I wouldn't let the negatives distract anyone from chasing their dream - or let anyone (including your folks) get in the way. Of course, you can do so respectfully, especially in the latter case.
So called "office jobs" aren't glamorous either. I wanted to work on the RR from age 2 all the way through high school. My parents would have nothing of that - college was in my future, no question about that. So, off to college and a "future" in information techology. So, here I am twenty years later and I find out the Class 1 rates for a licensed engineer pays about the same if not more that my take home.
Yeah, I know RR'ers like to complain - so goes the saying - but the pay, benefits and retirement are excellent. Me, as a certified project manager, I get about the same pay and benefits, but no defined benefit when I retire, 401Ks have tanked and I'm salaried, on-call with 60-80 hour weeks with no OT. I'm also in poor physical health after being chained to a desk for the past 22 years at that number of hours - spending the past couple of decades "exercising" (though snow or otherwise) in the fresh air might have done some good.
Not trying to get into a "who has it worse" contest but there's issues with every career, and at least some have a union to keep you from being fired without cause. Try working At Will for an eye opener at how soon your fortune can change - even after 20 years "seniority."
D in N. Oakland Co.
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