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Job news / Antarctica - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Job news / Antarctica
I'm here because mean old hammond made me.

So, two major things: I got a job! I'm going to be a Web Services Officer at the University of Tasmania. This means I'll be updating and testing the website, managing social media, and sometimes asking people if they've tried turning it off and on again. Pay and conditions are the most excellent I've ever had, there's a free state-of-the-art gym (which I seriously need, having quit my gym for financial reasons) and they encourage staff development, so my lust for taking courses will finally be given some satisfaction.

I have no idea when I start. It seems they're shuffling around a lot of staff right now and trying to get us all on at once, so the process is taking a while. Am hoping to hear back from HR within the next week or two.

Now, the Antarctica thing: I found a job opportunity that Joe is perfectly qualified for: radio comms operator... in Antarctica. He's formerly of Airforce intelligence, the radio ops part, so he meets every single selection criteria the Antarctica position lists. The only problem is that it's a six-month posting. And there are no holidays from Antarctica: once you're there, you bloody well stay there until the shipping channels open again.

So. I'd be solo in Tasmania for six months while Joe worked in Antarctica, and I don't have much of a support network here yet. I'd also have to move closer to town, which means finding somewhere affordable that'll allow cats (and/or sharehousing...). Those are the downsides.

The upsides are that it's the opportunity of a lifetime - who wouldn't want to work in Antarctica for six months? What an adventure! It's suited to Joe, who is aspie and likes being around small groups of familiar people rather than encountering large numbers of strangers. He amuses himself indoors well and he's a total nerd for science.

And the pay is, well, a massive upside. He lives there rent-free, all food is included, and the pay $56k per year, plus superannuation, plus a $50k allowance per year. So after one six-month stint he'd return with fifty thousand dollars in the bank which, in this part of Tasmania, is a large chunk of a house.

It's a bit of a no-brainer: objectively, he should go for it. However, I'm apprehensive about the idea of being here alone for six months. What would you do?
16 have fought ~ fight the power!
martes From: martes Date: September 6th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Get a friend or relative to move in with you for the duration?
tania From: tania Date: September 6th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd definitely move closer to Hobart - too tough to live alone down here without a car. That probably means sharehousing though, if I don't want to blow half my wage on rent, and I dread going back to that scenario a bit. Have had experiences good and bad over 10 years of doing so... mostly bad. ;P
ranshire From: ranshire Date: September 6th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful to hear an update, as I don't Facebook much these days.

There was a user on LJ called (I believe) frozenfoxtail, or something, where she would post, pretty regularly and at length about what she was doing down there, what life was like, and even posted a few 'holy crap, this place looks cold' pictures and videos. Joe should enjoy himself down there, should he get the opportunity.

Good luck to the twos of ya!
tania From: tania Date: September 6th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, thank you, I'll look her up! :)
ranshire From: ranshire Date: September 6th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, sorry, wrong 'tail' ;-)

xodiac From: xodiac Date: September 6th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Go to Antarctica with him!
tania From: tania Date: September 6th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately they don't allow that - these people are hired to work with research teams, the place isn't set up for families to come with, and there'd be nothing for them to do down there anyway. It's literally an empty wasteland with a few scientific facilities here and there. ;)
digitalis From: digitalis Date: September 6th, 2011 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a tough six months but a win in the long run, I'd say go for it!
yls From: yls Date: September 6th, 2011 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the job offers for you both! The apprehension is definitely understandable, but six months while decently long isn't that long as to warrant serious conflict in the deliberation, I think. You'd be busy settling into your new job as well, so it'd probably help things zip by!
aibo From: aibo Date: September 6th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)


Rach told me about your new job one week ago when she was visiting Munich, but the Antarctica thing is one other major thing. Congrats for both of you, looks like everything falls in place now:-)

As for the decision, the six months should be no problem, as this is really something special. The only thing I'd be concerned is that they want to hire him again after that, and probably on a permanent base, have you talked about that?

About being alone for a couple months, think about it when the last time was that you were alone for a longer period. I recall it was when we met at Rachel's wedding, and certainly was a total different situation than now, right? Maybe it now looks like a nice change (or challenge, whatever you prefer) especial as it is only temporary. As long as you feel comfortable. After all, with the new job you will be busy in either way, and when it comes to long distance relationships, I can only recommend to try that out. Like I said, as long as it is clear that the change is not permanent.

Soooo good to hear something new from you eventually, really, resume to post more often, will ya?

(Deleted comment)
singingnettle From: singingnettle Date: September 6th, 2011 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
wow, I don't know what I'd do. I'd be torn about it. Depends on how much I wanted a house. I'd have trouble being separated from my husband for so long because we both have medical issues that make living alone not a great idea, but it sounds like a good situation for Joe, based on what you say. Could you get a housemate so you wouldn't be alone? That's probably what I'd do.
porsupah From: porsupah Date: September 6th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps try contacting others who've lived in Antarctica, such as this person? (Though that account's been dormant for a while, unfortunately) Some first-hand insight might be helpful, including what kind of network connectivity is available - audio Skype? Video, maybe? Actually, @iron_ammonite would likely know, and he is active.

Obviously, I'd say to go ahead with it - such a unique opportunity, though at that rough cost.

And if he doesn't yet have a good camera, I'd definitely suggest picking up a good DSLR and a wide-angle lens such as the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, as and when funds permit.
emurphy42 From: emurphy42 Date: September 6th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
If he runs across any mountains higher than Everest then he should GET THE FUCK OUT.
mistymoose From: mistymoose Date: September 6th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Firstly, congratulations on the job- good work! And enjoy, I'm sure they will treat you well :)

Secondly, I would do it. It's such a huge opportunity for the both of you, it will be hard no doubt. For what it's worth- Chris is likely joining the Air Force next year and after all his training he will be gone for long long long amounts of time too :( We are going to focus on the positives- he will be travelling and doing what he loves, and we will value and spend the time we do have together.

And if you need someone to talk to about the lonely nights you'll know where to find me :)
katarina42 From: katarina42 Date: September 7th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
When Warren was deployed to Djibouti for 6 months last year, it was challenging being alone. However, I had a good support network (friends, job, family) there for me and the cash was SWEET.

The support network is what I'd be worried about in your situation. Cats are a big comfort, but human support is necessary. Your job should help keep you busy. The less time that you have to sit around the house by yourself, the better.
16 have fought ~ fight the power!