Do you lke what you do for a living? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


In continuing my effort to get to know everyone, I thought I'd post this.

Just curious if anyone here actually enjoys what they do. I'm a truck driver and though there are some days I'm sure I would've been better off in bed, for the most part I like it, take pride in my job, equipment and I'm grateful to work for the company I do. Another reason I brought this up is because after a really productive 11.5 hour day today, good OT, nice conversation with my boss, I ran into a coworker that could pretty much turn your lawn black if he walked by it and could rust stainless steel by looking at it. If you hate the job so much...leave! Or at least keep that negativity to yourself, venting (like this) is one thing, what he does daily is just..I don't know, awful.

Anyway back on topic--do you like that you do?

Burlington Bob

Well-Known Member
Most of the time I love what I do. I'm a journeyman union Boilermaker and I have gotten to do things that most have never even imagined. I've worked on the refuel crews at nuclear power plants where the Boilermakers are the trade that takes the reactor head off so that the fuel handlers can make all the required moves to get the reactor ready for the next run cycle. I have also worked on the regular BOP or "balance of plant" where Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, Electricians, Millwrights, Painters, Laborers, Carpenters and other trades do their part to get the plant ready.

I've helped build a gas fired power plant, helped build large pollution control additions and crawled all around in boilers at coal fired power plants. I've worked 91 hours in a week (that's 13 hrs a day for 7 days), sometimes for several weeks at a time. I've worked inside places that were very hot and/or very,very tight and worked hundreds of feet in the air. This last winter the temperature got down to -32 degrees and, yes we worked outside in those temps!

The best part is that it is seldom boring. I've worked out of state and have got to meet some VERY "colorful" people. Their nicknames are as colorful as they are. Most of them are reflective of their personalities or have been earned by something they did...........for better or worse.:)

Are there times when I wished that I was doing something else? You bet! But not very often. The work is often hard and dangerous but the pay is good and I wouldn't trade it for anything................well, within reason.:)

Here is a picture we took when it was so cold. The temp according to my truck was -32 but the guy who made the sign truck said -31. What's one degree anyway? I'm the forth from the right with all the patches on my bibs. I'm 5'8" and those are some pretty big boys behind me. The icicles on the sign are real.


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Go make something!
I have the best job in the world and work with some of the most talented artists there are. I build models for movies and commercials. The only downside is the gap between films and keeping busy then.
If you google "history in a bottle" or "behind the scenes history in a bottle" you will probably find a commercial I worked on.
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Mumbling in the corner
I do like what I do -- I'm self-employed as a writer and editor (and have a small part-time gig on the editing desk of a local newspaper, but that maybe 10-15 percent of my work, time, and income...) ... When I am immersed in a big project it can feel like a grind, but I can't think of much I'd rather do professionally... and even if I could, I'd be a bit late to get started at it :)...

Self-employment can be tricky, when the cash flow gets tight, but having worked that way for more than half of my career (I'm in my 20th year of self-employment after 16 years of working full time for newspapers as a direct employee), I think I have ruined myself for ever working full time for someone else :)...

Both in my early days in the news business and since as a freelance writer, I've met interesting people, written about important topics and sometimes quirky ones. I even wrote about Milwaukee's unique spot in the history and culture of the model railroading hobby a few years ago ...

So, yeah. I do like what I do.


BN Modeller
I do a lot of different things, and love what I am doing right now which is driving a little tandem flatbed locally. It takes me into some pretty nifty places like rail yards, steel mills, scrap yards, lumber yards, etc. I have a lot of pictures for modeling purposes! The most interesting things I haul are locomotive generators and huge rollers from a steel mill that way in at roughly 20,000 lbs. each.
I used to drive long distance between the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, and even tried my hand at the winter roads before going thru the ice!
I also contract with the railways cutting rails and doing fire protection and have my own business buying and sell railway surplus when the dollar is "right".
Here's a few of the things I haul:
1) A grapple from a huge loader that lifts railcars at Manitoba Metals
2) A generator from an SW 1000 going for rebuild
3) A "stand 0" roller from Gerdau Ameristeel in Selkirk


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Well-Known Member
I've worked 91 hours in a week (that's 13 hrs a day for 7 days), sometimes for several weeks at a time. I've worked inside places that were very hot and/or very,very tight and worked hundreds of feet in the air. This last winter the temperature got down to -32 degrees and, yes we worked outside in those temps!



I know what this feels like, and I actually loved that job. It was fracking in Williston, and in one two week pay period our crew clocked 222 hours, that is about 17 hours per day for two weeks straight. Problem is, my 55 year old biology went into decline.

What I did was actually a lot more interesting that what I do, which was a self employed potpourri including sawmilling, logging, and cruising timber. That lasted 30 years, until the southbound economy caught up with me.

Now I work in transportation, both in environmental compliance and Right of Way acquisition. I draw plans for culverts and structures that go over the trout streams, complete a plethera of paperwork for state and federal environmental agencies, and acquire the right of way for our projects that expand beyond the existing limits. Also, I review road plans and inspect construction sites for road and bridge rebuilds.

As an interesting sidenote, for one project I am acquiring a permit to work inside the BNSF Right of Way as part of one of our rebuilds.

The biggest challenge here is to accept that I am not in charge anymore. lasm
I drive a taxi for the bnsf railroad. i also work at a furniture. repair shop i like shop better than driving the van less pain in the blank crying railroader. do get to see some nice and cool railcars. though and got a chance to help tie down a circus train once. that was fun

Charles Smiley

I worked as an electronics design engineer for 40 years and loved every minute of it. I'm glad I had a "calling" that was in demand for so long during the space race and cold war. Now I'm retired and make vintage RR videos using some of the equipment I designed along the way. :)


Well-Known Member
I was in the Canadian Armed Forces for 30 years, first as a Tank Troop Leader, then the officer responsible for all Army Cadet Corps in the province of Saskatchewan, and the last 14 years as a Military Psychologist. I deployed on peace-keeping ops twice, both times for six months. The first was to Cyprus in 79/80, and then to Bosnia in 2001. I retired ten summers ago in July, and have been teaching a 400 level undergrad course on-line for the Royal Military College of Canada called "Leadership & Ethics." My learners have run from civilian clerks to senior non-commissioned ranks, and even to senior officers. Had a doctor of medicine in one cohort and a psychiatrist in another, and even a lawyer or two. Had one student quite familiar with the material challenge me at great length over Kantian ethics and my interpretation of it. It keeps me sharp and engaged, and the money helps with unforeseen expenses....or trains. :cool: Nowadays, I share yard care and gardening with my wife of 38 years, and I run, cycle, and do some Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). A group of friends and I paddled down the Red Deer River in Alberta last August. The scenery was spectacular, especially as we neared Dinosaur Provincial Park. We'll meet in Manitoba this year and do the same on the Winnipeg River.

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Just curious if anyone here actually enjoys what they do. ...
Anyway back on topic--do you like that you do?
Short answer is no. I'm very short on the concept of "enjoying" a job. I enjoy the challenge of computer programming however when I started there never needs for a program to do something interesting. There are only so many ways to bill a customer, order products, format a report, display a web page..... Never in my computer career have I been given a truly interesting assignment like to find a new way to compute the largest prime number, predict the chance of rain, or even predict the price something will sell for on eBay. A friend and I developed an algorithm for using a wild card in a Boyer-Moore search, the company wouldn't implement it because it was "too complicated" for the other programmers. Systems engineering proved to be just as boring (maybe more so). Never get to design some cool system, always just problem identification and resolution of existing stuff, how to add widget B to system Q, or worse how to merge these 3 similar systems into 1.....

There have been times in my career that have been more interesting some might call "more fun" than others like when I got to spend the entire $6 million desktop computer IT budget on my department. I did get to design an seasonal variation for people's wireless phone bill limiter, which took an entire day (out of 30 years).

Managing a team of Systems Engineers was even worse. Try telling another engineer what to do! Even with the math on your side it is a battle. Or the most worst discovering your engineers don't understand the math they are supposed to be using.

Being a Director is the top of the worse. Upper management not interested in any ideas but their own, dictating stuff with ludicrous time lines or resource constraints and all one can do is direct other people what to do, no "hands on helping" possible. sigh.

Being on several boards of directors I learned a lot of stuff, but mostly that that there is very little a single board member can do (even if they are the President) to change things. It takes years to work the politics and win people over to a new concept or even a change of procedure. People say they consider the facts and then make a decision, it isn't so. Facts count for very little.

But over all I can't think of a single day in the office that I would not have rather been doing something else.
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Charles Smiley

Horseman... Try to move closer to the hardware development. That is where the fun still remains. Some embedded control aps of real machinery is always fun. I makes you think of - and make use of - all the fairly simple physics of control systems, servo and motion control. Learning logic design for ASICs and languages closer to the real internal activities of dedicated small processors - and "State Machines" too - will be more fun than making the next generation of "pretty" menus for spreadsheets and stuff like that. Anyone that can master Assembly languages of target processors can run 'circles" around guys crippled with VB and even C++ coding limitations of memory space and speed for critical functions at a reduced cost.
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Generally, I've enjoyed my careers but each have had good times and bad times - more good than bad for me.

I'm in technical support and computer systems software development with the federal government right now. Good pay, good hours. Over the last few years, my job description has changed to something I'm not as happy with so, 2015, I'll join the ranks of the retired. I'll find another job afterward and look for something fun to do.

Before straight gov'mint service, I was in the Air Force for 23 years. Always wanted to fly jets and the Air Force is a good place to do that. Spent the first 12 years flying single seat attack fighters and close air support aircraft - A-7D, OV-10 and A-10. Did some staff jobs after that. Back in the '80, I was a munitions planner for the Middle East wars. Had some good assignments and some good bosses, had a few not so good.

Most of my life, I've looked forward to going to work - guess you could say that I've liked what I do for a living.

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
I've been in sales for most of my life. 18 years of office paper, computer and office supplies, and then another six years of office furniture sales. I'm now between jobs and enjoying my unemployment. I will need to look for and find a new job soon, but just don't know what I want to do when I grow up.
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Newbie Switchman
I am now retired.
I was a die maker for an automotive company for almost 40 years.
I loved my job for most of that time.
Back when I first started in the mid 70s, most everything was done by hand.
After a die had been contoured you would have to hand grind the machining marks out then, hand stone the grind marks.
All of the mounting holes for the steels where drilled on a drill press or by hand.
Most of the steels or details where made by hand.
It was very interesting to figure out how you were going to do something every day.

Then after about 2000 we when to NC machining everything.
Holes were drilled on the milling machines, steels where made on small milling machines.
All you had to do was assemble the die when it came to your area.

It got very boring. Politics in the shop went thru the roof.
It turned into a giant mess of who could lie the most about who.
The managers were no longer die makers, just account types. Business managers. YUCK.

I left in 2009, after my wife of 35 years passed away.
I left for a vacation and never went back.
I didn't even go to the retirement get together they have every month.
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I am an actuary. Retired early this year after 35 years with an insurance company. Currently I am consulting with the same company. Working my way toward ACTUAL retirement slowly but surely. I've enjoyed my career.
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Well-Known Member
Staff member
I've been in sales for most of my life. 18 years of office paper, computer and office supplies, and then another six years of office furniture sales. I'm now between jobs and enjoying my unemployment. I need to find a new job, but just don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

Love that last bit Jim, been looking for that all my life too.


Active Member
I was a die maker for an automotive company for almost 40 years.

You'll love me then. I'm a Project Engineer for an automotive supplier, designing the plastic parts that go into the car. Mostly HMI (Human Machine Interface) parts. I'm sure you spent some time cursing the designers of those parts for making them so complicated that the tool is almost impossible to make!

The company I work for is known for being the first to come out with something. It's pretty cool because I get to see all of the new features going into cars almost 8 years before they make into a showroom. What I can say about the next things we're working on - autonomous vehicles will not just appear one day, but the incremental changes are happening faster than you know.

I started out after college working in a factory as a production engineer. That was a really fun job, but the company just didn't care about it's engineers. When I made the decision to start looking elsewhere, I found that it was easy to increase my salary by almost 40%, which was great. Now that we have a kid in the house, my wife is able to stay at home and perform the most important job anyone could ever have - being a Mom.

My job often requires travel around North America. Honda (my main customer) has plants in Canada, 4 in the US, and one in Mexico. My company has offices around the US and manufacturing in Mexico, Japan, China, North Korea. Only a matter of time before I make to all of those places.

I love my job. Mostly because it allows me to love my wife's job, and she loves it too. But also because I get to do some cool stuff.


But over all I can't think of a single day in the office that I would not have rather been doing something else.

I read your entire post and aside from the the actual work itself you were describe, I get it. While I do enjoy or maybe "take pride" is a better choice of words for my line of work--I still daydream like a kid. Honestly my plan was to write and make music, I was a music major for a short time and loved writing. I was doing submissions for comic book companies trying to land a gig. By the time I was 20 the reality of this being a 1 in a billion shot kicked in so I said to myself, "what do I love to do more than anything? Motorcycles" and landed a job at a motorcycle dealership--but the reality of not having a retirement plan, savings, better pay kicked I left and here I am.

I often want to be somewhere else but the issue is everywhere else I want to be doesn't pay. So until it's time to clock out and dedicate as much time to the things I love--I think I found something that I can deal with doing and I try to do the best I can daily.

I like your posts IH, hopefully the weekend gets here fast for you...and if it doesn't maybe you can get a Z scale set and hide it under your desk! ;)

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