The Three Month Review

I’ve completed three months of service in my new job and, as is the process of my employer, I’ve recently had my three month review. How did it go? We’ll get to that later. Firstly, I’ll give a three month review of my employer. Finding a job you enjoy is tough work. I’ve been trying to get my foot in on the trains for several years, and there were a three or four unsuccessful interviews before I finally cracked it. I’ve struck lucky with this job – it is the best of the bunch that I’d applied for. I’m a relief ticket office clerk.

In short, this means I cover shifts across a stretch of line when the normal clerk is on holiday or sick. I like the variety. I like the early mornings too. Some days I’ll need to be out of the house by 5am. I’m not a fan of waking up that early. But once up, it’s nice to have the world to myself for a couple of hours.

I enjoy the face to face interaction with customers too. It’s a significant improvement on dealing with them at the end of a telephone, as was the case at my last employer. Of course, you get the occasional upset customer. But most are happy to have someone help them through the confusing minefield that is the rail ticketing system.

I like the pay too. It’s another significant improvement compared to my last employer. Well paid overtime combined with various allowances meant that I got paid more in ‘extras’ last month than I’d have previously been paid for an entire month’s worth of labour.And of course, I’ve joined the union. I’m probably a little bit to the right, politically speaking, of most of my comrades. But I do reap the reward in pay and terms that comes with working in a unionized industry. It’s only right that I contribute my dues.

My employer runs a tight ship. But they are realistic in their demands. There are no threats or scowls when an honest mistake is made. There’s recognition that we’re all human. Mistakes happen. Just don’t make the same mistake over and over and over again. That’s a fair request and one I can deliver. It’s a tightly run ship and my ship mates act as a team. Once more, an improvement over my last employer.

Then there are the travel perks. And they are truly bountiful. Not every clerk makes full use of them. I shall. It works like this. I get free travel on the network I am employed by. I also get free travel on another network that is also owned by my employer. I also get a coupon allowing 5 lots of free travel over a 48 hour period on a third network that is majority owned by my employer. The other networks? I have a card which entitles me to a 75% discount on all other rail travel. After a years service, I’ll also get discounted travel on Eurostar and around much of the EU. Best of all, whatever I get, Mrs P also gets, as my spouse. Although she is limited to leisure travel only.

We’ve already been to Edinburgh for a weekend away. I’d never been to Scotland before and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Edinburgh is a magnificent city. We’ll go back next summer. We shall take the Caledonian Sleeper up to Fort William via Glasgow and return via Edinburgh. In between time, we have trips to York, Axminster, Exter, Birmingham and Liverpool planned. I shall make the most of my travel perks.


I’m very happy with my new job, in case I’d left any room for doubt. The good news is that my review suggested that they are equally as happy to have me there. Sure, the overtime, extra cash and many places to see does mean I have less time to do some other things – such as blogging. Such is life, it’s a small sacrifice. If you’d like to see the full set of photos from Edinburgh then, as usual, just click here.


16 thoughts on “The Three Month Review

    • Coming back to Mexico? Well….seeing as this job has a final salary pension attached, when I retire! Providing I can keep the job that long!

      But we hope to visit next year. We say this most years, but I’m far more optimistic this time!


  1. Lovely photos Gary. My wife and I were in Edinburgh to see her cousin in May of this year. It really is a magnificent city. We stayed a hotel called “The Place”. It had a similar outlook to your panoramic views. It was bitterly cold there with squally showers and I ruined an umbrella on its first showing.
    We went to the castle which apparently is built on a volcano! Sometimes it’s worth it to take a bus tour to get the low down on the sights to be seen and places to explore. I would go back in a heartbeat.


  2. Shelagh says:

    My husband has worked for the last five years delivering helium and balloons. He says he delivers smiles. He lost his career job six years ago. He says this has been the job he loves the most and has never had so much fun. It really makes a difference when you love what you do.
    He has only 8 more days at work and then we leave for San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to try our had at early retirement on a budget!
    Have fun with all your train travel, excellent perk.


  3. I’m glad to hear that you like your new job, and that your employer likes you! Those travel perks sound great! Too bad they don’t extend to travel in Mexico.
    ¡Saludos, amigo!


  4. Well, I’ll add my congratulations to the long list above. The travel bonus sounds lovely. When do you plan to move on to British Airways?

    The photo looks great and incredibly sharp to boot. That’s a mighty fine lens you’ve got there.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we haven’t been anywhere in ages, and it’s getting old.


    • I’m not planning on a BA career move….I’ve heard their perks are not what they used to be. My grandfather worked for them for over 30 years, a long time ago. How long ago? Well they were still BOAC.

      The lens is my f1.4 35mm. It’s a great lens. I’d rather like a new one though. A 20mm f2.0 perhaps…

      Liked by 1 person

    • The prospect we discussed was a related but different prospect. With an outcome that was disappointing at the time, but a blessing in hindsight. This job is much the better option.

      I look forward to talking with you again when you next visit London. Or perhaps in DF. Or in your hood. Wherever fortune takes us really…


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