Your rights and Raytheon

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    [Moderator’s note: Discussions about the negative aspects of working on the Ice are welcome, but users are reminded to refrain from personal attacks. Keep it friendly, folks.]

    About 2 months ago I responoded to King Penguin’s employment post (the first one, that still has the “sticky” mark at the beginning of it) about how Raytheon abuses their employer position. Just in case you missed it, the discussion went something like this.

    I said “It isn’t right for Raytheon to leave people hanging about employment, or hiring them and then terminating before their contract starts.”

    King Penguin responded something like “The contract says that its legal for Raytheon to do it. If you don’t like it don’t sign the contract. YOu don’t sound happy. If I (King Penguin) didn’t like the job, I’d leave.”

    I responded “I didn’t say it violated the contract, only that it was unethical”. I suggested that people reading the post should decide for themselves if it was ethical to do that. I also suggested that people should check out to find out what its really like on the ice.

    Check out



    Ah, Big Dead Place. A wonderful tongue in cheek look at life. The writers are talented and funny. Most everyone here loves it when an incident occurs and the a couple of hours later it’s on big dead place. Big Dead Place is one of those things that make life nice down here.

    Don’t be fooled however into thinking that the opinions expressed there are shared equally with the majority of people here. It pretty much shows only one side of the picture. When reading the BDP it won’t take you long to see that there is an editorial bent to their articles. By the tone of the letter it wouldn’t suprise me, if ICE isn’t one of the BDP writers. I’ll stop here and let you reread the letter and then visit BDP. In the end I think you will find, as I do, that BDP is funny and entertaining look at those things in life that stress all of us.

    The reality, however, is that if you have ever worked in the corporate side of life, you are going to find this not a lot different than anywhere else. Nobody likes working with corporations, but most of us do and survive. Some enjoy it.

    The part about being unethical to terminate someone before their contract starts is a good example of looking at things from two sides. ICE doesn’t like it. Nobody likes being terminated. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new employee or a 10 year veteran. When it comes time for layoffs, what company is going to let the 10 year guy go and keep the new guy? Probably an unethical company that wants to cut their wage costs. What most of us want is if we have been working in good standing, then it’s the guy with no seniority that gets let go. To me it’s much better to work for a company that values it employees. Most of the terminated contracts are just layoffs. Congress cuts the budget, suppliers couldn’t deliver the materials on time, etc etc. If you are a construction contractor brought down for a specific job, then this will be like any other construction project. Here today gone tomorrow. For the rest of McM the jobs are fairly stable. If you want to come back you are probably going to be able to do it. The great majority of people who don’t return do it on their own free will because they want a real life around their family and friends.
    enough for now.
    all comments good and bad encouraged
    mike in mcmurdo.


    As long as we’re talking how it is, there are a few more issues that should be discussed. After all, if Raytheon can do a background check on it employees, then prospective employees should have the opportunity to learn about the corporation they are considering working for.

    Mike in McMurdo (MIM) wrote

    Don’t be fooled however into thinking that the opinions expressed there are shared equally with the majority of people here.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the majority of people don’t agree. If you come down to the ice, you’ll find that many people feel that Raytheon is a morally corrupt corporation. Some tolerate it. Others figure it out and leave. Keep in mind that if Raytheon offers you a job, you’re probably replacing someone who got fed up and left.

    So lets look at

    what company is going to let the 10 year guy go and keep the new guy?

    . Of course, its spin. The real issue isn’t keeping one person and screwing the other over, its demonstrating that you value the people who work for you, or even just accept an offer to work for you. Ever hear of a contract cancellation clause? Its pretty standard in most of the business world. It means that if Raytheon offers you a job and you disrupt your life to accept it, and Raytheon subsequently cancels the contract, they should compensate you for the inconvenience.

    To me it’s much better to work for a company that values it employees.

    I agree, and I’msure Ice does too. Its just too bad that Raytheon isn’t one of them.

    So Ice, thanks for not letting the issue die. Bringing issues like this into the spotlight can only make things better for those yet to come.

    BTW Ice, did you forget about the Antarctic Intelligencer? For those who haven’t heard, check out … encer.html

    Enough for now



    So here’s my question….
    Don’t you think it is worth it?
    I mean… If you want to see the moon…you have to join NASA right? You really wouldn’t have a choice.
    And as I see it, If you are interested in Antarctica…. You really don’t have many options. Raytheon is your ticket.

    Now, I have already made up my mind. I will basically put up with most anything to go down there. I NEED to experience this continent. Whether I would want to do it twice will be determent upon Raytheon.

    So again my question is… Is it still worth it? Are you so angry/disappointed with Raytheon that you regret your descision? What about it taints the whole experience?

    Or is this just a call for change and a warning that Raytheon is not a perfect corporation? (which by the way doesn’t exist; utopia is just a nice idea)

    just curious, brege


    Well Penelope
    I’d say from the tones that you really hated this place. Too bad.
    There are thousands of people who come to work here. And as the saying goes you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time. My guess is you had a lot of good times while you were here. Almost everyone does. As one of my good friends puts it. McMurdo has one of the most eclectic groups of people that you will ever find in one place. There is something for everyone.
    Some never come back, some come back almost their whole life. It sounds like you would never come back again. My hope is that like many who feel as you do now, you’ll return to corporate life back in the states, and realize that life at MCM wasn’t as bad as you once thought. Hopefully you’ll be back here again soon.
    Mike in McMurdo

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