Night Shift

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    I’m going to be working as a janitor at Mcmurdo and I will have the chance to volunteer for the night shift (or be placed on the night shift if there isn’t enough volunteers). I was curious, since the drawbacks to the shift are obvious, are there any benefits to working a night shift?


    Hi sassparilla, welcome to the board. Congratulations on the job offer!

    About the only advantages I can think of are that it’s quiet, so you can work at your own pace, and — very rarely — a mid-day boondoggle might come along that day-shift workers can’t go on, so you could take advantage of it. But I don’t think that makes up for the social contact you’d miss on by doing night shift. (The “night”, of course, is daylight for most of the season, so if all you wanted to do was hike or ski you’d always be able to do that regardless of the shift.) If this is your first time, I’d try for a day shift or rotating shift, just to get the full experience.

    BTW, when I’m off the Ice I live in Port Townsend. Right in your neck of the woods!



    I think night shift would be better in Mac town. Mainly because the mid-rats meal is always better, the bars will be open for you and it’ll just make the station seem smaller. The other thing, is if you have a day shift roommate you sleep while they’re gone and you’re gone while they’re sleeping, it works out well. My limited experience is I had a day sleeper roommate while I transfered through McMurdo and I almost never saw the person, I would wake up go to breakfast, come back to get ready to leave while they were getting ready for bed and then I was gone the whole time they slept. Either way, there will be plenty of people on shift, it might not be too bad, if you really hate it, you might be able to switch.


    I’ve met few summer night shift people that didn’t enjoy it. There is a whole social scene centered around the day bar. You will more than likely have time off in the week and as Glenn said may find a boondoggle or two to go on. A nice on is to sign up to be a dive tender. You get regular trips to the dive sites to assist the divers going under the ice.

    Personally I hate night shift, but I’m not a drinker and tend to avoid the bars. It takes me a while to figure out how to eat dinner for breakfast and how to have eggs every night for dinner. The secret is to save food you like for later.


    I don’t mind night shift. But I work at Pole, and not at that job. So maybe my opinion doesn’t matter too much. Mid Rats at MCM is my preferred meal, and night shift there and Pole has it’s own solcial life. MCM night shift in summer is much slower than days. This isn’t as true at Pole.

    Down side is weekend activities which aren’t shceduled for night shift people. But most are, and are easier to get on if it is a trip.

    Why nto go for it. If you don;t like it, you’ll know to do days next season:)

    Baghdad Jim

    Darryn, how do the night shifters do it there–socially, that is?

    Our night shifters dont tend to goto the same you guys open the bar/day room early or does it work out to different locations so you’re not near the traffic of day shift?


    In MCM there is “day bar” and the galley is a non drinking area – so no conflict for any shift. Also quiet hours etc in dorms reduce conflicts. Maybe best if a MCM person comments on there.

    Pole is changing a lot with the new station. It isn’t too hard to repect that people are on different shift, and is not unknown to have breakfast next to someone drinking a beer. New spaces haven’t been as well defined yet. The most difficult part is having friends from previous seasons who are on different shifts and you don’t get many chances to hang out with them socially.

    Hey, it’s a harsh continent:)

    So Jim, you got a job this season? We be seeing you at Pole?


    Baghdad Jim

    Darryn, that’s good info. Honestly, it’s the social structure..’will it be cool’… aspect that I’m looking at for my next endeavor. You guys are a window into tranquility with a dose of inspired insanity.

    No, I’ve not been given a final offer. Only a score of HireRight opportunities. The irony is that the most promising of them was an AirTrans II position…a position to which I was re-assigned to several months ago at my presant location. I now manifest MilAir flights for people all over the central and southern Iraq area, (only for my company).

    go figure….

    Depending on this contract–I marginally expect to be here till at least next austral movement season; so who knows, perhaps next time.
    But I’ll not be a stranger…I’m keeping an eye on you guys. 😉

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