Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Job Opportunity

OK folks. Just had a wee bit of excitement this afternoon. Was offered a chance to apply for an internship at a gold mine in Nunavut. For those who are unfamiliar with Canada’s geography, take a look at the map below: the green arrow is about 2500 km from home. Well, from Montreal actually. I’d have to get to Montreal to catch the charter flight to the mine.

2500 from Montreal as the crow flies

I must admit that it’s flattering that the college suggested that I’d be a candidate for the gig, considering I haven’t completed the program.

I called Reiner at work to give him the news. His initial response was, nah.

Myself, well, at first, I was torn. If I applied, I’d probably get the job. Know why I think so? Well, the job starts September 1st. As in two and a half weeks from today. I think someone left the job of replacing the incumbents to the last-minute.

And then what? I’d have to gear up for very cold weather. The contract is “4 – 6 months.” Over Christmas,and into February. Brrr.

The job is on a two-week fly in/fly out rotation. Which I think would be manageable.

The kicker is that 90% of the job would be conducted out-of-doors.

OUT of doors. As in OUTside. On the cold side of the doors.

Yeah, I don’t think so.

I’ve been a desk jockey too long.

This whole mining thing? I wonder about it, ya know?

Categories: Work, work, work

67 replies

  1. Although it sounds fun, I would probably have none of it.

    (Two drums and a cymbal just fell off* the cliff.)

    *Edited Saturday August 15. No charge, Noah. It’s the least I can do for not getting your joke.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Whoah… that will be tough job to fill!


  3. Are you kidding? Surrender to your inner Farley Mowat and GO!!! Who cares if it’s gold mining. It’s an adventure! OK it’s not the Yukon but I still thought of this poem:

    The Spell of the Yukon
    By Robert W. Service
    I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
    I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
    Was it famine or scurvy—I fought it;
    I hurled my youth into a grave.
    I wanted the gold, and I got it— 
    Came out with a fortune last fall,—
    Yet somehow life’s not what I thought it,
    And somehow the gold isn’t all.

    No! There’s the land. (Have you seen it?)
    It’s the cussedest land that I know,
    From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
    To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
    Some say God was tired when He made it;
    Some say it’s a fine land to shun;
    Maybe; but there’s some as would trade it
    For no land on earth—and I’m one.

    You come to get rich (damned good reason);
    You feel like an exile at first;
    You hate it like hell for a season,
    And then you are worse than the worst.
    It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
    It twists you from foe to a friend;
    It seems it’s been since the beginning;
    It seems it will be to the end.

    I’ve stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
    That’s plumb-full of hush to the brim;
    I’ve watched the big, husky sun wallow
    In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
    Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
    And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
    And I’ve thought that I surely was dreaming,
    With the peace o’ the world piled on top.

    The summer—no sweeter was ever;
    The sunshiny woods all athrill;
    The grayling aleap in the river,
    The bighorn asleep on the hill.
    The strong life that never knows harness;
    The wilds where the caribou call;
    The freshness, the freedom, the farness—
    O God! how I’m stuck on it all.

    The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
    The white land locked tight as a drum,
    The cold fear that follows and finds you,
    The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
    The snows that are older than history,
    The woods where the weird shadows slant;
    The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
    I’ve bade ’em good-by—but I can’t.

    There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
    And the rivers all run God knows where;
    There are lives that are erring and aimless,
    And deaths that just hang by a hair;
    There are hardships that nobody reckons;
    There are valleys unpeopled and still;
    There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
    And I want to go back—and I will.

    They’re making my money diminish;
    I’m sick of the taste of champagne.
    Thank God! when I’m skinned to a finish
    I’ll pike to the Yukon again.
    I’ll fight—and you bet it’s no sham-fight;
    It’s hell!—but I’ve been there before;
    And it’s better than this by a damsite—
    So me for the Yukon once more.

    There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;
    It’s luring me on as of old;
    Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
    So much as just finding the gold.
    It’s the great, big, broad land ’way up yonder,
    It’s the forests where silence has lease;
    It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
    It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL – the land is one of the main reasons I’d want to go… to see the arctic, what wildlife there might be to see… except, of course, there would be NOTHING TO SEE since it would be DARK (Land of the Midnight Sun and all that)

      “I hurled my youth into a grave” – I scanned the poem after that line, I must confess. 😉


  4. LOVED that line – on the cold side of the doors 😀 bwahahahahahaha!!

    I seriously considered a contract job in Nunavet a couple of years ago – except on the warm side of the doors. Gilles must have been annoyed with me at the time because he said it was ok with him :/
    I decided I couldn’t leave Theo 😉


  5. I hate it when a dream arrives and my brain decides to be practical about it. Sigh.
    I make no judgements on your judgement call as I can’t imagine what working outside in winter in Canada would be like anyway. I’m like “Ooh! Snow!” whereas you’re probably “Oh. Snow.”


  6. Of course it’s flattering: regardless of anything else, they must consider you able to do it, Maggie.
    But by all the gods you’d need to be M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E-D !!!!
    And you’re only slightly motivated, and that because of the compliment. [grin]


  7. Congratulations on being given the opportunity! Regardless of whether or not you choose the job, it sounds like an honor to be considered. I’m way too cold-natured. 🙂


  8. Only if they paid me the big bucks.


  9. If we were younger, we’d take it in a minute.


  10. I would do it in a flash. I love the Arctic. My major course of study in college was periglacial geomorphology: arctic landforms. I can tell you all about pingos and thermokarst. Being a Minnesotan, the cold doesn’t bother me either.


  11. You are kidding me…GO!!!! What a chance, you will have so much fun. Did I tell you to go???? GO!! Seriously. I am never jealous, but right now I envy you! What a great opportunity. There is enough time to be a desk-jockey…GO!!!! (I think I mentioned “go” now) 🙂


  12. How cool is that, Maggie!!? 4-6 months–it’d be over in no time! Think about it a bit more–no matter how you got it, you got the job!
    What I cannot believe is you didn’t get Noah’s ‘none of it’ joke. Slipping, girl, slipping…


  13. I’d imagine it would be good money, adventure and experience, for you. Two weeks at a time sounds okay. But outside in the cold … nothing can make that sound good!


  14. Q1. How interested are you in mining?
    Q2. Would you see it as an adventure or an endurance test?

    The answer to Q2 probably depends on the answer to Q1.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Perfect tool to help me decide, thanks Helen!

      Actually, there is a question to include in the list, that should precede #1 – How interested am I in working? These days I’m more in retirement mode than employment mode.

      I am interested in working, for the occupation, engagement, and satisfaction it might offer.I am interested in mining because that is the field of study that occupies me at the moment. Why not? (You will note an ambivalence to that “why not?”)

      To answer the third question: I expect that the experience would rapidly devolve from an adventure to an extreme endurance test. For this old girl, anyway.

      Nope, thanks for the offer, but: pass.


  15. Let me amen Reiner: Nah. Cold is cold. But it’s certainly nice to be asked, isn’t it?


  16. I don’t know, Maggie. This may be one of those golden tickets wrapped in an unappetizing wrapper. You won’t know unless you go. If you don’t go, will you be kicking yourself on Sept. 2? Just askin.


    • Hi Amanda. Oh, I understand what you mean. I am drawn to the adventure factor, no question.

      I think I would end up kicking myself for taking the job, there are too many physical factors for which I am not equipped. I am tall, overweight, I have a wonky hip, I need glasses. Part of this job will involve “sampling” – collecting rock samples. That is, bending and digging and hauling. Which is something I do as a hobby every now and again, when I might spend two or three hours max poking and sifting through the dirt, on my butt, nice and leisurely.

      This job requires working in the dark, in the cold. Wearing protective eye-wear over my glasses, and wearing winter clothing. I’d be out of doors for 90% of an 8 hour shift.

      If nothing else, this opportunity has helped me clarify my thoughts on what kind of work I will pursue. I always figured it would be an admin/office job.


  17. I don’t blame you – the cold and I are not friends. Of course, now that I’m in menopause, the heat and I are not friends either. I’m screwed.


  18. Sounds more like an outtern than an intern. Only if you really, really want it.


  19. Shall be interested to hear your final decision. What an opportunity, though they would have to pay enough to get equipped with proper thermal clothing!
    congratulations Maggie for being offered the opportunity. 🙂


  20. First, thank you, Noah Weiss. On phone, so can’t Like the comment 😦

    Next, so grateful to Martha K. for including the Robert Service poem. Can’t believe I was so thick that I never before noticed the identical scheme, and pretty much same theme, as was used by Kipling. Whose verse I loved as a child; I had never understood when older why some made disparaging remarks about it.

    Thanks to Martha, I get it now! Service’s poem can too easily be seen read by a an older, heavyset, white-haired, heavily-mustached, khaki-uniformed, eye-patched, cane-leaning British man–monocle optional–who reads the entire piece as autobiographical, speaking all the while with an slightly outthrust lower jaw through tightly-gritted teeth.

    In other words, a most manly man. (I be laughing.) Sadly, I can now hear my Kipling pieces like this, too, and understand why others pooh-pooh them.

    Congratulations, Maggie, on two coups: 1) That the program folk consider you competent to handle the academic/geological demands of the outternship; 2) That they consider you, despite your summer chicken vintage, equally competent to handle its physical demands.

    The former speaks to your obvious intelligence and the attentiveness and vigor you appear to apply to every one of your pursuits (other than housework, per you 😉 )

    The latter speaks to the fact that you haven’t sat on your dupa and done nada, but are in shape and look and move younger than (others) your years.

    Or, possibly, to the fact that it’s cold as h#ll up there, the nights are most definitely long, and you are way cute, girl. You claim a few extra pounds–though they didn’t show in the photo of you on the porch with feet up–could be someone’s looking to stay warm in Nunevik the old way 🙂


    • You are a delight. Thanks for a swell read!

      But I must point out that the words Maggie and vigor cannot be used in the same sentence when describing her physical attributes. For I have indeed sat upon my dupa pretty much the entire summer (summer chicken, indeed! that’s a cracker!). How else did I come up with all of these blog posts?


  21. Dang it. Like tuna shoot, right? Nuna-vut.


  22. Well done on the offer, Maggie. You’re good!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lots of layered jackets with lots of pockets and a gold mine. Hmmmmm couldn’t a year-round deluxe hut in the South Seas be waiting at the end of the freezing 6-month “specimen collection” ? 🙂

    Saw your comment at Holly’s. Email me if you want to “talk”. I don’t want to post about it -at least now, but I am here if you need an ear or conversation. It’s something I’ll be trying to sort out for months to come. Take care.

    BTW I realized yesterday I haven’t seen 3 “regulars” scroll through my Reader for over a week. That seemed unusual … Checked my “follow list” and all 3 had mysteriously disappeared from my list, and yours is one of them!!! I’ve also had comments from regulars suddenly going to “spam”. Not sure what gremlins are at work at WP, but I’m a tad pissed!

    Will go back and catch up on your posts. Yeesh!


  24. What…2 weeks in 2 weeks out on a rotation basis…why not try it out…you don’t have to stay forever!! Bring your mukluks. Kodiak insulated boots. An excellent hooded parka and toasty mitts and experience the adventure. Reiner is a big boy, he can let you go

    I know this is out of your comfort zone, Mag, however, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Do it before you become too old. Damn it…just do it. If then it doesn’t work out so be it.

    How fortunate to be offered this…!!!!!


  25. I like Winter, but yours are too cold, even for me! Staying deskside sounds lovely!


  26. “OUT doors… On the cold side of the doors” LOL You are hilarious!!! 😀
    Congrats either way and thanks for the laugh! 😉



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