I like my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, actually. From both a job satisfaction and a financial point of view. Sure, I don’t love it so much that I’ll keep turning up if they stop paying me. And I’ll never be a millionaire even if they do. It is, after all, a job. That said, I like it. It doesn’t sound a particularly thrilling job. I sell train tickets. Sometimes I refund unused train tickets. And there’s plenty of other odd jobs around the station that need doing. Usually I work alone, but sometimes I work with others. It depends where I am on any given day.
That’s one of the things I like. I’m a relief clerk, so I can be anywhere. Well, anywhere on my patch. I fill in the holes in the roster when static clerks are on holiday or sick. Every Thursday, between 10am and midday, I’ll get my instructions for the following week. The distance between the most easterly and most westerly station is a 56 mile drive. I live just right of centre. If I’m sent east, I catch the train on both early and late shifts. If I’m sent west and given an early, I have to drive.
The longest drive west is a 32 mile stretch to a seaside town. It’s a very early one hour drive on Monday to Saturday shifts. I have to be there at 5.20am. On Sundays, the office opens at 7.30am, so I can leave at a more civilised time. Technically, I have every Sunday off. But the overtime pay on a Sunday is good. So I try and get one in each month. Just to bulk out my pay packet a bit.
The drive in winter is through the pitch black of night. But at this time of year, it can be a glorious run in. Fields full of sheep or crops, through wooded avenues and between forested hills. I stopped this morning to take the photo above. It’s far from the best view, but it’s the easiest place to pull over. In summer or winter, the roads are mostly deserted at this time of the morning. That’s just how I like it. It’s just me, the open road and Radio 5Live. Or sometimes, I listen to a podcast. Which is what I did this morning – Crimetown. I’m on Episode 5 – it’s been a really good series so far.