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Old GemGoddess

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 04-13-02 , 05:50 PM


A woman in my class offered me a job to come work in her store in Skagway, Alaska for the season (which runs 1 May through 25 September). The store caters to the cruise ship industry, and is only open this part of the year. They pay room and board (there are a couple of apartments above the store, there will be five or six of us), plus salary and commission, and travel to and from. They have merchandise from $40-$20,000. Last year was their first year open, and they did about $300,000 in the season with no advertising, so they expect to double that or more this year. It is heavy retail sales, maybe a few small shows, and then I would be back in San Antonio looking for another job at the end of September. For the experts: is that so close to the holiday season that I would have trouble finding something else, or is that exactly when people start building up employees again? Anyone know anything about Skagway? I know it's so little I don't need my car! I looked up temperatures, etc. on the net, and May-September weather is between 40's and 70's, no snow, a little rain and plenty of sunshine (up to about 18 hours a day!!! ). A few people I have talked to say it sounds like a great opportunity, but I am scared to death!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 04-13-02 , 05:55 PM


I don't know anything about alaska, but it sounds like fun! Congratualtions!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 04-13-02 , 05:57 PM


I would do it, no question! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to gain experience and to enjoy a great part of the country.

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I'm from Alaska....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 04-13-02 , 06:14 PM


Not from Skagway, but I can tell you what I know about it. It's in southeast Alaska and right on the water, so it's temperate (probably around 60 degrees in summer and yes - Alaskans get a ton of sun in the summer!). First off, there's not much to it. Not much to do there, and not really anywhere to go. It's out in the middle of nowhere, really - you can get places by boat, but cars aren't really efficient. On the upside, if you're using it for a work opportunity, you won't *need* to go anywhere. It's a small (I'm guessing ~1000 permanent population), but *very* historic community (think the Klondike Gold Rush).

If you want more info you can call their visitor's center - I just looked it up in The Milepost - (907) 983-2854.

Em

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Yes and No...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 04-13-02 , 06:29 PM


I have been to Alaska a number of times, but Skagway was never on my itinerary. The closest I ever got to Skagway was Juneau--which is the big city in comparison. The times I went, I drove around. Skagway is a cruise ship destination. Alaska is a fabulous place if you love nature. There is so much to see and the fishing is fantastic! The "midnight sun" is also a very unique experience.

I think you should go for it! It would be a great experience.

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GO!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 04-13-02 , 06:35 PM


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Originally posted by sma1213
but I am scared to death!


Sounds like your path is laid out before you... good opportunity.

I lived in a ghost town for about 5 years... only a population of 317 but each one of them had an interesting story... it was like living in a story book.

Anyway, My vote is for you to go and keep yourself open to opportunity.

Bob





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GO FOR IT!!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 04-13-02 , 07:19 PM


If you have the opportunity to go to this place of dreams...go, go, go! You surely will never again have this chance. It awaits you like an open book. You may go with one provision: post everything so that those of us who are mired in our own webs can at least enjoy the experience through you!

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This one is easy
Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 04-13-02 , 07:25 PM


I would do it definetly... sounds to me like a lifetime opportunity

In this day and age it is hard to just pick up and relocate to another whole way of life, even for a few months

Think of the stories that you will have to share about your summer in Alaska..

I would go, no doubt about it.


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Stephanie
Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 04-13-02 , 08:26 PM


Here's what I know. The "season" of Alaska brings with it such a multitude of experiences because of the number of people like yourself who go there for the work. My brother and various college friends for years made their tuition and expenses by going to Alaska, (to various towns along the coast- Skagway & Ketchikan included) to FISH. Some of them signed on as cooks (a girl roommate) and others got jobs in the fisheries. They made a ton of money and actually 3 of them married guys they met.

It is a unique and interesting experience. My friends still talk about those summers (20 years later). GO FOR IT!!!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 04-14-02 , 12:37 AM


Especially since it's temporary, you've just got to go, unless you get a better opportunity elsewhere. It sounds like it would be a nice place to hone your skills, and just think of the stories you'll have to tell!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 04-14-02 , 12:40 AM


If were able to do something like that, and it was offered to me, I'd do it! I'll chime in with a "GO!"



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 04-14-02 , 09:13 AM


I visited Alaska just for fun a year ago for a few weeks in July, and I loved every minute of it and plan to go back some day. It was absolutely the most beautiful land I had ever seen. You definitely should go, just for the opportunity to see the midnight sun, glaciers, whales, bald eagles, moose, sled dogs and all the other great stuff a lot of people never get the opportunity to see. Not to mention that it's great experience for your new career. Definitely do it!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 04-14-02 , 12:04 PM


The experience you'll get from working in a high volume store will last you a lifetime, your resume from working in Alaska and being a GIA grad will be interesting to employers. And you will have fun! Go for it!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 04-14-02 , 01:14 PM


I worked in one of the canneries when I was in high school. I worked at the gut table for a while - all the guts come up to you on the conveyor belt, then you toss the eggs in the middle of the table and sweep the guts into the gutter. It was pleasant. Especially when we did chum - most of the long flat worms were longer than my arms. Not bad for $6.50 an hour, huh?

Em

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 04-14-02 , 01:36 PM


Worms in the fish??

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 04-14-02 , 01:57 PM


Pretty much just the chum (dog) salmon - those were the *worst* and they smelled awful. Reds and silvers were good - they're nice, firm fish with good intact eggs. There weren't enough chinook to put through the reaver though. Oh, and pinks were gross too - very slimy, gross eggs.

Halibut and cod were pretty gross. I "cheeked" halibut for several days - pretty nasty. I had devised a plan for getting maximum cheek meat without having to puncture the eyeballs, but it wasn't good enough. And the cod were really stinky.

Beautiful job. $6.50 an hour/18 hour days/30 minute breaks in a trailer where all of us drank cup after cup of gross coffee, smoked like chimneys (and I'm not even a smoker!), and ate pop-tarts for sustenence. Soaking, freezing, fishy clothes that your mom insists on hosing off before she'll even let you into the garage. 4 a.m. calls - "the fish is in - come work."

Ah, those were the days. Now who wants to go work in the fishing industry??

Em

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 04-14-02 , 02:01 PM


I much prefer the calls at 9 am, "The Diamonds are in, come work"


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 04-14-02 , 02:03 PM


Ok Em, now heres the question... Do you like to order fish for dinner or do you get major flash-backs?

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Ha...ha...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 04-14-02 , 02:20 PM


Onelove, my dear, I don't eat fish period.

Before my stint(s - yes, I did it more than once!) at the cannery, I would eat halibut and tuna provided they were cooked right. Now I will eat no seafood whatsoever. Even the smell of fish turns me off to food.

Em

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 04-14-02 , 02:56 PM


Stephanie,

Go for it! It sounds like it'll be a good adventure!

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A few people I have talked to say it sounds like a great opportunity, but I am scared to death!


To paraphrase Madonna, the more afraid you are, the more you need to do it. I live by this motto, and I never regretted it. Rather, after each challenge, I became stronger, and more self-assured. Carpe diem. Seize the day. Living life fully takes courage and faith. It's not for wimps. ^_~ ^_^


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The crude reality!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 04-14-02 , 11:55 PM


My dear Stephanie,

I don't know Alaska but for the description of EM this seems to be a boring place after a week, I know the nature is beautiful, but after a week you will want something more fun what the hell you will be doing there four months!

If you want to do exactly the same job but in a fun place, this same cruiser lines make the Caribean route and there are many cruisier stops like Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, St Thomas, Bermuda, etc. and there you will find much more jewelry stores that NEED a graduated gemologist "in situ", you can send your curriculum vitae to many of this sites and maybe you will get the same job but in a much more fun place to live.

You love scuba diving and the Caribean is the heaven for scuba diving with all the Tropical fish and warmer water, I rather dive with dolphins than with penguins, no?.



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 04-15-02 , 01:20 AM


Juan, my dear, penguins live on the other pole.

Em

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Leave it to Juan
Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 04-15-02 , 01:28 AM


to find the fun!!! Stephanie his idea sounds like it might work better. And I'd take sun and surf over austere beauty any day. Yes, I know I was one of the first to encourage you to Alaska.

But after reading EM's comments in rebuttal to my story I say "yuck to that". Em, I thought about you sliming away among the chum in your beautiful wedding dress. Kind of demented!!!!

Juan's idea is worth looking into!!

irish

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Irish...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 04-15-02 , 01:42 AM


Oops! I hope I didn't turn off you or anyone else to Alaska!! I have to admit, the cannery was really memorable and it really wasn't that bad. I make it sound disgusting, but the grossness of the situation is actually what made it fun. But there are other jobs in the fisheries too - my brother lived in a cabin on Kodiak Island one summer picking nets and doing actual fishing. The fisheries industry pays well and truly is great to look back on.

Oh, and as for the wedding dress - at the cannery I wore jeans, a tee-shirt, a sweatshirt, a bandanna over my hair, and a big yellow pair of vinyl overalls that I stenciled ducks onto in permanent marker and had a big piece of duct tape on over a rip. Then I wore three pairs of gloves and a pair of vinyl "sleeves." Classy, huh?

Em

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 04-15-02 , 01:54 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by emnightingale
Juan, my dear, penguins live on the other pole.

Em


You see, I told you that I have never been in Alaska, well maybe only Inuits, polar bears and seals?, but you agree my dear that that place is not very fun right?


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