I started on the railway in the March of 1996, i was the last intake of staff for what was then British Rail (North London Railways), because I was employed under British Rail I received a pass that allows me to travel for free on the trains in the UK, i can also get reduced rate travel on most of the railways around the world.
The 1st 6 months of my job were not the easiest as it seemed to me that every train i stepped on to work ended up having problems. This resulted in me receiving my nick name of Jonah, this has stuck with me and probably will stay with me until the day i retire (the railway is funny like that). Eventually things settled down and i carried on with a job that i loved.
I have seen many changes to the railway since the time i started the biggest of which was privatisation. I have also seen elements of my job taken away and given to other staff.
I have worked for many years with very few problems, i have had the usual trial and tribulations ranging from minor train breakdowns, a couple of major train breakdowns and the odd assault.
In July of 2010 i was rushed to hospital with abdominal pains, where i spent 5 days of being prodded and poked by doctors and nurses, eventually after a very embarrassing procedure involving a camera being placed up somewhere very personal, i was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This lead to me being taken off the trains and a substantial dietary change.
I was finally declared fit to return to the job I loved in December 2010, unfortunately for me it had snowed quite badly and as i walked out to work my 1st train i slipped and dislocated my right knee cap, i also tore 2 ligaments and stretched another to almost breaking point (although this was not picked up straight away). So once again I was rushed to Hospital, after having various x-rays i had a neoprene splint strapped to my leg. I returned to hospital in January 2011 where the aforementioned ligament damage was found after an MRI was performed. In April 2011 I had major surgery on my knee. (Below)
I then started regular physiotherapy and by September was fit enough to once again return to work in a limited capacity looking after the Avantix Ticket Machines, all was well until November when during a visit to the hospital that there was a lot of grating noise in my knee, along with strength problems. Yet another MRI later and a return visit to the hospital resulted in me being told that there was debris in the knee and this would require surgical intervention.
On the 29th of February 2011 whilst on my way home from work I got a phone call from the admissions department on my hospital asking me if i could be there on the 2nd March for them to perform my Arthroscopic Surgery, I went into surgery again for the 2nd time in less than 11 months.
I awoke from the anesthetic to find two new holes in my knee (Above), i was told by the surgeon that they had done far more than they were expecting, this included smoothing the back of my knee cap, flushing out cartilage debris and trimming the rough edges of my knee cartilage to prevent further disintegration (hopefully!).
This brings me up to date I am recovering form the 2nd lot of surgery and will hopefully be returning to work on the 2nd of April.