Set the Wayback Machine for Thursday, the 11th of October, 2012 …
Yes, well, I applied for two jobs at South Pole, and I’m the Secondary for them both. Both the primaries are old hands and not likely to back out, so it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be going, unless the Primary breaks a leg or gets pregnant. There are probably a few other jobs where if the Primary doesn’t make it there will be a shuffle and I’ll end up going, but really, deployment is the 22nd, and the odds are low.
It’s been interesting for me to go through this exercise, though, and realize that I am the sort of person who, given the opportunity, would go to Antarctica to work for four months, and that my life is resting lightly enough on me that I could. When I first brought this up at work the senior researcher said, “When I was an undergraduate in Cambridge I went to the Arctic and it was fantastic. You really have to go if you get the offer.” That really made it hard for anyone at work to raise serious objections.
On Friday the 12th my phone rang with a Colorado number. It was Bill, the manager for the IT jobs at South Pole. “Are you still available?” was more or less all I heard, and “Yes” was what I said. I’m pretty sure there was an apology for it being so close to deployment. Indeed, someone with one of the “other jobs” had failed a medical test, and Bill was trying to get approval to do a three-job shuffle and would like me to be the Primary for the Help Desk Support Lead. And I said “yes”.
Monday or maybe Tuesday Bill got permission to do the shuffle. Tuesday involved some filling out and FAXing and forms that I thought I had already sent. I had had some wise advice from a previous polie, Pablo, to do all of the medical tests and be Physically Qualified so if something did come up, getting my PQ wouldn’t add days to the to-do list. I was PQ’ed already, and indeed, I’m sure Bill was relieved to know that.
The logistics people and Bill are trying to get me deployed with the rest of the IT people. On Monday. Yikes. Um. Yikes. I’m not sure the to-do list has gotten shorter. House-sitter confirmed. Straightening out the house, or at least buying storage bins to move some of the piles of stuff into. Getting someone to take my opera tickets. Work notified. Leave of Absence paperwork filed.Getting four months worth of my daily meds and vitamins. Many things left to do: buy more socks, maybe. Figure out how to deal with my driver’s license expiring while I’m on the ice. Property tax bill. Prioritizing, however that is supposed to work. I wonder if three bins is enough; I have a lot of piles of stuff.
Returning my service dog trainee Ilse to Bergin is the heaviest burden. She goes back today, and I’ve told her, and she’s licked my face and wagged her tail, but I don’t think she is really listening to me.