Now I remember why I hate yard jobs so much. I've been covering a vacation on what's technically a 'local', which to me is a yard switcher for the last week. Boring just doesn't describe it. It's back and forth, stop and go, east and west all day. It's monotonous and repetitive. Being around the office all the time means that the officials are likely to drop by and give you the old eyeball just to see if you're toeing the line. Annoying on top of boring.
The only thing that even comes close to making it worthwhile is that you're home every night and on this one, I got to be home for #1 son's birthday instead of spending it in a hotel and calling him on the cell. That doesn't happen too often so I'm glad I was able to grab it but it was still painfully slow. I actually only worked the thing for four days but it seemed like a month. I truthfully like to engineer and run my train so going east, west, stop, kick etc. for hours on end gets pretty old in a hurry. There's no scenery and there's no variation.
Much as I dislike being away from home so much, I guess I'm a road man by nature and I'm probably doomed to stay that way. I'll be back to the on-call routine come Monday night and off I'll go on my long-haul run to the north country but at least I'll see something besides the same quarter mile of track and the same three signals. The road is a grind and it feels good to take a break once in a while but I've lived out of my grip so long that going back is almost like going home.