I applied multiple times at HESR (they've only had a single opening in the 6 years I've been in college) and LSRC for Train Crew and Freight Car Mechanic, my top choices. After about 4 attempts over about 3 years, I saw they had an opening for Train Crew again as well as Track Laborer (which I had no real interest in but figured I'd give it a shot) and applied to both. Long story short, I got the job... for Track Laborer. LSRC JUST happened to change their policy on who can apply for Train Crew saying that one must have at least 2 years railroad experience.
6 months later, they fired me. I tried to learn, grasp and keep up but it wasn't my kind of work and they let me go. HESR has an opening for Conductor right now that has been posted since June. I just happened to be perusing G&W's website that very day they posted it and applied. I got shot down. Reached out and called to follow up before the inevitable rejection email but that did no good. Almost 4 months later, they still haven't hired anybody and the job is still posted on their website so I applied again over 2 weeks ago and have heard nothing back.
I'll happily work for a shortline, honestly, I'd prefer to work for a shortline at present because as you said, it gives me the chance to get my feet wet and with what's going on at the Class 1's I'd rather avoid till the smoke clears. It's just sad because even the smaller companies aren't exempt; they're just as hard to get into despite being lower on the totem pole.
Even applied at RailServe which services Dow in Midland at least 6 times. They can never fill that position or keep it filled for long and it has been posted on their website for over a year now yet still won't hire me. They even invited me to apply and still got nothing. No calls back, no emails, nothing.
I just don't get this job market we have now. Even before COVID, you do everything right and it still isn't enough. You offer more than enough in the way of experience and education and it still isn't enough. I'm not saying I'm the absolute best candidate but I at least got the potential to be trained on an entry level job.
Sorry for the long-windedness but I just need to understand.
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