Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We are in the thick of winter. June and July are supposed to the hardest, most mentally challenging months. Morale can be low. Today's safety topic was Major Depression. Feelings and thoughts that have brimmed below the surface are supposed to finally be released. Just like at home, those releases can take on the civility of British tea time or the ferocity of a Mt. Erebus eruption. Luckily, I haven't seen much of either yet.

Along with the mid-season grumblings, there are the usual grumblings that occur when people work for a large corporation. In some ways they are right, in some things they are wrong. Most of it is just grumbling for the sake of grumbling. It gets old, but there is a current grumble which might have some merit coming up.

We are on our way to the darkest day of the year - June 21. Traditionally, Mid-Winters Day is a holiday for us. However, this year it isn't. Our stateside headquarters, that only works forty hours a week, will go on a company trip to Elitch's amusement park (though it is a Saturday). However, the National Science Foundation is rumored to have dictated that we will treat it as a normal work day so we can finish out our 54 hour work week normally. Read more at Big Dead Place.

Respect gets respect. This decision and numerous others over the past year have people feeling that they are not being respected. I've heard talk about them leaving the program that has sustained them for so many years. I'm not sure how easily the Antarctica program will continue on with that much knowledge considering an exit out the nearest door. I just don't have the experience here to know if people are just grumbling or if they mean it. I do know a few long timers have already left.

My personal grumbles are a toss up between missing John and Cecilia's wedding and that the huge walk in freezers in Crary aren't filled with ice cream, a complete waste of space. Frosty boy just isn't going to cut it for three more months.

Crary walk-in freezer (photo by J. Rhemann)


  1. Probably the number one reason why I've pretty much abandoned spending a season or two on the ice. It just doesn't seem worth the drama.

  2. sounds a little bit too familiar... good people leaving in droves because they aren't treated well, when most of the time that treatment is free or cheap.

    it's the people that make it worth sticking out a situation like that, but if you lose those too, you'll hear the giant sucking sound from a continent away. best of luck!