That’s right. I’m completing HR paperwork.
I know I said it’d probably be a week or so before my next update and yeah, sure, it’s 3:30 in the morning – but I am way too excited not to share the news.
I’ve been offered an alternate contract.
What the hell does that mean?
Even though I’m an alternate being considered for multiple departments they had to choose one to put the paperwork in for so they chose Steward – it’s probably my best chance anyways as there are up to 30 of them on base.
An alternate position means they have already hired for any open positions or have returning employees filling spots. However, each year there are people that will either quit, not pass their PQ, or have another change in life situation that causes them to be unable or unwilling to deploy. When that happens, their job goes to an alternate.
I have to go through all of the same motions as someone who has landed a job in Antarctica “just in case” but without the promise of a job.
I’m trying super hard not to let my hopes get up. I still have to pass the PQ (which disqualifies many people) and get to the top of the alternates list and have someone else not be able to deploy (hopefully for happy reasons not bad!).
I’m super into the idea of a winter-over contract and my alternate contract does cover winter too! In the past, once February hit there were no flights in our out of Antarctica. However, the interviewers told me that this year there will a flight every six weeks! I, in theory, could deploy as soon as June 1st! Ahhh!!!! That would be awesome. I would just not get a new job (I’m on unemployment at the moment) between now and then and head out right after Scorched Nuts Burn. Granted, I’d miss Electric Forest in June and have to sell my ticket… but it’ll still be there next summer.
So what steps do I have to take now?
First I had to complete information for a background check. Outside of basic personal identification info I had to provide:
- Consent to a credit check (oh jeez. my credit is awful!)
- Maiden name/Aliases (I have one of those now – Demeter!)
- 7 years’ worth of address history
- 7 years’ worth of job history (as someone that always hold more than one job I maxed out the number of jobs you can add to the field and still was missing some. Oops)
- Minimum of three educational facilities
- Criminal history
The next step tonight was to complete ALL of the HR everything type forms. This included:
- Accepting the offer letter
- Accepting an addendum to the offer letter
- Acknowledging the attendance policy
- Completing a Direct Deposit Authorization
- Acknowledging the Fair Treatment Policy
- Signing an I-9 including uploading a photo of my passport or two other forms of ID
- Health Reporting Agreement
- Medical Release Authorization
- Residency State Information
- ServSafe Instructions
- Upload ServSafe (Colorado) Certification
- Voluntary Self-Identification of race and veteran status
- Upload proof of bank account ownership
The ServSafe took the longest. There’s no real way to speed it up. The certification costs $15 out of your own pocket and it lasts, I think, a year. This is necessary for anyone working in the kitchen but also good for anyone coming to Antarctica who might want to use the kitchen to cook (whether that be for Burger Bars at Gallagher’s, bagels for breakfast, or whatever else).
As soon as I get finished with the SafeServ this morning I am heading over to Quest Diagnostics to complete my drug screening. Luckily, that’s going to be the easiest test for me to pass.
Finally, I’ll need to complete a Physical Qualification. That will get it’s own post once it’s finished. The University of Texas Medical Branch will send me a survey to complete that creates a list of what I need checked as I go through the form. That email should be here in the next 48-72 hours. I have already talked to my doctors and my gyno went ahead and did her part of the exam on Tuesday. My dentist said he just examined me last week so he’ll complete the paperwork and do the x-rays anytime before 4pm this week. I have a physical with my PCP doctor scheduled for Thursday at 7am. I’ll reschedule it if I don’t receive the packet in time.
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