far as the arrest, read the question carefully. The arrest may not matter (the railroad isn't looking for saints) it is the disclosure that matters. Failure to disclose will be the kiss of death.
freshmeat
 

Postby ironken » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:19 am

one tip is to be cool when you come out of class. I get the joy of working with 1 year seniority old heads on occasion. They usually end up tying a bunch of brakes, being told to stand at the switch, or told to stay on the second unit. In class you may get a false sense of rules understanding. That will go away once you get called as the "skipper," and have to rely on your hogger to get you thru what will seem like the longest shift of your life. Being able to define a rule on paper and being able to apply it are two different things. Be cool to them and they will usually carry you. Work the yard for awhile when you come out to get familiar with switching where you will have a foreman or helper to guide you (yes, you may get called off of the extra board as a foreman on your first day marked up or even forced to a job. That is if you are in a location with a yard). This job may seem fun now, but, it begins to suck after awhile......RRing is the crappyest job that I've ever loved.... go figure.
ironken
 

Postby freshmeat » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:06 pm

AMEN!
freshmeat
 

Postby Interceptor » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:11 am

freshmeat and KarlJ, please check your PM box. :)
Interceptor
 

Postby jg greenwood » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:14 am

ironken wrote:one tip is to be cool when you come out of class. I get the joy of working with 1 year seniority old heads on occasion. They usually end up tying a bunch of brakes, being told to stand at the switch, or told to stay on the second unit. In class you may get a false sense of rules understanding. That will go away once you get called as the "skipper," and have to rely on your hogger to get you thru what will seem like the longest shift of your life. Being able to define a rule on paper and being able to apply it are two different things. Be cool to them and they will usually carry you. Work the yard for awhile when you come out to get familiar with switching where you will have a foreman or helper to guide you (yes, you may get called off of the extra board as a foreman on your first day marked up or even forced to a job. That is if you are in a location with a yard). This job may seem fun now, but, it begins to suck after awhile......RRing is the crappyest job that I've ever loved.... go figure.


Exactly! Knowing the rules for an exam and applying those same rules in the field are two completely different things. In 1997 the BNSF used "scenario based" rules exams in their engr. training program. No way possible to "multiple choice" your way through these exams. You either knew the correct answer or you didn't.
jg greenwood
 

Postby smike » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:43 am

ironken, you hit the nail on head. I agree with you 100%. Anyone thinking about a railroad career or anyone currently in training, Please do yourself a favor stay in the yard for a while and learn how to switch. Don't wory about being a conductor or an engineer right out of training!! spend some time in the yard, It will make you a much better conductor/engineer down the road.
smike
 

Postby Interceptor » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:10 am

I'm a little nervous about the IPCS exam. I take that on Monday.

The info sheet I received says it's used to measure the force producing capabilities of your muscles. It's not a test of absolute strength They use an isokinetic machine to check the major muscle groups around the shoulders and knees.

I'm not a weightlifter and I don't consider myself super strong guy. I'm just average.

What exactly are they looking for?
Interceptor
 

Postby JasonP » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:36 pm

Interceptor wrote:I'm a little nervous about the IPCS exam. I take that on Monday.

The info sheet I received says it's used to measure the force producing capabilities of your muscles. It's not a test of absolute strength They use an isokinetic machine to check the major muscle groups around the shoulders and knees.

I'm not a weightlifter and I don't consider myself super strong guy. I'm just average.

What exactly are they looking for?


I wish I could help you out with an answer to this.

We took ours this past Tuesday. It's basically a machine with a single arm with a seat that adjusts you to a proper position. You do two sets of five on each appendage.

The machine resists your movement, and adjusts to provide more/less resistance, depending on how hard you're moving.

The technician is just that, a technician, so he/she won't be able to tell you of the results immediately. Like I said, we took ours on Tuesday and as of today, Friday, haven't heard anything. I'm a fat guy too, 6'1 and 300, so it's had me worried that they'd be expecting some kind of magnificent performance out of me, since it's weight based.

No news is good news, as far as I'm concerned.
JasonP
 

Postby tcbbnsf » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:09 pm

I took my test on a Monday morning, and did not hear ANYTHING until the following Monday morning. If you got this far in the testing, you will probably be fine. I was a nervous wreck until I got the e-mail informing me of my start date.
tcbbnsf
 

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