Since it sparked a lot of interest, I got a few more details on what it means to get fired when you’re at the South Pole. It means you are on the next plane out. Over the winter, that can be a very long time. Oddly, you still collect pay at the lowest grade available. I expect it all becomes very uncomfortable.
In the summer the next flight is often pretty soon. But people tell me that sometimes the person in question doesn’t get old he or she’s been fired until the plane in question is ready to go. “You have an hour — pack.” That sounds pretty uncomfortable, too, but in a different way.