whoh, my offer letter arrived

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    After applying three years in a row it finally arrived, my offer letter and Medical packet. I’ve been offered a position within the I.T. department as a computer support technician. So maybe in four months I will actually believe it after boarding a plane for ChristChurch. Ahh, I will be missing out on my ten year high school reunion but I am fairly confident most of my 400 classmates have not left the continent in the last ten years much less visited Antartica! Anybody else on this board in I.T. planning on deploying to McMurdo about the 2nd week of October from Denver? Right now I have about a 100 questions and uncertainities as I try to gather my thoughts.
    Anyone know if Raytheon reimbuses you for passports? I have seen conflicting information with the manual saying “no” but paperwork in the welcome packet looking like a reimbusement form. I spent about $180 to replace my expired passport with overnight delivery both ways and expediated processing. Last thing I want is to worry in 12 weeks about no passport yet and it appears Raytheon reimbuses up to $150.


    Hey there, Rennie —
    Welcome to the team!  Write me, and we can chat.  I’ll try to dole out as much sage advice to a FNG that I can.
    BTW, I’m wintering on the ice right now, and will be missing my 30th high school reunion next month.  Ah, the price of being here…
    I’ll be leaving at Winfly, but back for Mainbody.  I’ll meet you in-person on October 25th, or 26th.


    Hi Atlas, I knew you would be the first to reply. I also had a feeling the FNG would come up too as it’s all true ha-ha!
    All that information they sent me felt overwhelming at first but I’ll take it a page at a time. Half of it may not even apply to me based on age and contract term. When I have some specific questions I’ll mail them off to you especially those regarding deployment and life at McMurdo. So far everything is working well States side with my preparation. Apartment management allowed me to sign a 4 month lease instead of month-to-month, passport should arrive with months to spare, and my 1st labcorp visit will probably be monday.
    Looking forward to meeting you in person!


    Hey, Rennie —
    Please send a note to my personal e-dress.  Just click-on my profile link.


    Yeah, finally
    You will be in good hands with Atlas. As to life in MCM. Post your questions here. As with most things in life everyone has a different spin on things.  What you will do will depend a little on your social live. Often FNG’s get sucked into the party scenes. Usually a good thing your first couple of years. Ten years later down the road and you tend to add in other activities.  
    I think that passports are a covered expense. Call HR and ask to be sure. I don’t know about other expenses associated with the process.
    My best advice to start with is that if you are going down in October, it’s only going to be really cold for a few weeks to a month. After that the 24 hour sunlight starts to warm things up. It will be below zero at first. By the end of october it will be in the +15 range and Thanksgiving it will start going above freezing. They provide you with plenty of cold weather gear. Instead of buying lots of very warm clothing you won’t use, send down a light weight jacket and some colorful clothing you can use as layers. If you go out on trips or long hikes, you will undoubtably use the ECW clothing and not your own. You will need stuff for going from building to building. The same clothes you use now in the winter.
    Buy a Halloween costume and mail it down as soon as you find out you have passed your PQ. The Halloween party is probably the most fun party for FNG’s. It starts the season off well.
    If you like good coffee, send down good stuff. You can grind beans in the galley. I send down a hot water pot and make the coffee in a french press. I think it tastes better that way than with a drip coffeemaker.
    If you think you need to send down tons of stuff to keep you busy, don’t. MCM is a happening place and you will find little time to do private things. Save your weight allowance for special things that you know you will do and make life enjoyable. Your second year, after you know the ropes is the time to do projects. I still have a few things stored away down there, that I haven’t used for years. It’s all being sent home this year.
    Get a good digital camera. If you buy a cheepie, make sure it has an M setting. The M setting is manual and will allow you to take long exposures at night. Not much darkness in the summer, but if an opening comes up and you decide to add a winter to your summer, you will be glad you bought a camera that can take aurora photos.
    Thats a few of the biggies from my viewpoint. I think you find everyone has their won special ideas as well.
    congrats and we’ll see you soon.


        I have been applying with Raytheon for the past 3 years also and still have not been hired. I have a burning desire to go to Antarctica…visit New Zeeland and get away from the States for a while. Raytheon sends me emails saying I qualify for this certain job based on my resume. I keep replying back, even applying for jobs I’m qualified for on thier web site. Is there anything else I can do to get down there?
          Frustrated in Vermont…aka Rick


    Hi Rick,

    Keep going. It can take several years to get hired the first time. Some suggestions:

    > Raytheon sends me emails saying I qualify for this
    > certain job based on my resume.

    It’s an automated system, there’s no intelligence behind it. As proof, I keep getting the same emails saying I’m qualified for McMurdo Station Manager. Yeah, right. Only if the qualifications are “warm body wanted to fill empty chair.” Oh wait, that might be it…

    > I keep replying back, even applying for jobs I’m qualified
    > for on thier web site.

    Ah-ha! Here’s a few pointers:

    1) Replies don’t work unless they’re directed at someone in particular. Applications are a necessity but they often don’t work either. Try the job fair too.
    2) Also apply for jobs you’re NOT qualified for. Who knows, maybe they’ll hire you as station manager. (God help you if you accept it.)
    3) Spell & grammar check your resume. Couldn’t hurt to have someone proofread it.

    > Is there anything else I can do to get down there?

    What do you know how to do? Perhaps we can suggest some jobs to apply for.


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