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October 2, 2008 at 5:11 am #615
I’m pretty well traveled, more than the average person you could say. I have the right personality type for ‘the ice’ I should think. Im wise for my years and have seen and done quite a lot. I’m interested in seeing how ‘the ice’ should stack up against Alaska for I’ve worked as a ski instructor. I’m pretty sure its a far bit colder and harsher up there. I’m looking forward to long hikes for my days off and also for after work. I’m working on a winter contract as well and then back to summer. After being in Alaska for 2 years I’m pretty sure I can hack 2 on ‘the ice’ no problems.October 2, 2008 at 7:30 am #6005
I did AK for three years – the ice and Alaska are Poles apart. Different weather, different topography, and different wildlife. The only common thing is cold, but even the kind of cold is vastly different.
Long hikes? There’s a few close-in hiking trails, but you’re not going to be let loose to roam wherever you please. Outdoor travel is highly regulated, especially in the winter. And did you say ‘days-off?’ You get one a week, and an extra Saturday off each month (during winter only).
BTW, a pet peeve of ice people is when people refer to us as ‘up there’. We’re ‘down here’.
Welcome to the bi-polar world.
aOctober 2, 2008 at 9:27 am #6006zer0altachutesMember
Please hurry up and get here.
We’re dying without the benefit of your haughtiness.
besides your pompous attitude and know-it-all stance, what other greatness do you plan to bestow upon us?
Let me guess, your first job choice must have been “mountaineer/field instructor?”October 2, 2008 at 8:00 pm #6007Been_ThereMember
Give the poor FINGEE a break!
Hopefully he will learn fast he is stepping into a new world, and it isn’t Alaska!
BTOctober 3, 2008 at 10:17 am #6008
You should do fine. McM is an awesome place and that by itself will make your stay memorable. for most jobs, the weather will only marginally impact you. It’s the social environment most like.
MikeOctober 4, 2008 at 4:04 am #6009
For the most part, thanks for the info. As far as hiking and freetime go, I am usually 2 or 3 times more productive than most so I can usually work out some free time at the end of work times. When I get to know my supervisor on the ice Im sure it won’t be a prob. I’ve traveled around the world a few times now and am pretty seasoned and have experienced every personality type and had some pretty strange experiences. Cant imagine the ice has stranger experiences in store than the ice caves of Nepal or sand dunes of Egypt.October 4, 2008 at 4:35 am #6010Been_ThereMember
What job do you have?
BTOctober 4, 2008 at 4:58 am #6011
When are you due on the ice? We are pretty backed up right now in Cheech. The first flight down is delayed again. I’m on the third flight and it’s looking like tuesday or later now for our flight.
Where are you working? I’d say the chances are you will not get much extra time off. It’s a team environment. If you run ahead of the team too much, you will look like the star basketball player who hogs the ball and gets a few extra shots, but the team loses the game. Just be careful about your expectations.
That said, we have 24 hour daylight and there is plenty of time for a 7 hour hike any day after work. You can hike till one in the morning if you like and still have time to sleep. I wouldn’t worry at all about having time to get out and about.October 4, 2008 at 8:41 am #6012
There’s a definite line between confidence and arrogance. The former allows you to accomplish great things, the latter can get you killed.
Don’t think that Antarctica is like anywhere else on earth, because it’s not. It’s as harsh, and dangerous, as it is beautiful.
Also, workcenters require employees to be there from start-time, to end-time, everyday. No one skips out early because they’re ‘more productive’. If you come down here, ESPECIALLY FOR THE WINTER, you had better be a team-player, and integral part of the community.October 5, 2008 at 12:12 am #6013
Hey there, FreeSpirit!
I will give you the same advice I got (and didn’t listen to) before my trips to the ice:
The work environment there is like NO other – sit back & go slowly at first, until you figure out the way things operate. In most cases you will NOT be rewarded for figuring things out quickly, coming up with “better” ways to do things, or generally being more productive.
In fact, I can honestly say that most of those things are frowned upon – you will cause trouble for yourself & step on lots of toes by being too gung ho. It rocks the boat, and people quickly get annoyed.
You will see many systems and procedures which look completely ridiculous, so choose your battles carefully if you want to make any headway at all. Trust me when I say that you will NOT win them all, regardless of how logical your points may seem.
It’s a crazy, mixed up world on the ice – do your best to go with the flow for as long as possible. Trust me, it makes life easier! The season will fly by & be a blast if you let it.
Good luck & have fun!
EricaOctober 5, 2008 at 12:58 am #6014SciencetechKeymaster
Well said Erica. The procedures on the Ice have evolved over time, and the reasons behind them are not always obvious or logical.
I was really gung-ho on my first trip. When I arrived, the winter-overs looked at me like I was a gibbering Muppet. I’m sure I irritated everyone and stepped on a lot of toes. What I didn’t understand was that you have to pace yourself. The work week is already 54 hours, even longer for many people and often seven days a week. Everything takes longer than you expect. And some crisis always comes up, which can be interesting/amusing if you still have some reserve energy.
When the winter ended and I saw the incoming crop of new summer people, they all scurried around, talked fast, and acted like, well, gibbering Muppets. 😛
….Go with the flow…..October 5, 2008 at 4:14 am #6015
It’s amazing sometimes all the problems that crop up on a job. One of the biggest problems is the supply line to get parts down. Everything comes down once a year on a boat that leaves the states in December and arrives at MCM in Feb. You will have a few weeks to request parts, but after that everything will arrive at the stateside docks too late to load on the ship and will sit for over a year in Port Hueneme until the next years ship. You will spend days sometimes getting ready to do a project, just running around and getting people to dig things out of snowdrifts to see if they are the right parts for you. No running down to Home Depot for the little items you forgot.
It’s frustrating, but a way of life that nothing ever goes as planned. You will find out early on that what would take a few hours to do in the states will sometimes take days on the ice. The old timers know this and want you to slow down and do it correctly. The new people who are used to production will try to take shortcuts to finish on time, but in the long run, that hurts everybody. There will be hours sometimes where you can’t work because the tools, forklifts, resources, manpower etc all all tied up someplace else.
MikeOctober 9, 2008 at 6:55 am #6016
I see we’ve taken some of the wind out of FS87’s sails, since he doesn’t care to respond. I wonder what job he’ll be working down here? He sounds like someone who thinks he’s a great heavy mechanic just because he could strip down a lawnmower engine in Vo-Tech.
The ice is a harsh, and unforgiving place. If our comments have caused him to take pause, then we’ve done our job. Better to sit at home, thinking he’s the greatest, than to come down here, and realize he’s not. The crushing of an ego isn’t a pretty sight to watch.
We just saved another life today. Take solace in that…October 9, 2008 at 8:49 am #6017SciencetechKeymaster
It takes a certain amount of daring or confidence to even apply, so FS87 is probably just like the rest of us. Perhaps the only issue is that most people introduce themselves here by asking humble questions, not opening a thread radiating self-assurance (misplaced or not).
FS87 I hope to meet you some day, and I think that within a short time you’ll get the ‘swing of things’ on the Ice. Be careful — it’s a harsh continent, not Alaska. Once you *think* you’ve got it figured out, that’s the time to be extra careful.
As my last boss at the Pole was fond of saying, “It can kick your a$$ anytime it wants.” Have a great season — you’re in for a heckuva trip.
glennOctober 9, 2008 at 10:42 am #6018
I’m generally the voice of moderation here. Come see me at Building 121 electrical supply when you arrive and I’ll give you the insiders hints on how to get great trips.
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