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July 25, 2010 at 6:13 am #1276
I am a newbie here, and an alternate even to just EVEN TRY to be a FINGEE, so now I am just waiting. But I am certinly excited I can tell you that. So I have been reading and reading. But the more I find on the internet the more I get more disturbed. I have seen many things that talk about how horrible the Antarctica is, and I can not help but think and wonder if they are true.
I have been reading everything I can find and today I saw this one,,,
It made me feel like if I go there I will just be used by the company.
I will do a good job, and I am a good wordker, but I do not want to get thrown in the snow by the company as penguin food either,,, 😆
What do you guys think?
LGJuly 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm #10540MradyfistMember
I’d recommend reading some blogs from people who’ve been there in the past few years, instead of a post at a site called jobvent.com. When I was at Pole, some people said they definitely wouldn’t do another season; many more are returning again this year. Frankly, I found the company’s obsession with safety to be the most annoying part of the job (at least, that they’re responsible for), which I guess is one of the better flaws to have. Oh, and PQing sucks.July 26, 2010 at 1:03 am #10541thepooles98Keymaster
I’m with Rocky, there is no way anyone can tell you if you will have a satisfying occupation on the ice. You can’t look at one review and draw any conclusions. There are enough returning people each year to say that that review could not apply to everyone. Plus, dissatisfied people have a much greater likelyhood of posting their feelings than the larger group.
I’ll add in that working contract work in Antarctica sort of attracts people who are not of the corporate mindset. The global wanderers. Some adapt ok and some have a hard time and would have a hard time with any large corporation. Talk to the people who work for KBR or one of the other mid-east base management companies. I bet they would have the same kinds of comments. I worked for a division of walmart for a while. I did OK with them, squeeze every last bit of blood out of you. This is so much better than that it’s amazing. However,corporation it is and if you can’t handle the corporate lifestyle at any level, it’s not going to be the place for you. You will have a boss who will have a boss who will have a boss in Denver telling them what to do. The Denver person might not have a clue about what is going on, but has somebody in Washington working for NSF that is telling them what to do. Better than Dilbert, but it all still applies.
It’s also a work environment and working for RPSC or NANA is part of a bigger picture of NSF running a Science Base. As mundane as your particular job might seem to you, it’s there because it fills a needed spot. You will be expected to work first and play second. 6 days a week 9 hours a day. For some of the jobs, that’s not enough time. For others you might be twiddling your thumbs now and then. There are a few people who complain a lot and a lot of people who say little. What you will never see on the internet is what the people who don’t voice their opinions think. When you get to the ice look around, talk to people, see if people like it enough to come back again, and then make your mind up. As with all jobs the good comes with some bad. What I’ve never understood are the people who rant about how bad it is, but come back year after year. I guess it’s bad but everything else is worse.
24 hour summer daylight gives you ample time to play to your hearts content. Those that love the outdoors will be out hiking around daily at 20 below zero. I never got the bug. You should have plenty of rewarding outdoor experiences to bring home. Winter is even more awesome.
The rest is going to sound like so much gobblety gook, but I truely think it speaks to most people.
Working on the ice becomes part of your identity, good or bad,whether you like it or not. You should have figured that out by now from all the blogs. I look at facebook wall photos of people who haven’t been down in years, but they put up a photo of themselves in their big red parka. They are proud of what they did. When people go home after their first year almost everyone else is proud of what they’ve done. Not only that, but your family and friends will brag about you to their friends. While the program isn’t anything close to the military, it’s still an overseas government contract and many of the people you know and will meet will be in awe and thankful for your service. I hope you stick it out.July 26, 2010 at 1:10 am #10542daneelMember
I’d recommend reading some blogs from people who’ve been there in the past few years, instead of a post at a site called jobvent.com. When I was at Pole, some people said they definitely wouldn’t do another season; many more are returning again this year. Frankly, I found the company’s obsession with safety to be the most annoying part of the job (at least, that they’re responsible for), which I guess is one of the better flaws to have. Oh, and PQing sucks.
Actually, what really sucks is PQ’ing and then unable to get a 4 month sabbatical… 😥July 27, 2010 at 6:47 am #10543MATKATAMIBAMember
I’m at Pole now, working for RPSC and I don’t feel used at all. Sure, the company does things that many people don’t like, but all companies do. In my opinion most of what you’ve read is just recreational whinning. Some people do stupid things and the company punishes them for it, but they blame Raytheon and not themselves. If you are lucky enough to get a job, come for a summer and decide for yourself. After all it’s only three or four months – how used could you get?
Me? I’m very glad I came.July 27, 2010 at 8:36 am #10544
#IowaRox: I’m sorry I offended you. I know that sometimes old-timers are offended by new-timers. This happens in every job, so I don’t hold it against you, I just want you to know that I don’t mean to be offensive and I want to be friends, but I would also just like to get the jobs that you have, because you will be out of there some day. 🙂
#Matkatamiba: Thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it because honestly I do not work as little as possible, so if Raytheon will accept that and I can blame my co-workers, I will be happy to be the hardest worker.
LGJuly 31, 2010 at 8:41 am #10545
I can hear the tumbleweeds. It doesn’t matter though…
…beacause I’ll see you this summer!!!August 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm #10546thepooles98Keymaster
Sounds like you are moving up the ladder fast. Alternate on your post last week and now have a Primary contract. That sounds like a pretty exciting jump.
What position are you going down to the ice as and is it winfly, mainbody or winter?
In the end, from your posts, I have a feeling that you may find this to be a bit of a Walmart corporate environment. As I said before lot’s of layers of management, spanning RPSC NANA and the NSF. For some people, “dealing with beaurocracy” will allow them to let go and enjoy the ice. Others won’t get past it. I don’t have a clue where you might be in the mix. It sounds like you consider yourself a hard worker. If you are like most, you already know how to live and work within a structure of rules. If so, you will do fine.
Most of the annoying rules are going to deal with safety. The program as a whole has been focusing on the overall effect of what happens when a person gets hurt. With PQ requirments, you can’t easily just go out and hire somebody else when a person has to leave. Add to that the remaining people have to do that persons work, often at the expense of their own jobs. Depending on who is in charge of the safety dept, the rules can go from obvious to absurd. One year they had the 40 pound rule. Nobody was allowed to lift anything over 40 pounds. Weird things happened as there was a lot of over 40 pound stuff around. Technically the firedept couldn’t put on their gear. That got changed eventually, but we had to deal with it for a few months. Now, mostly it’s a matter of slowing down, evaluating the safety of your projects, and coming up with ways to mitigate hazards. Sometimes it means a job that might take an hour at home, ends up taking a full day. Some find that very frustrating, others appreciate that the motivation behind it all is to make sure that when you leave the ice, you leave in the same health as when you arrive.
Back to you. You are new, so fill us in on the details of where you will be working.
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