A tour of duty in Antarctica today isn’t quite the death-defying adventure it was in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s day, but it’s hardly a sinecure either:
It is freezing, smelly, and you may be gone some time. Applicants to run the world’s most southerly post office have been warned about the harsh realities of the life they would endure in the Antarctic.
The successful candidates will spend five months on Goudier, an island “the size of a football pitch” just off the Antarctic peninsula, sorting the mail at Port Lockroy, a former British scientific base.
There is little danger of being savaged by a stray dog while handling the mail, but the post office workers must be able to “dodge” the island’s colony of 2,000 penguins.
For £1,100 a month, they will be expected to dig out snow, keep smiling in temperatures that dip below 5F (-15C), and go for a month without taking a shower, as there is no running water.
One takes a job like this, I suspect, to amaze the grandchildren thirty-odd years later. The image of the Antarctic appears on the television; you shrug and say “Been there.” The kids will be either utterly awed or completely dismissive, and if the latter, the generation in between will be all “No, really, he was.” (Or else, right?)
(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)