Railway slang Jan 29, 2008 18:55:03 GMT
Post by railtechnician on Jan 29, 2008 18:55:03 GMT
dropped = reduced in rank as a result of a DB, often to a much lower grade for at least 6 months and resulting in loss of pay and privileges. Frequent punishment for signal linemen in days of old.
Dipped is the term I know for being reduced in grade, haven't heard dropped before.
Stood down - suspended from normal duties pending some kind of investigation into alleged misconduct.
I have heard the term 'dipped', but on Signal Engineering 'dropped' has always been the term.
A signal supervisor making a mistake and being found guilty at a DB in LT days would likely be dropped five grades to a wireman if found guilty of a breach of rules, regulations or standards pertaining to any potential or actual compromise of the signalling, finding himself working alongside those he had been in charge of the day before as just another 'bod'.
I knew one or two lineman who suffered this fate but they had not so far to fall. I did hear of a routine change supervisor who left a test loop on a fuse bay, forgetting it,after changing all the relays and testing the signalling. It resulted in a signal failure and his 20 years as a supervisor counted for nothing when it was discovered during the subsequent failure investigation. It must have taken a great deal of character to be back in a gang on the tools and getting filthy every shift and probably having to put up with the stigma and the ridicule that would most definitely have followed. Of course in those days the job was far more physical in more ways than one! It was not unknown for a chargehand to rule with a fist!
I sometimes think people don't realise how much responsibility sits on a lineman's shoulders or those of a signal supervisor who are the two grades that predominantly take the flak when the 'brown stuff hits the fan' in the aftermath of a signal failure. As we used to say "you're only as good as your last job", in other words all it takes is one mistake no matter how experienced or knowledgeable and regardless of length of service!
So some more slang in there!
bod = short for body
bodies = labour, might be skilled or not but it isn't important as all that's needed are pairs of hands! On signals everyone from a supervisor down might be considered a 'bod' depending on circumstances. In an emergency it's often 'all hands to the pump' regardless of rank.
all hands to the pump = everyone gets 'stuck in'
stuck in = doing something useful to progress the task
brown stuff hits the fan = big trouble
wearing multiple hats = has multiple roles, perhaps SPIC, Protection Master and person responsible for the work
SPIC = Site person in charge, not necessarily the person in charge of the work!
changing hats = swapping roles. A point here is that people may change hats as a situation escalates or diminishes. For example the first TO to a failure is in charge but assistance usually arrives and if a more senior lineman arrives then he may (not necessarily) take charge.
TO = Technical Officer, the post 1992 grading of an AET, CET or Locking Fitter
AET = Automatic Equipment Technician, formerly the highest of 3 signal lineman grades.
CET = Communications Equipment Technician, combined grade of Radio lineman and Telephone lineman and highest of 3 comms lineman grades.