Rusanne King, (pronounced Russ-anne), a long-time PST employee and rail industry worker for over 30 years has retired. Sharing customer support with other team members, Rusanne has been on-call 24/7 for years, fixing issues and helping our customers manage their rail business.
A delightful embodiment of sly wit, computer coding, foodie fascinations, Keith Urban paraphernalia and no-nonsense demeanor, Rus will be missed. We asked Rus to share some thoughts:
What’s that ‘thing’ you’re going to do in retirement that you’ve been waiting for?
What is the role/job you are leaving at PST?
Right now my job title is Senior Project Consultant
When and where did you start with the railroad?
Denver, CO seniority date is 3/12/1980 with the BNSF
How did you get involved with PST?
I worked with Bill Falconer at the BNSF when they first started talking about putting the crew management into the “computer”. I knew that he had moved on to develop the application for the BNSF/Denver Rio Grande railroad. After I graduated from “geek school” back on July 27, 2001, I started looking for a job.
I got a call from Ed Williams and he wanted to interview me for a Java Developer position, when I came in to speak to him and we started telling old “railroad” stories and he found out that I had 17 some odd years in the crew office and had also been a yardmaster and countless other positions at the railroad, the java developer piece went out the window since the “business industry” knowledge was more valuable.
I started training back in January 1980 at the BNSF (before they paid you to do so) with Mark Strange. Mark and I had worked in the crew office at the BNSF for about a year and then again at the National Customer Information Center so we had a working relationship already established. After I went home from the interview with Ed, the Timera/PST name rang a bell (found out that Bill was here). I started calling Mark to have him put in a good word for me and thru a couple “hiring freezes” I finally started working here on January 28, 2002.
How did you learn to program?
I took introductory computer classes and COBOL programming back in the early 80’s at a community college (when they told me that once I graduated from there I would be sitting in a “cube” all day programming, I decided that “programming” wasn’t going to cut it as I need to be “putting out fires with gasoline” so that was the end of that.
Coming back to Colorado in 2000, I saw the crazy money that people in IT were making and thought that’s where I needed to be – enrolled in an IT bootcamp course – at “geek school”, they taught us E-Commerce, HTML, VB, Java, and SQL, etc.
Since I had used the PST system at the BNSF for a short period of time before they took everything “in house”. I was familiar with the setup of the crew application – Once I saw the COBOL code it all came back to me and I knew just enough to be dangerous. I made a pest of myself when I first started here standing behind Jim O’Connor, Keith and the rest of the developers to see “how” they solved the problems.
What is your favorite railroading memory?
Working down in Denver at the yard as a yardmaster being the “mistress” of all I surveyed (yard/road crews – engine guys)…that was the most fun.
Words of wisdom or quote to live by…?
Life is too short to be miserable – you’ve got to live it while you can – gone tomorrow here today (there’s some Keith Urban in the last two parts….lol)