Getting a Train Cleaning Job, Unbelievable!!!!!

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by AndyN, 9 Jan 2017.

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  1. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    I shall be coming off this forum has the Railway isn't the Railway I used to remember back in the BR Days. Now the dust has settled I think I am quite happy being a 9 to 5er Monday to Friday, and going bed at night and having the weekends to myself.

    Just applied for a Train Presentation Operative job again (Cleaner) and sorry the aggravation in just a cleaning job with Northern Rail beggars belief and in hindsight I don't think its worth the aggro. Online tests, applications explaining giving examples of when you made a difference, gave customer service etc etc. What the hell has all this got to do in the slightest with clearing rubbish from a train ??? It seems funny that when I have applied for these types of jobs outside of the railway for extra cash I seem to walk into them without any fuss and why wouldn't I, Ive done the jobs before and to me that's all that is necessary for these roles. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do them. Northern Rail will be wanting "A" Levels and a Degree next for this "Non Skilled" job.

    Seriously I wish everyone on here all the luck in the world in getting on the Rail Industry but to me I no longer see the fascination, just a lot of grief. I used to be gutted when I got turned down for these jobs but think I am now at the stage when I'm happy at home watching the Sport on a Saturday night with a drop of booze and feel sorry for the lads continually working nights at weekend. Some boast of the money there making but can't take it with you when gone and now I'm a 9 to 5er I feel better in myself and healthier. Don't know why I reapplied to be honest, maybe to prove a point at how ridiculous Northern Rail are and there criteria to be a Train Cleaner. Good luck all, I'll enjoy my weekends off.
     
  2. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I agree that working office hours is good - I very much enjoy having my evenings and weekends free, plus being able to establish a regular routine is no bad thing.

    As for job applications, I see them as the first scene in the stage show that is the workplace. Ultimately, you'll be hired to act in the manner that the company wants you to. Demonstrating that you can do this at the application stage will stand you in good stead. The "sod this" kind of attitude towards something that requires a bit of effort to learn to do well isn't going to get you the job - and I imagine companies don't mind people with this mentality filtering themselves out.

    It can be unfair in the sense that those who aren't au fait with those assessments can be, perhaps wrongly denied access to the job - but they're here to stay so it's worth getting to grips with them. The way I see it, they're an opportunity to demonstrate how you can excel in expressing how much of an asset you can be to the company.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2017
  3. OnlyM

    OnlyM Member

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    If you remember the BR days, surely you'd be working for the railway....

    You seem disheartened I love the shift work I love having odd restdays through the week.. I love getting paid for doing absolutely nothing... I would hate to be a 9-5er how boring would that be. I joined at 18 I am now 22 and I have no qualifications. Maybe you should or should of looked at where you was going wrong with your applications. If your attitude is "its just a job picking rubbish up" then that is the wrong attitude. If the job has tests its merely to catch out lazy people you know.. Like yourself you clearly can't be bothered sitting the tests so therefore the job will go to someone more willing.
     
  4. Andy-mc

    Andy-mc Member

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    Everyone has their own opinion on Shift work, but if its not for you its not for you, I just wouldn't base my opinion on how easy it is to get a job with shift work

    The BR days were nearly 20 years ago now and I was only a nipper when it was disbanded so things are bound to of changed over time. plus from what I hear back in the "good old BR days" you could only get a job on the railway if you were related to someone, and even then it would only be into a similar grade.

    Most Companies recruit in this way now not just the railway, i had a similar process for my first job in fast food

    I think you have just taken one to many knockbacks and need to just take a step back as if you want a job enough you will do what they require of you, which although it may seem tedious really isn't
     
  5. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    Andy mc, I agree with everything you say. I got on BR has my Grandad was high up and connected, It was a absolute doddle getting on. I was a carer for my Gran for years and when she passed away I pinned my hopes on getting back on the railway and because of how easy I got on before and had cleaning experience I thought there wouldn't be a problem. First few knockbacks I was gutted and bemused. But working a few 9-5 jobs since and no weekends I finally realise nights and weekends no longer have a appeal no matter how cushy a job may be. I am not as gutted this time around, more bemused at why all the hoops to jump through just to get on as a train cleaner and having to answer questions and do tests that have no resemblance to the job whatsoever.
     
  6. Spikeylado

    Spikeylado Member

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    Sounds like the knock backs are getting to you? I had 16 attempts over 5yrs and also applied for "station operative" positions when all I really wanted was a conductor position! I used the knock backs and learned from every single rejection until finally I was successful and I am now on hold for a conductor position with ARRIVA. I do empathise with you to a point, however if you want it enough keep trying it might just happen!
     
  7. Pompy

    Pompy Member

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    Hi AndyN,
    These days the recruiters are looking for people that may, after 6 months probation and some time on the job be eligible to apply for other internal roles so they are required to meet a certain higher standard to start with. As a good step into the railway and jobs in high demand they can afford to be picky.
     
  8. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    Totally understand that and when you apply to progress from the cleaning roles that's when it becomes relevant to pass tests and give examples of customer services etc etc. Some people might be happy doing static shifts train cleaning rather than the differeing hours of conductors and drivers . I myself am going to stick with my 9 to 5 weekends off now but when I applied for the Train Cleaning Positions it was probable I would have stuck at that as at my age I don't want to be working various odd shifts that drivers and conductors do.
     
  9. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Tbh AndyN if you can avoid the shifts work I would. From the posts you've written, it seems you're after some extra cash from the 9-5 you do now. See if you can change jobs in the 9-5 with a slighter better rate of pay and maybe do that again or even see if you can make some cash through some sort of online business,maybe trading stuff in eBay etc.

    The shifts on the railway can be a real life killer and sometimes wish I could get out of it.
     
  10. grumblingalong

    grumblingalong Member

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    Can we have the like button yet? OP if you're not willing to tick the boxes initially you're going to get nowhere. To be frank if you carry this attitude about your work I'm glad you're not going to become one of my colleagues.

    In my opinion the railway has benefitted greatly from moving away from BRs lax approach to recruitment.
     
  11. Aivilo

    Aivilo Member

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    My friend can relate. 16 years on the railway and since being made redundant in May cannot find a job for love nor money. He's applied himself in every aspect and just cannot get a break. He actually sat these tests today and called me after. I was quite surprised to learn he had to do numerical and verbal reasoning tests for the role myself but guess it's what the company want.
     
  12. Phil.

    Phil. Established Member

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    BR had a lax approach to recruitment because no-one wanted to work on the railway. Even in the high unemployment days in the mid 1970s it was a bugger recruiting people. Basically if you could read and write and looked half presentable the job was yours -relations on the job or not.
     
  13. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    My first railway job was working permanent nights cleaning with two days off every five weeks

    Getting into the industry was the hardest thing but once in the opportunities are excellent

    I was offered the job because I failed (abysmally) a simple maths test for working on the gateline! However I was just grateful for a way in

    This was several years ago and I imagine it is harder now so I understand your point... experience should count
     
  14. fredk

    fredk Member

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    I think the "sod this" attitude came about as a result of OPs application. :lol: I can see how being being grilled on unrelated interview questions for a simple train cleaning job is frustrating.

    I would try to apply for some different roles, at least the questions will be there for a reason.
     
  15. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Rubbish. I got a job on S&T in 1987, with no family at all on the railway. I filled in an application form and went for an interview.
     
  16. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    Not rocket science? Just clearing rubbish for the train?

    There's nothing quite like devaluing a job that quite a few people I know take great pride in doing is there!....what you've got to remember is to some people getting a job like this is very much an achievement,and as someone said earlier it's very much a position that can lead to other things if the individuals ambition is right.

    The process is not just there to whittle down numbers etc....its there to assess the attitude of the candidates as well......and I've got to say in your case it's worked an absolute treat as I'm sure they'd of avoided you like the plague anyway if this is your approach.

    Things perceived as rocket science to some are a walk in the park to others.... its all very individual......I'm a driver which to many is FAR from rocket science.....but can everyone do the job to the level where it's done correctly and safely? No they can't.

    If you're still wanting/looking for the BR type recruitment or that attitude towards recruitment in ANY industry I suggest you find yourself a time machine.
     
  17. Phil.

    Phil. Established Member

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    Second that. Urban myth, pure and simple.
     
  18. Andy-mc

    Andy-mc Member

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    ok I may have come across a bit strong with that statement lol, but it definitely helped back then from what I've been told among the many BR stories from some of my colleagues
     
  19. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    .....wasn't everything, so much better, 20+ years ago..? :lol:
     
  20. t_star2001uk

    t_star2001uk Member

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    I started in 1988 with the most rudimentary of entrance tests to become a Trainman (g) with no relatives in the job. in fact after i joined a family friend joined then my father rejoined after 30 years with the CEGB....
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2017
  21. Trainguy90

    Trainguy90 Member

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    Companies can afford to be picky these days, if you can get people to meet a standard through tests and enough people go through the process each time then why not
     
  22. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    Scott118, You are exactly tight. Everything was better 20 years ago. I was born 20 years to early in 1968, wish I was born in 1948. The modern world continues to baffle me and their daft PC ways :D
     
  23. Dave333

    Dave333 Member

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    Last edited: 12 Jan 2017
  24. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Yes it was. I literally walked into my first job at GNER.

    I fully sympathise with the OP about how over the top the assessment methods are for the even most basic of frontline positions. It does often make me wonder whether the person cleaning under my seats is an excellent psychiatrist, brain surgeon or airline pilot, whilst (judging by the complaints from my passengers this morning) not actually being very good at picking up the litter.

    One company did seem to go some way to tailor their assessment to the specific role of cleaner. They had a group discussion to prioritise cleaning tasks on a busy passenger train at the start of service. From this great idea, it sounded good, but went downhill from there.

    - Some applicants suggested check the toilets and wipe down the tabletops.
    - Others said walk the train with a bin bag taking passengers litter.

    - Those who picked the second one (bin bag) got through.
    - Those who picked the first one were sent home.

    When one of the applicants (an experienced cleaner from Northern Rail) questioned the manager whether the train had been cleaned on depot (sets sometimes do come out filthy, if they've gone in late night before) he was adamant this never ever happens and they should not question this decision.

    Rubbish :lol:
     
  25. Marklund

    Marklund Member

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    Thirded.

    It does help knowing people, but it wasn't the only way.

    What I find funny is BR used to struggle to fill posts, but now the railway is deluged with applications! I wonder why£££???
     
  26. ungreat

    ungreat Member

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    Same here..applied for a traction trainees job in the 80s at Waterloo and got it with no family on the railway. 30 odd years later I'm still on the railways
     
  27. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    @Dave333, Yes I did work at Leeds via Northern Recruitment Group. Do you know me ?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    @Dave, And what a waste of time me working at Leeds proved to be. I travelled there 1.5 hours per night to get the experience on my CV and to help me to the top of the pile when applying for these jobs. Totally regret it now and its 2 months of my life I can't get back. I did the stint there as of course I was expecting something out of it. A job, not at Leeds but closer to home.
     
  28. Dave333

    Dave333 Member

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    Your attitude is all wrong, all me me and I want.
     
  29. AndyN

    AndyN Member

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    Until you know me Dave Id suggest you keep your thoughts to yourself has it wouldn't end well if you spoke to me like that in person but people like you probably wouldn't in person. Again I asked you if you know me ? And if you don't, then don't make assumptions of me.

    To all others who have respectfully replied on here, I am what you call Old School and tend to say what others are thinking but at least I'm straight. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong in the modern pc world lol
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    And Dave, Don't we all try and get our foot in the door and gain every advantage we can in this day and age for I, We, Me etc etc etc. We all go to work for I, Me. Me so don't make yourself sound stupid and think before you speak
     
  30. Louby

    Louby Member

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    But cheeky but how old are you andy ?
    Lot of people late 40s etc ( I don't mean you personally as I don't know how old you are ) do struggle with the new tech ages, but unfortunately that's the way the world is now , cleaning now a days is one of the upfront customer service etc as most jobs you are in you are in constant contact with people
     
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