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Date: 01/06/17 16:11
Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

Brought to mind by the disussion in Passenger of Amtrak and the coming snow storm:

I was working Spokane day chief in Seattle one winter. I got a wire from the Superintendent in Spokane, something like

It has come to my attention that the electric power for the CTC bungalow at Havana Street has more than tripled in the past six months. Whatever the dispatchers are doing to increase this cost must be stopped immediately.

The electric bill in question was for December. The comparison bill was for July. We increased the cost so much by...

using the switch heaters!

TAW

 



Date: 01/06/17 17:53
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: SLOCONDR

Tom,
Doesn't that just show you how some offiers just spout out s**t with out trying to find out where the problem is?



Date: 01/06/17 18:54
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

SLOCONDR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tom,
> Doesn't that just show you how some offiers just
> spout out s**t with out trying to find out where
> the problem is?

Especially July...December...Bungalow? Duh!

TAW



Date: 01/06/17 19:14
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: roustabout

I am curious of whether you responded back to the particular manager and, if so, what did you say, Tom?

Thanks again for your posts, enjoying reading them while on vacation in blustery Billings.



Date: 01/06/17 19:29
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

roustabout Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am curious of whether you responded back to the
> particular manager and, if so, what did you say,
> Tom?

I can't tell you how tempted I was to follow the instruction to the letter and tell the dispatchers to quit using the switch heaters at Havana Street. I did a lot of Malicious Compliance in those days, but I just couldn't do it. This one was just too stupid. I filed the wire, ignored it, and the Superintendent, feeling good about doing something, never noticed, just as I anticipated.


>
> Thanks again for your posts, enjoying reading them
> while on vacation in blustery Billings.

You can Have 'er

TAW



Date: 01/07/17 04:59
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: DrLoco

"Malicious Compliance" Is my new favorite catch phrase...I'm stealing that!



Date: 01/07/17 07:34
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: whistlepig

When the rule came out about getting on and off moving equipment, everyone complied to the letter.  When it started taking too long for some yard jobs everyone was accused of malicious compliance,  Our griever asked where it was in the books, management backed off.



Date: 01/07/17 13:20
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: dcfbalcoS1

        I believe I have done that a number of times but didn't realize there was a such a nice term for it.

        We now have a directive to always always set your parking brake in addition to the vehicle being in park. Even in wet and freezing weather. Even when the brakes freeze to the cold drum or discs. And if you can't get the vehicle to move, just let them know how much time was wasted . . . . . . .        And make sure you get in on time no matter what !



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/17 13:23 by dcfbalcoS1.



Date: 01/07/17 13:55
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>         I believe I have done that a number
> of times but didn't realize there was a such a
> nice term for it.
>

I found out about it back in the 80s. One of my Seattle dispatching colleagues was chosen to attend one of those useless motivational seminars. She heard about Malicious Compliance and that management knew there was a lot of it on the railroad. One of the company officers singled out the dispatchers as being a prime example.

I'm glad that they recognized at least something we were doing well.

TAW



Date: 01/07/17 17:49
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: spnudge

"SP Snuffy" was the hoghead on #13 out of Santa Barbara one day to SLO. . He had a fireman but had been told not to let him run. (Another story)  Well, Snuffy had a case of the trots and was losing time. He went by Surf and the operator called him after the OS. He said the dispatcher wanted to know what the delay was. Snuf just said, " Don't worry about it,  I will call him when I get into BI."   Well after a bit, the operator came back and said the dispatcher  "demanded"  to know what the delay was.  Well, if you knew Snuffy that wasn't the thing to say. He told the operator, "Tell the dispatcher I have the shi*s and I had to stop the train and take a crap. Once at Naples and once at Sudden. Any other questions?"

Silence


Nudge

 



Date: 01/08/17 21:14
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: Seventyfive

Miracles do occur...the switch heaters were working.  How did that happen?



Date: 01/08/17 21:23
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Malicious Noncompliance must be when a Company officer wants to charge employees when they refuse to bid into a new crew base that he established.

Don't laugh.  It happened in Northern California.  



Date: 01/08/17 22:43
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: justalurker66

Malicious compliance is more fun. Especially when threatened to be charged for insubordination if one does not comply. Comply to the letter. And make sure that the command followed was well documented.



Date: 01/09/17 07:48
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: whistlepig

We had one manager at Amtrak that loved to give you "off the cuff" instructions.  One day he gave me a particularly unsafe instruction and I told him I'd be happy to comply if it was in print black and white on paper.  He just said "never mind".



Date: 01/09/17 12:18
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

whistlepig Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We had one manager at Amtrak that loved to give
> you "off the cuff" instructions.  One day he gave
> me a particularly unsafe instruction and I told
> him I'd be happy to comply if it was in print
> black and white on paper.  He just said "never
> mind".

As BN started getting dangerous (in more ways than one), while working trick jobs, when some management person would come in to my booth, I would turn the chair around to face the person, my back to the table. If they were about to give me TTSI (No, not TimeTable Special Instructions - Truly Terrible Stupid Instructions), I would always tell them to put it in writing, which they always refused to do.

What they didn't know was that while I was sitting with my back to them, I had my foot on the (push to talk) pedal. When you had your foot on the pedal, it cut out the speaker on the dispatcher line, and of course, everyone on the line could hear the dispatcher's microphone. Behind my back, I punched code 0-0-A on the selector (the device that rang the dispatcher phone bell at station. Each station had a code. 0-0-A rang all at once. We always had a big audience and the managers never knew it. They always heard the part of the conversation that involved the manager refusing to put it in writing too. Using that evidence would have been like turning the two keys and pushing the red button. I never needed it, but it was always there if I did.

If you go here: http://www.cedarknolltelephone.com/cedartel/index.htm about 2/3 down the page, you will see a picture and attached sound file for the dispatcher phone selector, and just below it, the ringer at the stations. Look for the text Western Electric 60 type selective signaling system.

TAW



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/17 17:38 by TAW.



Date: 01/09/17 12:42
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: mapboy

Malicious compliance= <http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,2655049,2732003#msg-2732003&gt;  
Railroaders' Nostalgia > Running at 2mph on restricted speed....
SanJoaquinEngr and SPLoopConductor Larry vs. weed weasels.

mapboy
 



Date: 01/10/17 11:01
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: spnudge

I wish I had kept a copy of a message that was put out on the Western, San Joaquin and Coast Division. 
Krebs had a beach house between Watsonville & Santa Cruz that he used on weekends.  Looking out towards the tracks one Saturday morning, he saw a 2 unit local headed to Santa Cruz with just one box car.  He had a fit about the waist of power and fuel. He got on the horn and berated someone. (He didn't know about the stiff grade west of Santa Cruz that needed the power and the dynamics ?) Well, here comes the notice:

"All locals will have no more or no less than one engine".

It was for real.  

Nudge



Date: 01/10/17 12:29
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: TAW

spnudge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wish I had kept a copy of a message that was put
> out on the Western, San Joaquin and Coast
> Division. 
> Krebs had a beach house between Watsonville &
> Santa Cruz that he used on weekends.  Looking out
> towards the tracks one Saturday morning, he saw a
> 2 unit local headed to Santa Cruz with just one
> box car.  He had a fit about the waist of power
> and fuel. He got on the horn and berated someone.
> (He didn't know about the stiff grade west of
> Santa Cruz that needed the power and the dynamics
> ?) Well, here comes the notice:
>
> "All locals will have no more or no less than one
> engine".
>
> It was for real.  
>

I wish that I had kept the set that FMB stuck out in Bakertsfield:
The tunnel liner of the Newhall Tunnel leaked like a sieve since the 1971 earthquake. It was always raining in there. The east switch at Newhall was a spring switch right near the tunnel portal. The west switch was a power switch controlled by the operator at Saugus. The east switch at Saugus was also in the interlocking. Saugus had two sidings, eastbound and westbound overlapping so that they could be used as one really long siding.

The west portal of the tunnel was the summit of a grade of around 1.6% in both directions.

The standard operation, of course, was east man heads in at Newhall and springs out. The west man goes right down the main. Well, one night a hoghead on an east man tore up his train leaving Newhall. FMB was a really good dispatcher and really good rail. The superintendent not so much so, so FMB had to deal with edicts from the Supt. An edict came out:
Henceforth all westward trains will head in at Newhall, east trains will hold the main.

We all knew what would happen, and it did. The west man slipped down in the rainy tunnel while trying to stop to line the switch (no room in the tunnel to run ahead) and divided his train into a couple of components. The next thing was an expected message:
There is a spring switch at the east end of Newhall and a power switch at the west end. It is obvious that east trains should head in and west trains hold the main at Newhall.

Next morning, I sat down to the two messages in the live file. I took them over to FMB's desk and said Hey Frank, you stuck out a lap. He took the two messages, muttered some stuff I can't write here, and promptly stuck out a new one:
There seems to be a lot of confusion on how to meet trains at Newhall. From now on, all Newhall meets will be made at Saugus.

TAW



Date: 01/14/17 10:02
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: cdrapollo20

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> As BN started getting dangerous (in more ways than
> one), while working trick jobs, when some
> management person would come in to my booth, I
> would turn the chair around to face the person, my
> back to the table. If they were about to give me
> TTSI (No, not TimeTable Special Instructions -
> Truly Terrible Stupid Instructions), I would
> always tell them to put it in writing, which they
> always refused to do.
>
> What they didn't know was that while I was sitting
> with my back to them, I had my foot on the (push
> to talk) pedal. When you had your foot on the
> pedal, it cut out the speaker on the dispatcher
> line, and of course, everyone on the line could
> hear the dispatcher's microphone. Behind my back,
> I punched code 0-0-A on the selector (the device
> that rang the dispatcher phone bell at station.
> Each station had a code. 0-0-A rang all at once.
> We always had a big audience and the managers
> never knew it. They always heard the part of the
> conversation that involved the manager refusing to
> put it in writing too. Using that evidence would
> have been like turning the two keys and pushing
> the red button. I never needed it, but it was
> always there if I did.
>
> If you go here:
> http://www.cedarknolltelephone.com/cedartel/index.
> htm about 2/3 down the page, you will see a
> picture and attached sound file for the dispatcher
> phone selector, and just below it, the ringer at
> the stations. Look for the text Western Electric
> 60 type selective signaling system.
>
> TAW

This story was the highlight of my day!



Date: 01/16/17 15:41
Re: Whatever the dispatchers are doing...
Author: displacedneb

Late 1990's on BNSF in Arizona. Division General Manager issued a directive about propane and electricity bills and told the train dispatchers that snow melters were not to be used. Much malicious compliance and directive was cancelled within days. After much dog catching and delays of course.



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