Antarctic Learning…

by wonderfullyrich on December 7, 2005

The longer I’m here the more about this place I want to learn.  I was at Hut 10 for the first time a few weeks ago and ran into some interesting thoughts.  (Hut 10 is like a cabin that can be signed up for and used for work or personal parties, or just some time away).  Science Cargo was throwing a late dinner (these are the guys who seems to handle all outbound cargo bound for other destinations on or off continent). At the volleyball game before hand I was invited to come by (just the sort of things that can happen here) and in interesting evening ensued.  My focus was on Michael Davis who is the supervisor and a full time USAP employee is a well known figure who’s been in this program for 6+ years and doing cargo for 20.  It seems though that this is the last year he will doing Science Cargo, given the politics and crap that’s going on in Denver and with mother Raytheon.  He’s the go to guy for scientist who need to get something done and many other things.  He’s also the guy with the most toys and the best hook-ups on station as he’s the one who can get things like fresh cheese, saki, or other such things on station. 

Anyhow I sit down to a real spaghetti dinner with wine and lots of cheese and begin to listen to these guys talk about Micheal, and Raytheon, and the program and the things that have gone on here for the last 20 years and find myself fascinated by the human history that exists.  At the same time I find myself repulsed by the stuff that Raytheon is doing down here in terms making the conditions at home bad enough for huge numbers of full time employees to quit.  A guy at the dinner said it best when he quoted a HR personal study RPSC did about this place, “the people here exhibit extreme loyalty to the program, but not to Raytheon.”  Apparently the rest of that is that there answer to this problem of misplaced loyalties is to try and meld the program and RPSC more so we’d associate RPSC and USAP more.  (Do note this is a full time problem more then a contractor problem, as there’s a bit of a difference.  Contractors don’t go to Denver and deal with the shit year round, they come down and work, enjoying their time, and go home to doing whatever they do.  There is a divide between Full and Contract employees that is spoken of and left unspoken)

I’m lost in a world where the human qualities that are exhibited are perhaps the most amazing I’ve ever seen, the most friendly, the most caring, the most interesting, and the most knowledgeable public I’ve yet run into, but in many cases they are also the most disillusioned with the government we have, the most annoyed with politics, the ones who have made their peace in life with the devils they know and don’t want to know, etc., etc.  It’s a strange existence we live in down here in this harsh planet.

Random thoughts from a newbie during a snowy day…

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