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The Full Circle
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/15/2022 21:44:46

"To return to the original or a similar position, situation, or circumstance where one or something started."

It's a Sunday Night. Trisec has some musing to do.

None of us want to look in the rear-view mirror, but lets take a look back at June 3, 2020.

"Cubbie" was very happily Head Conductoring at Old Town Trolley in Boston. We were in the midst of covid, but there was still work being done.

Until there wasn't.

We were still six weeks away from a limited re-opening, and with nobody there to be Head Conductor of, I was unceremoniously demoted and laid off. (Oh, I helped a bit - but that's another story.)

In the end though, I did it right. I regretfully accepted the inevitable, and was reduced back to the rank of ordinary conductors. Although I could sense that the HR person in the shop was reluctantly pushing me in this direction, she was under orders from the GM and our Corporate Overlords in Key West.

So we had a miserable summer, and I saw the writing on the wall. I left in September of 2020, heading to what turned out to be one of the most miserable jobs of my career. I never thought I would return to giving tours, and that winter I was indeed in a deep, covid-induced depression. I did worry for months if I ever would get back to right again.

But I did. July of 2021 saw me return to the tourism industry with renewed hope and optimism - I jumped back in full-bore and rapidly returned to dispatching and training as well.

During my interregnum, one of my trusted lieutenants became the Head Conductor in Boston. He was competent at it, but the "feel" of the shop was different. When I came back, I quickly noticed that the conductor corps immediately started coming back to me with issues, questions, and good old venting and griping, too. Meanwhile, the management team upstairs seemed to forget that I was no longer head conductor. They continued to tell me everything, and I've been kept in the loop more so than any of the regular conductors.

Which leads me to today. Last week, that trusted lieutenant of mine resigned. He's going back to a regular conductor and dispatch role, much like I did almost a year ago now.

Within 24 hours, I pulled aside the Operations Manager and pointedly asked, "Will you have me back?".

His response was interesting - "We thought you'd be the first one to ask." Without elaborating who that "we" is.

All the rest of the conductors are approaching me already, and asking if I'm going back.

If you ask me - the real answer is "I don't know". I really and truly liked being Head Conductor. The role played to many of my strengths - primarily teaching, training, mentoring, and team-building. But I know what the role entails, and there are some things that I know I'm bad at and I really don't want to do again.

Then there's the "big picture". 2022 is "The Year" we were going to have two years ago. Cruise ships are back with a vengeance, and the city is already full of tourists in this shoulder season. There's a tremendous amount of money to be made out there for the rank and file.

Head Conductoring...well, I immediately lose money by going back upstairs. It's salaried, so I lose all my overtime. Being part of the management team cuts my charters about 95%. (I'd be the one assigning them, and like before, I'd never take money out of one of my guys' pockets.) And I wouldn't be driving tours every day, so my tips would drop off the table, too.

I'm already putting out feelers, though. I felt that I was doing some good previously, and despite the secondary factors, I was "covided" out of that job through no fault of my own.

I'd love the opportunity to try again - but I'm really having a hard time making the decision for this go-around.


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