Since I’m now on night shift, I am hoping that I’ll be able to update my blog more often.
Last night was my first night on the night time shift. The evening started out well and I was kept company by Lt. Phil Brunelle and Fire Fighter Mike Allard. The group at the station was down by three members. The reason for this was due to the need to have staffing at Station 2. Station 2 is located in “Ice Town” out at the Ice Runway. Unfortunately, we don’t have the staffing for a “permanent” Ice Town group to go, so we have to send personnel to standby when we have intercontinental flights occurring. When we get a C-17 or an LC-130 landing at the runway, the shift that is technically off duty has to respond to stand by for landings and take offs.
Things were going fine until Phil kicked his flip flop into Mike’s face. This was all in good fun and it occurred after the bandages had been thrown at each other, as well as the great rubber band battle of October 17, 2011. Once the shoes came off, the boys decided they might better call it a night. Mike went to find something to cook and while he was in the kitchen, Renae came over to keep me company for a bit. It’s weird to be in this situation where we find ourselves not being able to hang out with each other in the evenings. We’d developed a bit of a pattern over the past 7 weeks (wow I can’t believe I’ve been down here 7 weeks already) of hanging out in the evenings. The next 6 weeks are going to either fly or drag by.
After Renae left around 0200, time started to creep by. I was fixing to go into serious cleaning mode in the dispatch room when the phone rang and someone requested the fire department to respond at a quarter til 5. So we sent the crews out, and in order for the scene to be worked completely, I had to call out the off duty crew as well. I will admit that I took great pleasure in waking up the guys that were off duty, I mean, if I’m awake they should be too! I did feel kind of bad though when a few of the guys showed up with incredibly sad looks on their faces. I had the guys out until shortly after 0630. At least it wasn’t a call where they had to go out for 5 minutes, disturbing their sleep, and then have them attempt to go back to sleep. If I’m going to cause chaos, I may as well REALLY cause chaos.
After I got off work at 0700, I went to the room to change and thought about heading down to Southern Exposure for “day bar”. Day Bar is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for the night shift group that might not get a chance to go out with the folks who work the town schedule. As I was walking down Highway 1, which is the main corridor located in the building I live in, 155, I ran into Rick. He was laughing about my Facebook post that I put about 15 minutes before the chaos started. I had written “Good Morning from McMurdo Station Antarctica. It’s 0430 and all is well”. Long story short, there was a comment made by my dearest eldest sister that I was mean for waking up all of the guys, and I had previously told Rick that I was only mean on Thursdays so of course he had to make a comment about that since it is only Tuesday. He and I decided to unwind at the Coffee House over some tea. We talked about several things, the call of the evening and life in general. Out of all of the people here, he’s probably one of the most interesting ones. One of the talks we’ve had in the past regarded the fact that our age group (28-35) seemed to be the minority around here. Now, before I came down here, I saw that the average age of person working at McMurdo was 36, but that’s because there are several young 20 somethings, and then there is the 40+ age group. Right now, most of my peers are having children or too involved in their careers to take off and do something like this. I would also like to say that I don’t think there is anything wrong with having kids or being too involved in a career to do something like this. Kids, right now, just aren’t for me. Yes, I know I generally say I’m too selfish to have them, but not seeing kids (except in pictures) for 4 more months may make me reconsider my current stand on children. I shall move on from that little tangent now… We wrapped up our little conversation and I headed off to bed at around 0930.
So I find myself here at work again after about 5 hours of sleep, a hot shower and a decent meal. The kids are all asleep. Hopefully I won’t wake them up. But if I do, I’ll do it with a smile.