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July 20, 2006 at 12:27 pm #3162
Atlas, Genevieve, Z, Marsha, Casey, Melissa and the rest. Let’s make a point of getting the Antarctic Memories crowd together at the begining of the summer. Maybe Hut 10 or the Coffehouse. It would be nice to meet everyone in person.
MikeJuly 20, 2006 at 7:17 pm #3163
Do you really need a reason to put on your party dress?
aJuly 21, 2006 at 12:57 am #3164
It’s a party kilt not a dress.July 21, 2006 at 1:52 am #3165
Another thing. Plan on more quiet time than you might expect.
I believe you got a job as a DA. By now you know that it is one of the hardest job down here. More monotonous than physically hard. They try hard to hire people that have been full time dishwashers in their past and know what they are getting into, but they don’t always get a full crew of experienced kitchen workers. It’s part of the reason they are thinking of outsourcing the jobs.The end result is that some of the people around you will be coming in with no concept of what they will be doing and will be bored out of their minds. If you are not careful, you may find them dragging you down. Your challenge will be to figure out ways to enhance your time off to balance out the job. Get out and enjoy Antarctica to it’s fullest. It’s easy to do if you are proactive.
One of the worst things about being a DA or janitor is also one of the best, depending on your point of view. Because the job is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week operation. You will probably find yourself working when most the other 1000 people are off. If you are coming down hoping for a hard core party as many of the younger set expect, you may find yourself working during the parties and left out. That can be depressing.
The reverse side of this is that having a 1000 people off at the same time you are off isn’t so much fun either. You are going to get days off with quiet and small groups of close friends. Plan a little in advance to feed the quiet side of you. Things that give you great joy alone at home, will be even nicer here. The gym, hiking, library, coffeehouse etc will all be much nicer for you than for the rest of us. There is also a fair chance that you’ll make friends with the science groups going out on the sea ice each day and may get mid week trips helping them out. McMurdo supports the DAs pretty well in that respect.
Things people do might include music, or musical instruments, cameras and photography, books, painting, etc. So bottom line is that if you have favorite things now, send the stuff down and keep it up on the ice.
MikeJuly 21, 2006 at 2:20 am #3166SciencetechKeymaster
Hey Mike, rumor has it that the DAs may be swapped out every other week to go do GA work (which would really be a neat thing, if they did that). The primary reason I heard was to help prevent repetitive motion injuries, but it would also help with the tediousness too. Have you heard anything about this? I hope they do it.
Melissa, by now you’ve been swamped with good suggestions! If it all seems too much, don’t worry. It’ll all make sense when you get there. Any don’t really worry about forgetting something at home — you’ll survive just fine!
glennJuly 21, 2006 at 2:22 am #3167
I’m curious about something relating to the job. Am I allowed to bring a music player with me to work? If so I’m going to load mine with songs.July 21, 2006 at 4:10 am #3168ZondraMember
Of course you can bring a music player with you to work… however, how much you get to listen to it depends on your job. Do I understand that you’re a DA? What I’ve scene in the past is that the DA’s & kitchen crew will have stereos running with music playing. The DA’s rotate through different jobs: the pot room (washing pots), the dish room (washing trays & cups & silverware), stocking/cleaning the galley, putting food out on the buffet line, taking out the trash etc… for some of those jobs, I don’t usually see the DA’s listening to music… BUT, for some of the jobs, like the dish room and the potroom, the loud stereo going is what it’s all about. I love going through the dish line (to drop off my tray & other dirty dishes), and seeing the DA’s rockin’ out to tunes. If I recall correctly, there’s a boombox (CD, Tape, Radio player) in the dish room, and one in the pot room. I think maybe people have figured out how to hook their I-pods up to them. If you want to be totally sure, bring your own set of speakers that you can plug your I-pod (or whatever your music device is) into. Do be warned: I heard of a DA (maybe a couple of them?) who’s new I-pod broke on the Ice. Turns out that the steam in the dishroom, in contrast with the dryness outside, did something to the I-pod, and it no longer worked. Maybe consider getting an otterbox, or some other type of protection for your music player. I’m considering getting an I-pod for this Ice season, and if I do, I’m deffinetly getting a good protective case for it. The Ice is hard on things.
As for other jobs, each one varies. I can listen to headphones at my desk job, but then I have to keep taking them off to answer the phone, so I don’t always do that. If you have a job where you’re in a vehical all the time, get a small little radio transmitter that plugs into your headphone jack, and then tune the vehical’s radio to that station. I think I’ve scene about every janitor with headphones, and a lot of trades people while they’re out in their jobs all day.
Load up lots of songs… they’re nice for the plane ride there, and at the gym, and all sorts of places.July 21, 2006 at 5:30 am #3169
Boy, all this talk about DA’s brings back bad memories for me!! Picture this – McMurdo Station, Antarctica, galley. The year – 2000-01. Working 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, on your feet the entire 10 hours! Always moving, running, walking, wiping, cutting, lifting, scrubbing, carrying, top speed for 10 hours!! All I had time for on my lone day off was to do my laundry, straighten my roon, and get off my feet!
Carpal tunnel right wrist, carpal tunnel left wrist, brachial tunnel right elbow! All for a Level 3 bonus! No thanks!
I sure love being a shuttle driver!!
SharonJuly 21, 2006 at 5:33 am #3170
More from Sharon…..But the season as a DA paved the way for my shuttle driver job! That’s the good news!
I’d do it again to get to Antarctica! No regrets.
SharonJuly 21, 2006 at 5:51 am #3171
You coming back down again? It’ll be great to see you.
Saw Liz and Tony here in MO a few weeks ago. Guess they’re coming down for the 2-month shuttle contract. True slackers…
Hope you had some good time off.
aJuly 21, 2006 at 6:40 am #3172Tominantarctica1Member
Are you going down at Mainbody or Winfly?July 21, 2006 at 8:21 am #3173
Yes, Atlas, I’m one of the slackers – 1/2 season contract! We’ll, Tony, Liz, Gloria, and I will be down just after Thanksgiving this year. So it’s actually 2 1/2 – 3 months!
Not bad for a retired nurse practitioner! I’m working now part-time as a certified driver training instructor!
See you soon,
SharonJuly 21, 2006 at 8:46 am #3174
Yo, Tom —
I’ll be down at Winfly. Don’t know which flight, as of yet. Doing a 12-month contract. Greedy AND stupid.
See you all in a few weeks!
Sharon — Talk about a REAL slacker…July 21, 2006 at 9:00 am #3175DeSotoMember
Wow !!!! GA/DA. That sounds as though the concept could be interesting. I wonder what the injury rate of the GA group is?
Mike…what color is your kilt? When does Lorie leave? Is she still headed to California?
Melissa, what day to you fly to Denver?
SusanJuly 21, 2006 at 12:44 pm #3176Tominantarctica1Member
Alas Atlas, I won’t be down until Mainbody, but Lynn is going down for Winfly..first flight. If you have time, take her under your wing a bit.
Not that she needs it. Mariah’s going to be her roommate for Winfly and I certainly wouldn’t mess with the Strongest Woman in Antarctica! lol
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