Monday, October 27, 2008

One Step Closer


Now to find that pesky passport...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My first post eva O.M.G.

Soo this is the first blog thinger I've ever done. Mainly because I've never really done anything worth "bloggin" bout I spose. I'm taking a huge detour in my life I guess you can call it and heading to the bottom of the Earth (though I spose "bottom" is really a relative term depending on where you are situated in space and or the planet, crazy Aussies and their upside down globes and such...). I left a wonderfully cushy job with great pay, great benefits, amazing people and an office that was bigger than both my boss and his boss's offices to go work in Antarctica at the South Pole. Not the easiest decision I've ever had to make. I made the decision to turn in my letter of resignation prior to officially having the job in Antarctica; that was scary.

When I turned in my letter I still had not completed my PQ shtuff, meaning I did not officially have the job. PQ btw is physically qualified, blood work, drug tests, EKG, asthma breathing thinger, vision, and dental. I had completed and passed everything up to the dental. I had been holding off, putting off, and rescheduling my final piece of the dental work for about a month. I hate seeing dentists/doctors in general and my final piece of work needing to be done was not trivial. To physically qualify for the job I had to get all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. Not because I was in pain, not because they were causing me any problems, but because there was a potential for such. My mouth feels/looks so empty now :{ . So the next time you hear someone complaining about the hire process for some job, or you yourself start to moan about what you went through, stop and ask yourself would you have your wonderfully innocent little teeth ripped from your poor mouth?? (Stop reading remainder of this spiel if you are easily made squeamish and continue on to next paragraph ;} )Would you be willing to walk through target while trying to pick up your pain medication to have your gauze slip out of position causing your mouth to fill up with blood while rushing to the bathroom to replace it?? To stand hovering over a public bathroom's sink with blood gushing out of your mouth while you desperately try and replace the gauze finding out the hard way you made the gauze pad to large. Biting down on the oversized pad engorged with water you end up with a river of watery blood running down your chin unable to hold it in as your lips are still quite numb and nonfunctional all while strangers are continually coming in and out of the restroom looking at you like your some sort of freak (though never asking if you are ok mind you...). All for a job that you may or may not get...

Ok maybe a bit over dramatic...

But yah, crazy stuff. I received the word that I PQ'd a week after turning in my letter; quite a relief let me tell you.

This whole process was all started by a friend of mine constantly talking about his time at McMurdo and always having pictures up from his time in Antarctica. I have wanted to go ever since he first told me about his time down there. And just happened to be at a point in my life that I felt like I needed to do, well anything, before I got stuck in the rut my life was becoming. I call it my quarterish life crisis ;}. We went down to the job fair they had this year in March with me hoping to use Ian (my friend) as an in with his former department. We spoke with his old boss; he didn't seem too interested in anything I had to say/ask. I decided to peruse the other departments a bit, not talking to any of them of course as they are strangers and I am quite the shy fella. I happened to notice an IT table and I thought hmm IT in Antarctica; that's cool (no pun intended). So I went over and started talking to them, I know bit out of character. We seemed to hit it off, Karen was the woman at the table; she was cool and seemed to like me. I assure you this had nothing to do with the fact I was only the 3rd? person who knew anything about computers she had spoken with all day. She told me to go and apply for the position she had on the computer kiosks that were setup for the fair.

Funny story about these kiosks. Apparently they were supposed to be only used for the online application. The building's IT had the computers "locked down" so folks wouldn't I don't know browse porn who knows. The application asked for your resume, so being prepared for something like this I had emailed myself a copy of the resume before I went. I needed to get to the email obviously. They removed the browsers from normal access and killed the start menu and such but they didn't disable task manager so I just opened that ran a new task and launched the browser and was on my email. This is just normal reflexive actions I didn't think twice about it. However when I had the folks come over to me stand over me and ask what I was doing, getting worried I began to think hmm maybe this was not a good idea. Then after the guy left and brought another person over with them both hovering over me I began to think again hmm maybe that was not a good idea. So I just closed stuff down and left the machine. I went back to tell Karen that I couldn't fill out the application as the folks there were hovering over me seemingly not very happy. And she replied, oh so you were the security breach we were just told about putting folks in a panic. Hmmm I thought to myself, this is probably not the best first impression for a job...She then however said, just so you know that's a plus in my book. Hehe. And from then on it was just a bunch of waiting and phone calls and emails, and waiting.

The original job I applied for was for McMurdo Station where my friend Ian worked in fuels, I was incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to go to the South Pole because the original guy couldn't make it. Thank you whoever you are!! ;} Henry (South Pole main IT head hauncho guy) called Karen looking for a replacement; she then called me and asked if I was interested and if so I should contact him. I did, and well now I am awaiting my flight on Nov 1st to head to the pole.

Now from Henry and my conversations I still don't really know what I will be doing down there: IT in some capacity or another. No matter what I will be doing, I will be doing it at the South Pole and that’s good enough for me :}