A while back, I applied for a job with Amtrak. The job I applied for was “Assistant Passenger Conductor Trainee,” and I didn’t get it. Amtrak wasn’t interested in hiring me back then, but now it looks like they're singing a new tune.
That’s right, today I got an email from them. A “job alert” email.
It seems that another position has opened within their company, and they just want to “alert” me to this opportunity. Is it possible that Amtrak is regretting not hiring me on the last go-round?
It’s more than just possible. A “job alert” email? Come on! They’re trying not to sound needy, but they’re so transparent it’s almost pathetic. I mean, just say you made a mistake and now you want me to work there, guys. Just say, “Hey Greg! Our corporation needs you!”
Day one on the job would teach me a lot about my fellow humans, probably. The pee though–I bet that’s the biggest thing.
“Restroom Cleaner” is the official title of the available job, and I’m seriously considering applying for it. Sure, it doesn’t carry the prestige that “Assistant Passenger Conductor Trainee” does, but maybe I shot too high last time. Besides, I think it would be kind of fun. Well, maybe not the restroom cleaning aspect, but riding on a train for work, that would be fun. That’s the whole reason I wanted to get into the “game” in the first place: I wanted to ride the choo-choo for work.
And anyway, I don’t imagine cleaning the restrooms would take up too much of my time, unless I decided to be a real go-getter. If I took it real seriously, made those restrooms sparkle, it would probably take… an hour? There are probably six restrooms per train, so ten minutes per restroom seems reasonable. But, on the other hand, those restrooms are pretty small. An hour is probably a bit far-fetched, actually. I could probably get the restrooms done in thirty minutes, and have the rest of the time to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
I don’t know though. Amtrak must think it’s important if they’re hiring someone just to do this. And if they take it seriously enough to assign one person to it, would I really have any extra time? Would I have a supervisor making sure that I wasn’t slacking off, just sitting around for most of the trip? “Now Greg, we’re not paying you to enjoy the scenery. Have you checked the toilets? Have you emptied the trash? We have six restrooms on this train, have you checked all of the toilets and trashcans? Well then, come on, don’t just sit there!”
I mean, how on top of this would I have to be? Would I have to clean each restroom after each person used it? Just wait outside until they were done, cleaning supplies in hand when the door opens, like, “Just gotta get in here, scrub this place up a bit. Oh, look at this! You hardly left a mess at all! Thank you!”
And how messed up do the restrooms get? Do people shit on the floor sometimes? Do people do things in there that I somehow don’t know about? I know for sure the guys would definitely leave a lot of pee for me to clean up. Trains are pretty rattly. There’d probably be piss all over the floor every single time a guy used one. Probably sometimes even after ladies used them, there’d be pee on the floor. That’d be a head scratcher for me.
Day one on the job would teach me a lot about my fellow humans, probably. The pee though–I bet that’s the biggest thing. I bet it’d be my biggest complaint. After an eight-hour train shift I’d come home, exhausted, and complain to my family at the dinner table: “People just don’t take the time to aim! Day in and day out I see it! Pee all over the floor! Nobody cares about anything anymore! What’s happened to this country?”
I wonder if I could work my way up in the company if I started as a restroom cleaner? Maybe go from there to being the Restroom Cleaner Supervisor, to working the snack bar, to being the Assistant Passenger Conductor Trainee (finally!), then up and up the ladder until I’m the one driving the fucking train!
From there, it’d be “off train” employment as I slowly made my way to the very top. I’d end up being the president of Amtrak.
At corporate events I’d talk about my roots: “50 years ago, I was hired by this fine company to clean the restrooms on the Merced to Oakland route…” and so on. Sometimes, as president, I’d ride the train to make sure things were running properly. Maybe sometimes I’d roll up my sleeves and show some new restroom cleaner how it’s done. Yes, even the president cleans the toilets–that’s what makes this company great!
Maybe sometimes I’d ride undercover to get an idea of what was really going on. On those undercover rides I’d keep an especially sharp eye on the restroom cleaner. Maybe tell him what a good job he was doing. “Keep it up,” I’d say, “you never know where Amtrak will take you.” Real cryptic, because I’m undercover, but I’d give him a wink to let him know, hey, I know what I’m talking about here, too.
Maybe, if no one was looking, I’d peel off the corner of my stick-on undercover mustache, giving him a glimpse of who I really am: the fucking president of Amtrak! And he’d be like, “Huh?” because he wouldn’t know that I’m the president of the company. To him I’d just be some weird guy riding the train with a stick-on mustache. So I’d probably tell him, in a whisper, “Don’t worry, it’s me, the president of Amtrak. Keep up the good work! Someday you can be president too!”
That’s just the kind of president I’d be. An inspirational one.