Along the Santa Fe Chapter 1 page 8
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Advancing to Operator

There was always something new to learn, and lots of interesting things around a railroad, and things ran along smoothly, and before I know it I had passed my 18th birthday. After I had been on the job for 17 months I decided I ought to be able to pass the examination and get a regular operator's job, so I asked permission to take the examination.

In a very short time I received a letter advising me to report to the Chief Dispatcher at San Bernardino for examination. So the next morning I got up bright and early and took the train for San Bernardino. After taking the examination, the Chief sent me back home, saying he would probably have something for me in a few days.

A week later I received instructions to report at Rialto, California to relieve the operator there for two weeks. I felt all excited and grown up, as this would be my first job, and also I would be leaving home and would now be out on my own. I packed my suit case and left for Rialto, a small town just ten miles south of San Bernardino.

I found a room (I don't remember what I paid for it), and I ate my meals at one of the restaurants. I got along fine on this job and liked it very much. The job paid sixty dollars a month. At the end of two weeks the regular operator came back to work.

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