Thursday, August 18, 2011
So yesterday I arrived in Denver and met up with my roommate Renae. We hopped onto the Red Lion Inn shuttle with about 6 other people and headed towards the hotel.
There were four of us in the shuttle with no previous “ice time”. I was sitting next to a very nice lady named Rhoda who is spending her 13th year on the ice. Rhoda took time to answer any questions that we had and she joined us for dinner. She told us that everyone is willing to answer questions posed by first years but not all of them are going to be nice about it. She thinks of herself as a mentor, and judging by the scores of people that greeted her with hugs, she is pretty well liked on the ice. She does something with aircraft maintenance. I’ve also met Mikki, who works in the clinic and a girl who I swear is the future image of my oldest niece. She showed up wearing this little tank top, skinny jeans and cowboy boots. Yeah, that’s Delaney in about 10 years.
Last night I was utterly exhausted so after drinks and dinner, I went to bed, falling asleep before 9pm. It was still light outside. Of course I woke up at 0400 today and was ready to head out by 0500. I met up with Renae in the lobby to get breakfast and then we just hung out until we hopped on the shuttle this morning to head to Raytheon Polar Services headquarters.
The whole orientation process was a bit mind boggling. We went to four different tables to sign different paperwork and get our financial information all set up, then we were color coded and sent off to the main auditorium for the introduction. After a very, very long introduction by the program manager, Lori, my new supervisor, took me, Renae and Pam (another dispatcher who is down for her second season on the ice) to meet the fire Chief who is my boss, as well as one of the fire Captains.
The Chief is very much a by the book, no nonsense kind of guy. He demands the very best from his employees. He has a very dry sense of humor and can be somewhat intimidating. He is very straightforward and doesn’t believe in people doing stupid things that can cause them or others to get hurt. I like him. The fire Captain seems like a pretty nice guy. He is about 7 feet tall. No lie. The Captain is going down to the ice with us and the Chief will join us at Mainbody. I also received my uniform polo shirts and uniform t-shirts. Happy day!!!
**Mainbody is the “summer” season on the Ice. I will be going down at Winfly on the second flight. There will only be three flights going down for Winfly. The first arrived a few days ago and I’ve heard they were very lucky as they didn’t have any boomerangs back to Christchurch. Hopefully that luck will hold.
We went through human resource issues, financial issues, computer security issues (I had to download another antivirus software program and so hopefully my computer will pass the inspection when I get to Christchurch)…grr… because as of right now, I won’t be able to get onto the USAP system with it while I’m there. I’ll be able to take my computer, but I won’t be able to blog or post pictures from it. Sooooo I’m hoping that I’ll pass the next screening. I got my super cool luggage tags as well so I’ll be all ready to head south soon!!!