Well, it’s literally my third day on the job and they’ve already got me flying off to Denver to get my head checked. The NSF (National Science Foundation) requires that all winterovers undergo a psychological evaluation and apparently there is only one pshychiatrist’s office in the whole world that is authorized to do these. That means a really quick trip for me and my counterpart Erik; fly in Wednesday, take the test and fly out Thursday.
The test itself consistsed of two multiple choice questionaires and a brief in-person interview. The multiple choice sections were notable for their mind-numbing length (~500 questions total) and their occasionally bizzare questions. Some of my favorites: “Do you think you’d like being a librarian?”, “do you feel you have evil spirits inside of you?”, “do you sometimes feel someone else controls your actions?”, “If you were a journalist would you rather cover theater or sports?”, and the ever-popular “I certainly feel uselss at times”.
After that it was into an office with a psychiatrist where I was asked a standard set of questions. Mostly things like “do you get along with your familiy?”, “how do you manage stress?”, but there were a few oddballs; for example, “what do you look like when you’re angry” (I actually tried to make my angry face), and “have you ever had illegal sex?” (wouldn’t you like to know). It was all over in less than 10 minutes.
While we were waiting for the in-person interviews I had a chance to meet some of my fellow winterovers-to-be (assuming I pass the psych eval!). These guys will be running a NOAA station down at the pole and one of them just got done with a posting in American Samoa; quite the change in scenery!
Once the interveiew was done all I had to do was grab some very delicious fruit candies that were in bowls scattered throughout the office and head back to the airport.