It looks like everyone beat me to the pile for providing advice. A bit sad, really, robs me of the chance to sound like I actually know something…
I’ll echo the fact that you should apply to and for everything. You may think that you don’t qualify but it sounds like you could stretch data entry experience into a materials person job at McMurdo or something like that. I gave it a shot (graphic design experience and general business experience) and was offered a slot two years ago. Probably would’ve taken it too but fortune lent me a (much more poorly paid, much more rewarding) position at the South Pole.
If you feel you need to go the Dining Attendant route (or want to) I’d definitely recommend the Pole. The galley is generally a riot to work with, the sympathy level for the DA’s is quite high, volunteers generally flood the dishroom and the schedules the DA’s work tend to leave a lot of space to volunteer with other departments. This comes in handy if you’re looking to return or are interested in grabbing a winter position last minute.
General Assistants at the Pole tend to have some previous fire crew/trail crew/construction experience, but that isn’t always the case. You might also look into a Work Order Planner position or something similar – gets back to the data entry shindig. Janitorial at Pole seems to be alright too (pays a bit better than GA, Prep Cook, or DA). Cargo and Materials (Ops) are also needing to hire a good number of folk this year and even if you don’t have the experience they list, give them a shot – they’re looking for intelligent, multi-tasking folk. Try the Materialsperson and Cargo Coordinator jobs.
I don’t know if you’re interested in any station in particular but I’m (if it’s not already obvious) a huge fan of the community at the South Pole. It sometimes takes a bit more to get down there but the hiring managers often take enthusiasm and a good person into high account – we gaurd our home carefully… Mcmurdites might kill me for saying this but between the altitude (about 10,000 feet), the weather (makes mactown feel warm), and the long weeks (we tend to go over the contracted hours to get done what needs to get done) the Pole works harder. We play well enough to take the edge off though and the community that forms is among the best.
Alas, I have rambled into a novel as well. Best of luck!