Top Ten Things Not to Do Working on the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869

Top Ten Things Not to Do

Since I ran out of time yesterday I needed to repeat a post from September 24th of 2018. I hope you enjoy it cause who knows you may have forgotten it.

More of the historical backdrop for this set of Top Ten Things Not to Do. The Top Ten Things Not to Do Working on the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869

10. If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not forget to double-check your measurements. If you do, at best, you can correct any mistakes before the East meets West. At worst, the Westbound group will be in Promontory Summit, Utah, and your Eastbound group will end up in Provo.  (You only missed the union by a few hundred miles, Ferris. Maybe you can cut over before the three-foot snows.)

9 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not borrow Tiny the WWF champ’s sledge-hammer. If you do, at best Tiny will not know you have it. At worst, Tiny has been seeking help for his inability to let things go but has not covered the part dealing with possessions. (If you can, Forest, I would sneak that hammer back into Tiny’s tent since it looks like he is in stage ten of a meltdown looking for it.)

8 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not forget your gloves. If you do, at best you might be able to buy a pair. At worst, you will be using a shovel to dig out the rail bed for twelve hours a day. (It might be a good idea to get those hands wrapped somehow, Fredrik. Otherwise, I think you may be out of a job.)

7 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not light up your cigar as you are pouring gunpowder into the blasting holes. If you do, at best, the wind will save you. At worst, you will get a lesson in flight long before the Wright brothers. (That ringing in your ears means you are lucky to be here, Fakhir.)

6 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not complain about the food. If you do, at best, no one will listen. At worst, the cook, who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute, has a huge knife and very tender feelings. (I think it might be time to try out those new running shoes, Flint. I don’t think an apology is going to work this time.)

5 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not decide to sleep out on the prairie even though the stars are beautiful at night. If you do, at best, the mosquitoes will carry you back to camp. At worst, your slumber will be disturbed by growling noises you never heard before. (Those are wolves, Finnigan. Playing possum is not going to help. I would get up and run screaming back to camp.)

4 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, I would not try to introduce smores at the nightly campfire. If you do, at best, your fellow workers won’t pay attention. At worst, you won’t have enough to go around, and the resulting riot will get you fired. (Now that you are way out here, Findlay, how you going to get back to San Francisco?)

3 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not start singing, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” If you do, at best, you won’t remember the words and will stop. At worst, you’ll get to the part about Dina blowing her horn, and the rest of the workers will want to know who Dina is. (Looks like you have a credibility problem, Flynn. Everyone wants to meet Dina. You better figure out who is going to play Dina.)

2 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not think you can organize a union of workers. If you do, at best, your boss will stop you before you get too far. At worst, the railroad company and the government will escort you off the job and on to a buckboard heading back to civilization. (I guess no one told you, Fabian, that this was going to be dangerous, unsafe, hard work, and you would only get minimum wage.)

1 If you are working on the first transcontinental railroad, do not party too hard after the last spike is driven. If you do, at best, you will have a killer headache the next day. At worst, you might miss the train back to your city. (Well, Fachnan, it looks like you might be asking the local tribe of Native Americans if they have room for a blood brother. Don’t be too surprised if they are less than friendly. You just finished a railroad through their land without their permission.)

59 comments

  1. Worth the re-read, John. What back-breaking work that must have been!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dale. I hated to repeat but just ran out of time. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had a daughter visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a major priority!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post to re-visit, John. Working on the railroad isn’t for sissies!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would say not, Jill. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m gonna forgive your laziness in not coming up with a new Top Ten this week only because I have not seen this one before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I search the comments from two years ago and found you weren’t there so I ran it. 😁

      Like

  4. Gotta love the classics. Though I do wonder who would time travel to do manual labor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not too many for sure.

      Like

  5. Can I ask Tiny to see that last spike? I’d like to have it assayed for gold content.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can. Of course, Tiny will think you suspect that he switched it with a gold painted one. This will not go down well given his self-esteem level is the lowest in months due to missing his support group meetings. Don’t worry that Atomic Bomb hold isn’t really radioactive. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha, you wanna bet?!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I started humming “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” as soon as I saw the title. You’d think I would have remembered that from the first time through. I guess it’s a case of, “those who don’t learn from history…”

    Great post, John, worth rereading, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dan. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Railfan that I am, I loved reading this again. We re-read books and re-watch films, so why not with the blog posts?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought the same. Thank you, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Still good stuff John –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Noelle.

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  9. I love the image of the s’more-induced campfire riot!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Liz

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  10. A worthy rerun – and I’d still do #4.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahhaha. Good for you. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Those are nasty-sounding mosquitoes, but I’d really be afraid of the wolves. I’m pretty sure they’d eat me! Then there’s Tiny–definitely don’t want to meet him. I think I’ll just hide. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think a wolf would find you delicious, Gwen. Best to hide and leave that pick where it is. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Every bit as good as the first time, John! (And I’m secretly happy to know I’m not the only person who occasionally runs out of time!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Yeah it does hppen to us all. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Two things jumped out at me…the cigar line, and smores. That’s so funny. I always love how you combine the past and present. If they only knew back then what was coming. They never would have believed any of it I’m betting. And I didn’t read it, the first time around. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I checked the comments before I posted it. I have two of you who visit on Monday and like the historical feature of the Top Ten so you are a shared muse of the Monday post. Thanks for the comment, Susannah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to them. Not to sound ruder than I am often perceived, but it’s one of the few things I read. They are clever and funny with hidden poignancy if you read between the lines. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Reading between the lines is a must. Thank you for lettin me know you do. ( I figured but it is nice to have confirmation) Thanks again for reading, Susannah. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh John, it’s such a pleasure to read good writing. When you read as much as I do, whether you like or not, you get particular. It’s why I can’t scroll social media, it bores me to tears. Your prose has pulp…it’s hardy, like mashed potatoes and gravy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Man, do I love mashed potatoes, Susannah. I love your analogies too. They conger up on point visions. I also appreciate the compliment as I consider you a very talented writer. Thank you.😁

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Awe…I’m pawing the ground with my foot..:)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. 😊 I thought I was the only one who did that.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Here have a sugar cube.

        Like

  14. This is definitely worth reading again, John, and I wonder why you ran out of time. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My daughter came to visit and it just got away.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought it was because of the book tour, but it’s great your daughter came for a visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well let’s just say the tour took away any available extra time.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I enjoyed seeing this again. I definitely wouldn’t want to work on the railroad 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me either, Denise. 😊

      Like

  16. Yep. Great advice. 🙂 And it didn’t hurt a thing to read it again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jan. 🤗

      Like

  17. Reserve the adult beverages and the Smores for when you’re back home. Words I live by.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A good rule of life. Thanks, Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Boss

        Liked by 1 person

  18. If you’re going to repeat this is a good one to repost. I’d be too tired to find a nice spot out on the prairie after toiling on the railroad all day. I’d probably drop beside my sledge hammer…don’t tell Tiny but it might be my pillow if he can’t find his. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. I think I would drop as well. Deborah. Thank you for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dear John, you should also mention masks & gloves. One is obliged to wear them especially at night wandering around the prairie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, Yes maybe a good idea. Thanks Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 🙂 🙂 As ever! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you for posting this again. #3 made me laugh out loud. #1 was very poignant. Well done, John!

    Liked by 1 person

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