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January 29, 2005 at 5:40 pm #812
Imagine you quit your job, end your lease, fly halfway around the world, only to have your employer say “we’re ending your contract. Go home and salvage what’s left of your life.”
It sucks. its unethical by anyone’s standards. And Raytheon is doing it to people right now. Again.
Think long and hard before you work for this company. They’ll screw you over every chance they get.January 30, 2005 at 3:19 am #8004
Man, that stinks. Got any more detailed references by any chance? Thanks!
PS Anyone know when the Denver job fair is going to be by any chance? Don’t see it on polar.org yet 🙂February 2, 2005 at 3:42 pm #8005IcemanMember
I had that happen to me in 92. They called me the day before I was supposed to call about my flights and told me that I wasn’t going. I had put my car up for sale in the paper that week and had to cancel it and look for work. They said that due to cutbacks, construction that year was reduced. Another guy I know made it down to Mactown in 94 and was there a week and they told him that his position was dropped and he was going back home.February 19, 2005 at 7:12 am #8006
Wow! That’s not very nice. I sure hope that kind of thing isn’t too common, thanks for the heads-up though.March 3, 2005 at 10:23 pm #8007
Well it happens for sure. It’s usually a budgeting thing.Both contract and full time positions. It’s not a lot different than any other job in the states. You can be let go at anytime for almost any reason. To be honest, though, you only hear about one or two positions a year that were dropped at the last moment. That’s something like 1/10th of 1% of the total jobs down here. The rule is the opposite. As the beginning of the season approaches, people drop out on their own, or flunk the PQ physical process or the drug test. We end up scrambling to find people at the last minute. If you’ve been hired and get the ax. Ask your recruiting person to ask around and see if there are any other last minute openings you might be suited for. You are a carpenter and you’ve passed the physical, you’ve passed the drug test, you can leave on a moments notice, and they need an electrician assistant. You might be a shoe in. Granted the pay may be less, but you’ll be in the system and will be at the top of the list the next year.
mike in mcmurdoMarch 4, 2005 at 1:06 pm #8008
Mike I always like seeing you jump in when some of these discussions start getting off track. The reality is the Congress does not provide funding as scheduled the NSF and many other agencies. In recent years the Hill has not acted on the NSF budget request until months after the start of the new fisical year, which is also the start of the austral summer. When NSF does not get the funding hoped for something has to be cut. Since science projects tend to be funded a year in advance of their field year the science support area can not be reduced. Much of the rest of the programs costs tend to be fixed, like annual resupply by vessel and maintaining the three year round stations. Something has to be cut when the budget does not allow you to proceed with the program you planned. I would not be surprised to hear that some of the folks that had their contracts pulled at the last minute are construction types. Good advise to keep trying; we always seem to start the winter short a couple people at Pole and McMurdoMarch 5, 2005 at 1:59 am #8009
slartibartfast: april 8/9 i think.
I had something similar but not as drastic happen to me at the beginning of the season, but it was still quite disappointing. I was an alternate for position this year. At the next to last minute (about 5 days before deployment) I was given to think I had a job, and should begin dismantling my life. At the absolute last minute, I was told that I didn’t. A disappointment, needless to say. I just hope being in the system raises my chances for this year.March 5, 2005 at 11:46 pm #8010
I’m sorry to hear you were dropped at the last minute. My only advice to increase your odds are to keep in touch with the recruiting person that dealt with you. That person hopefully knows you perservered through the process. If you keep in touch you should be at the top of the list for the next year. The kicker is you have to make sure they remember you. Don’t be a pest, but don’t let yourself slip back into the multitudes as well.
Jobs are more plentiful in the summer, but if you are a construction person, the bulk of the major projects are done in the winter when they can shut down buildings. There is less impact on the community then. For the most part the winter staff will be recruited from people who have been here before, but the reality is that in major construction years they can’t find enough people. This year I’m guessing that at least half of the construction crew has never been here before. That said, there is hope for all of you that want to get down here.
I might add that when you go to the job fair or talk to a recruiter on the phone, remember that we work a 6 day a week ,9 hour a day schedule. You will be expected to work hard. Don’t give anyone the impression that the only reason you want to come down here is to watch the penguins. We get enough people here who weren’t expecting that they need to work a lot. You will likely find yourself near the bottom of the list if you give that impression.
Even with the long work week, there are plenty of things to do around here. You have to find them and find other people who like to do the same things you do, but with the right attitude you will among the people who enjoy coming back year after year for a decade. Six years into my decade I’m still in awe of Antarctica. And more so , this place has the most interesting group of people ever congregated into one place. Sometimes its the people I like the best.
good luck all
Mike in McMurdo.March 6, 2005 at 3:12 am #8011
I’ve definitely kept in touch. And thanks for the encouraging words. I just learned that all of those positions have been filled by people coming back. But I’m told I still have some oportunities. I figure on Denver each year until I get something.March 6, 2005 at 4:47 pm #8012
Sounds like you are on top of things. What REP said is true. It’s all about the budgets. It’s no different than anywhere, When it’s time for layoffs at your company, it doesn’t matter if you’ve only been there one day, you are out with no recourse. As long as you are getting positive feedback, I’ll say your chances of landing a job here are high as long as the positions are available. Maybe I’ll see you at winfly. We are beginning the drop into winter here. This and Winfly are are the most beautiful periods at McM. This is the time we get day and night with long sunsets and lots of colors. Winfly is frigid, often colder than 40 below F. Right now we are in the zero range. Much warmer. Almost picnic weather.
By the way, what positions are everyone applying for?March 11, 2005 at 4:50 am #8013
Thanks for all the info guys, can’t wait for the Denver job fair to get here to start applying some of it! Anyone care to divulge who the right people to talk to there are? 😉
Mike – I’m going to be applying for a few different positions probably. Mostly thinking about GA, computer tech (what I do professionally,) mechanic (what I do for fun,) or maybe as an assistant carpenter/welder/electrician. I’ve got energy, enthusiasm, and a pretty varied skill set so hopefully something will work out.
-Ian-March 11, 2005 at 6:46 pm #8014
There will be four million people applying for the GA jobs. Put in for it, but remember that the GA’s do the nastiest jobs and they look for young strong energetic people. The Ga jobs are entry level jobs. Once here they need to “network” to find an in for the next year. GA’s are not rehired a second time as GA’s.
Actually there are 2 types of GA’s. The above applies for the station operations GA’s. The good side of being an OPs GA is that outside of science groups they are the only ones with a good chance of getting on a helo and visiting the field camps. You’ll also meet most of the depts around town and sometimes get to help out on some choice projects. Of course they might be hauling urine barrels as well. It’s one of those “it’s what you make it” jobs. Some love it. Some hate it.
The other GA’s are work center specific. Kind of like the next level down from carpenter helper etc. Each of the trade shops have GA’s. They do shop specific jobs. The pay is low but it’s an in. If you’ve worked on vehicles you could try the Heavy Shop(VMF) GA. Your best bet though is to go for the jobs you have some experience in. There will be less competition than the jobs that are unexperienced.
mikeMarch 17, 2005 at 12:56 am #8015
Cancelling the contract happens alot more than Mike in McMurdo lets on, and usually because RPSC hasn’t planned ahead.
Mike, how the hell do people fail the drug test? Get so stressed about it the night before that they have to smoke a bowl? I can’t believe that it would happen very often.June 28, 2005 at 9:12 pm #8016
While it is true that people losing their contracts has been happening a lot in the years since Raytheon took over it isn’t Raytheon that is being a big meanie. The NSF has faced cutbacks because of the increased spending with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is just a coincidence that it has taken place around the same timeframe as Raytheon’s contract.
In some cases, the NSF has had big plans and told Raytheon to hire all these people and then the funding falls through. That is why this mainly happens to construction people or those involved with new projects.
Basically, if you really want to do something about it, don’t blame Raytheon…don’t blame NSF…write your congressman.June 29, 2005 at 1:16 pm #8017Been ThereMember
Antarctic Cat it sure is nice to see a reply like your from someone directly involved in the program that understands the reality of working in a program funded by the federal government. When the Congress does not pass the necessary funding bills until the first quarter of the fiscal year has come and gone and NSF does not know what funding level they have for the program and are limited to the rules that apply when you are under a “continuing resolution” and you have big expenditures during the first quarter due to the nature of the program it’s a wonder that anything gets done
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