You have a contract. Now what do you do?


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  • #5528
    MightyAtlas
    Moderator

    Okay, first off, let’s not call it a ‘base’.  That term denotes an association with the military.  It used to be a Navy Base, but now it’s a research station.  So, call it McMurdo, McMurdo Station, MacTown, the ice, or ugly-ass-company-town.  🙂
     
    If you were going to be staying in-town, it’d be one thing, but drivers go out of town alot.  You’ll be required to carry an orange bag of ECW (extreme cold weather) gear with you.  No telling if/when you get caught on the road in a Condition 1 storm.  You’ll need to follow the Boy Scout motto, and ‘Be Prepared.’
     
    In town, I typically wear jeans, lightweight boots, a turtleneck, and a light jacket.  Once my ass hits town, I pack away my Big Red (parka).  Just too warm in the summer (but nice during the winter).
     
    For your first season, better to over-pack, rather than underpack.  You might find yourself overly-warm if you only pack sweaters, though.  Most of the buildings are warmer than they need to be.
     
    Welcome to the ice. 
     
    a

    #5529
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Atlas has good advice. Everybody has different ideas of what they like to wear. Your first year you will have little idea of what types of activities you will enjoy doing. Send what you think you would need the first year and modify the next time you go down.
    It will be cold when you first get there. You’ll want something other than the ECW gear. They are cutting back this year. Only two sets of socks, only one set of light weight polypro underwear. Mostly everything else will be the same.
     
    For dress up days like XMAS dinner, you might want to bring some sprucing up clothing. Some parties are wild, but others are dressy. Nobody really cares if you wear jeans everywhere, but you will feel nice with something nice and out of the ordinary.
     
    Bring a halloween costume.
     
    Bring a lightweight wind shell for the warm season.
    M

    #5530
    will
    Keymaster

    Hi there!

    Wow, reading this board always makes me miss the ice more than usual! Guess I’ll throw in my $.02 worth.

    Atlas is correct that you don’t need too many warm clothes around town. As for the sweaters, I think you will often feel overdressed – maybe just one for a dressy dinner. Most of the time, you’ll be plenty warm in a long sleeved shirt or two. A couple of your favorite cozy sweatshirts will work well when you need a little more.

    Keep in mind that there won’t be an easy way to hang dry clothes & (at least when I was there) the dryers were sometimes a bit unpredictable. Don’t bring much that’s delicate – rugged clothing that you’d be comfortable in on a hike at home are usually good.

    Don’t forget to bring girlie things to make you feel comfortable & at home. A nice nightgown for quiet nights in, shampoo & soaps if you have favorites, hair color if you’re secretly as grey as I am, razor blades, etc. I carried the first round of stuff, then ordered from drugstore.com & had anything else delivered straight to the ice. Depends on your priorities, but I really appreciated having some of my own personal care items.

    I also sent down some flannel sheets to make my bed more cozy – loved that at the end of a long day. Decorations and pictures for your room, or anything else you’ll enjoy having around you when you’re far from home.

    Getting back to the original question about clothes – keep in mind that you’ll be in a setting where dirty work clothes are acceptable in the cafe & bars. Whatever casual clothes you’re comfortable in will be great.

    Most of all, enjoy this time & all of your firsts on the ice. *sigh* I miss those days! 🙂

    Erica

    #5531
    coastycook
    Member

    Whooohooo!!! I just found out today that i am PQed and good to go!
    Kristina

    #5532
    MightyAtlas
    Moderator

     
     
    Congratulations on navigating through the piles-o-paperwork, and the PQ process!
     
    The rest is easy.   
    atlas

    #5533
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Wonderful
    We’ll be looking forward to that special dinner. I’m behind the ball a little on my PQ stuff. Had the physical 2 days ago and the dental is a week from tuesday. Last year they ran me through the mill on extra tests. Hope that doesn’t happen again.
    M

    #5534
    coastycook
    Member

    so what should i expect from here on…..just getting things in order to go or is there a last surprise in the process??
     
    kristina

    #5535
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    You are through all the major hurdles for now. The next steps will involve transportation. At some point you will receive an email with ticketing information. More than likely you will be flown to Denver for orientation. Here you do all your new employee orientation stuff. Insurance, safety etc. just like any other job. Due to the Democratic Convention being held in Denver this year, there was some talk of moving the orientation someplace else. I think it will be all over by the time most have to deploy.
     
    The orientation is a 3 day process. You fly in the first day, but only stay at your hotel. The next morning you get a full day of meetings and trainings. The following day you get a half day and are then bussed to the airport. It’s a multi hour flight to Los Angeles.  You arrive in the domestic terminal and have to depart the plane and go to the international terminal. Tickets are issued by American Airlines, but the flight is Qantas and you have to stand in line to exchange tickets. Sometimes the times are cut very close, so no delaying here.
     
    The flight to NZ is 13 hours or so. Your baggage is checked through from Denver to Aukland NZ’s International terminal. You pick up your bags and bring them to the domestic counter and then walk to the domestic terminal to pick up your flight to Christchurch. Go to the ATM and get Kiwi money to spend. You walk to the antarctic center to get your hotel info and then get a taxi to your hotel.
     
    Sometimes you get your clothing the day you arrive. Sometimes it’s the next day. In any case, here you pray for bad weather. Christchurch is an exciting town to be in. The longer the planes are delayed due to bad weather the more time you get to explore. Take advantage of the time to find the nice places you want to return to at the end of you deployment.
     
    The flight to Mcmurdo will generally leave around 6 to 9 am in the morning. You will have to be at the terminal as early as 430am. Your hotel will help you with taxi details. You go through another orientation, get the flight safety stuff, board the plane and 5 hours later land on the ice in MCM. If you are lucky it’s a sunny day and Mount Erebus will be steaming away in the distance.
     
    Remember the weight limits on luggage. Anything you don’t need for the first month or so, mail. The info is in your packet. Don’t forget your halloween costume. The galley works around the clock, but hopefully you get to go. Also don’t forget Xmas dinner. You might want to dress up. It’s not required, but many enjoy it. The dressy clothing will get used often at get togethers with your friends.
    Mike

    #5536
    wiczster
    Member

    Congratulations Kristina on getting hired. How did you get your foot in the door? Did you do it via the internet? I have been trying for 3 years now and finally got a response from Hire rite where I had to fill out an hour long detailed online application. Did you go through this route? And if so what happened after that? And how long did it take?
     
                                        Rick

    #5537
    MightyAtlas
    Moderator

    Rick —
     
    Here’s the basic process:
     
    Look over the jobs at http://www.rayjobs.com, and post your resume for the positions you’re interested in.
     
    HR then reviews the resumes, and if you’re qualified, you’re then invited to fill-out the extensive HireRight application.  This is a BIG step.
     
    Your previous employment, and references, will then be checked.  If all checks-out, you’ll then be called, or e-mailed, with an offer of employment.
     
    After that, you enter PQ hell.  (Really, it’s not all that bad, but for a FNG, it can be confusing)
     
    Once you’ve got all the paperwork sent in, the Medical department will either bless you with a PQ (good) or NPQ (bad) status. 
     
    Once officially PQ’d, you’ll be contacted by the Deployment Specialist Group, with your travel arrangements.
     
    After that, read the posts from Roxannie and Mike, above.
     
    Good luck.
     
    a

    #5538
    Anonymous
    Member

    Mike
          That is great information . Sounds like fun
     
               But it looks like I am a looser , listen to this . I have been in  review status ten times , received three phone interviews , received four Employment Applications filled them out that day and sent them in that day.
    Had three HR people send me an E-Mail and say Mr. Simmons I am really impressed with your resume . 
     Then interviews have been from Station Manager , Construction Super , been in construction business 40 years and I mean all area of construction business . So I want a job so bad I filed for a Carpenter Helper and could not get that .
      Now am I a looser or am I a looser , but until they tell me to quit I am going to keep trying .
      
    Percy A Simmons


    Original Message


    From: Antarcticmemories@groups.msn.com
    To: Antarcticmemories@groups.msn.com
    Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 8:42 AM
    Subject: Re: You have a contract. Now what do you do?

    [font=Arial, size=4:l4w4e6gi]New Message on Antarctic memories[/font:l4w4e6gi]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:l4w4e6gi]You have a contract. Now what do you do?[/font:l4w4e6gi]

    Antarcticmemories@groups.msn.com?subject=Re%3A%20You%20have%20a%20contract%2E%20Now%20what%20do%20you%20do%3F
      [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans Serif:l4w4e6gi]Recommend[/font:l4w4e6gi] Message 26 in Discussion
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:l4w4e6gi]From: [/font:l4w4e6gi][font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:l4w4e6gi]thepooles98[/font:l4w4e6gi]
    You are through all the major hurdles for now. The next steps will involve transportation. At some point you will receive an email with ticketing information. More than likely you will be flown to Denver for orientation. Here you do all your new employee orientation stuff. Insurance, safety etc. just like any other job. Due to the Democratic Convention being held in Denver this year, there was some talk of moving the orientation someplace else. I think it will be all over by the time most have to deploy.
     
    The orientation is a 3 day process. You fly in the first day, but only stay at your hotel. The next morning you get a full day of meetings and trainings. The following day you get a half day and are then bussed to the airport. It’s a multi hour flight to Los Angeles.  You arrive in the domestic terminal and have to depart the plane and go to the international terminal. Tickets are issued by American Airlines, but the flight is Qantas and you have to stand in line to exchange tickets. Sometimes the times are cut very close, so no delaying here.
     
    The flight to NZ is 13 hours or so. Your baggage is checked through from Denver to Aukland NZ’s International terminal. You pick up your bags and bring them to the domestic counter and then walk to the domestic terminal to pick up your flight to Christchurch. Go to the ATM and get Kiwi money to spend. You walk to the antarctic center to get your hotel info and then get a taxi to your hotel.
     
    Sometimes you get your clothing the day you arrive. Sometimes it’s the next day. In any case, here you pray for bad weather. Christchurch is an exciting town to be in. The longer the planes are delayed due to bad weather the more time you get to explore. Take advantage of the time to find the nice places you want to return to at the end of you deployment.
     
    The flight to Mcmurdo will generally leave around 6 to 9 am in the morning. You will have to be at the terminal as early as 430am. Your hotel will help you with taxi details. You go through another orientation, get the flight safety stuff, board the plane and 5 hours later land on the ice in MCM. If you are lucky it’s a sunny day and Mount Erebus will be steaming away in the distance.
     
    Remember the weight limits on luggage. Anything you don’t need for the first month or so, mail. The info is in your packet. Don’t forget your halloween costume. The galley works around the clock, but hopefully you get to go. Also don’t forget Xmas dinner. You might want to dress up. It’s not required, but many enjoy it. The dressy clothing will get used often at get togethers with your friends.
    Mike

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    #5539
    coastycook
    Member

    so here is maybe a later question…but being all goes well…my hubby plans to meet me at the end in Christchurch and off we go on some backpacking, how does that work with the return ticket home for me if i dont plan on leaving right away or even from Christchurch? How much room is given to store stuf at the CDC for after the ice?
     
    kristina

    #5540
    Been_There
    Member

    Check this link.  USAP.gov  Go to the section for program participants, find the USAP Participant Guide.  Page 31 should answer your questionsabout storage in Chch.  While you are at it you might find other useful info.
     
    Dave B

    #5541
    will
    Keymaster

    Percy,

    I know, as many others on the forum do as well, that the hiring process can be maddening and frustrating at times. I have been in and out of consideration for the same jobs several times only to recently have them be “officially” placed out of my reach (I am once again not in consideration for a few positions and have received official RPSC HR emails telling me so).

    Although I have experience working on Antarctica research projects, I have not been to the ice–and HR seems to just about require this experience for many positions (even though on the job announcements ice time is only listed as “desirable” and not “required”).

    I believe HR passes on many otherwise qualified job applicants because they want them to some have ice time–and in order to get this time under one’s belt you gotta start at the bottom of the ladder. For me it’s going to be a General Assistant Alternate position this coming season. There is no telling whether or not I will actually get a job for 2008-09, but if I do I hope it will help with next year’s application process.

    So, what I’m saying is hang in there. The position you may get offered may not be the most glamorous or the one you really wanted, however, it might be a foot in the door for next season (and let’s hope a little bit of experience will make things go a bit more smoothly during the next round of hiring).

    -=CH

    #5542
    Anonymous
    Member

           Ice time not a factor , I have 14 month there without coming out . I live in North Texas the largest Raytheon facilities around . My ex wife has been with a company that has done business with Raytheon for over 30 years they are hell to do business with on any level . I thought this would be different but it is not . I know this at any level they care nothing about employees . I have a Duplex I rented to a young Engineer here in Dallas ,he quit a good job to go to work for Raytheon here. He worked two months and they told him they did not get the contract they want too put him on and let him go .
    Percy A Simmons


    Original Message


    From: ANTARCTICMEMORIES@groups.msn.com
    To: ANTARCTICMEMORIES@groups.msn.com
    Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2008 10:31 AM
    Subject: Re: You have a contract. Now what do you do?

    [font=Arial, size=4:i9mtrlh2]New Message on Antarctic memories[/font:i9mtrlh2]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:i9mtrlh2]You have a contract. Now what do you do?[/font:i9mtrlh2]

    ANTARCTICMEMORIES@groups.msn.com?subject=Re%3A%20You%20have%20a%20contract%2E%20Now%20what%20do%20you%20do%3F
      [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans Serif:i9mtrlh2]Recommend[/font:i9mtrlh2] Message 32 in Discussion
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:i9mtrlh2]From: [/font:i9mtrlh2][font=Arial, Helvetica, Sans Serif:i9mtrlh2]cliffhanger_mt[/font:i9mtrlh2]
    Percy,

    I know, as many others on the forum do as well, that the hiring process can be maddening and frustrating at times. I have been in and out of consideration for the same jobs several times only to recently have them be “officially” placed out of my reach (I am once again not in consideration for a few positions and have received official RPSC HR emails telling me so).

    Although I have experience working on Antarctica research projects, I have not been to the ice–and HR seems to just about require this experience for many positions (even though on the job announcements ice time is only listed as “desirable” and not “required”).

    I believe HR passes on many otherwise qualified job applicants because they want them to some have ice time–and in order to get this time under one’s belt you gotta start at the bottom of the ladder. For me it’s going to be a General Assistant Alternate position this coming season. There is no telling whether or not I will actually get a job for 2008-09, but if I do I hope it will help with next year’s application process.

    So, what I’m saying is hang in there. The position you may get offered may not be the most glamorous or the one you really wanted, however, it might be a foot in the door for next season (and let’s hope a little bit of experience will make things go a bit more smoothly during the next round of hiring).

    -=CH

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