It was always said that when you joined the railway you were either there for 3 months or you stayed for life. The latter is most certainly true in my case!
I do not know about any other industry but the railway is like one big family, yes we have our disagreements but they are soon pushed out of the way for the benefit of the whole railway community but likewise there are lots of good times. a lot of people probably do not realise it but we run our own old peoples home as well as convalescent homes- all paid for by voluntary contributions from the staff. At one stage we even had our own orphanage! The vast majority of staff also make contributions to organisations such as Dr Barnardos and here on Southeastern staff choose two charities each year for the company to support.
All this is very worthwhile but what makes a true family atmosphere is the staff themselves and we will always do our best to support each other. Also I suppose its almost a requirement to have a weird sense of humour. An example of this is how we change place names to literal wording eg Canterbury becomes fast funerals and Catford become pussycar! This sense of humour is contagious, years ago I worked with someone who liked there toast rather well done and one day we popped into a cafe for breakfast and when the chap behind the counter saw George he called out to the kitchen 'two slices of burnt and buggered please'.
All in all it has been a very happy 42 years in the industry as I hope my ramblings show and will continue to do so.