As an entry level job, being a Janitor in Antarctica isn’t too bad. It’s deffinetly better than being a DA, where you’re stuck in the galley, and your boss is right there watching you for your entire shift…. As a Janitor you get to get out and about around town and work on your own (or maybe with one other janitor) to clean the buildings. Typically Janitors are given one work building and one dorm building to clean, and those are your buildings for the season. The first few weeks will start off where all the Janitors rotate through all the buildings, so everyone can learn how to clean all of the buildings – then they’ll assign you to your own one. So, you clean at your own pace, and then in the afternoon you’re *supposed to* check back in with your boss, and they’ll assign you to go help another Janitor with a special assignment. Sometimes the special assignment might be to thouroughly clean your normal building…. and so at the end of the shift the other janitors show up, and you guys work together to scrub the walls, or whatever the special cleaning task is. As far as cleaning, it’s all regular janitor stuff: vacuum, clean bathrooms, take out the trash, etc. Oh, speaking of trash, I don’t know what you’ve heard about that yet. We sort all our trash, and so in each building there are like 10-15 bins of different recycling catagories. The favorite catagory is “Skua.” Skua is named after the scavenger bird that hangs out in McMurdo later in the summer – they’ll steal anything from you. Anyway, one of the catagories of trash is “Skua,” and what this means is it’s all reusable stuff. There can be some great treasures in Skua… I’ve gotten some good clothes there, shoes, a stereo, a curling iron, things for halloween costumes… etc… Now what happens is people put their old stuff in these bins, and so the best place (to get first dibs on these treasures) is to look in the bins… as a janitor, you get to do that every day (new stuff showes up every day). When they get full, the janitors take them out, like the rest of the trash… When the wasties get ahold of the skua boxes, they put them in “Skua Central” – a building that is pretty much like a second hand store, only it’s all free! But still, it’s nicer to find the “new arrivals” in the skua bins in the dorms before they get emptied. Oh, a bit of advice, since you’ll be a janitor: don’t empty the Skua bins every day… wait until they start to fill up a little bit. We had a janitor in our building last year who would empty them before we got a chance to see what was inside.
Then there are the night time Janitors…. I’m not totally sure what their schedule is. I think they work from 10:00pm-8:00am. The rest of the janitors work the regular shift of 7:30am-5:30pm (I’m pretty sure they work those hours, but I could be wrong). 7:30am-8:00am is the time when all the janitors get together and have a meeting each day.
I’ve never been a Janitor, and so info might not be totally accurate, but it’s what I’ve observed by having Janitor friends.
Good luck, see ya soon,