We say the same thing about Atlas’s job as well, only without a ship to unload he has little to do the entire winter. Actually we assume he is like the rest of us. One guy who is responsible for hundreds of computers and everyone blames him when they don’t work. He has plenty to do, is probably swamped, about to have a nervous breakdown, but somehow makes it look like a piece of cake.
In the supply warehouses, you go to get a part, there is a person behind the desk who helps you and that is all most people see. Behind the scenes are another 1-3 persons who are doing the work of making the warehouse function.
Casey,once the items for the ship are unloaded, the busywork of supply gets going. Mostly it’s behind the scenes things. Lots of inventories, lots of moving product. Most of the really big projects are saved for the winter. Last year we moved all the product in an entire warehouse to another one that was closer to town. This year we are redoing the entire fuels building. It’s not just moving either. We go through hundreds or thousands of descriptions, look them up and try rewrite everything so that like items are consistant. Then try to sort them on shelves in some consistant manor. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of items every year in the winter. The idea is to make it easy for future employees to do their jobs. Many will be like you, first time down and expected to hit the ramp running. The winter people try to make it easy for you to look good.
To the uninitiated like Atlas, it looks simple. You go to supply ask for your part, its on the shelf where you think it is, it’s the item you think it is in the quantity it should be, you get it and leave. You wonder why there is more than one person. You have no clue how much time goes into keeping all these parts organized.
The big FEMC (construction trades) and Vehicle warehouses work this way. The smaller computer and science support as well. The food warehouses are another world. In some ways the most interesting of the bunch because so much goes out each week. Up to 15 palletfulls each week. The galley staff relies each week on the ability of supply personnel to have an accurate inventory. They take the food we have on hand and divide it out to last the year, and plan menus around those figures. If the staff is telling them we have 8000 pounds of meat and suddenly it cant’ be found, panic ensues.
There are still a 1000 people in the summer who need to be fed 3 times a week. To me it’s the least boring of all the warehouses because it demands so much. Originally I was coming back this summer to be the senior there, but a second person who has run that warehouse asked to come back as well, so I decided to stay where I am.