Running Antarctica’s “Penguin Post Office” — The Coolest Job Ever

For a lot of people, their dream job involves looking forward to a daily variety of tasks, a tight-knit group of colleagues, and the knowledge that no matter how difficult things get, there’s an end to how long you’ll be doing them. For Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett and Lucy Bruzzone, that means working at the “penguin post office” in Port Lockroy in Antartica. The jobs there are so coveted that over 6,000 applications were received for the four positions this year. That's amazing enough on its own, but even more amazing when you consider that there’s no running water or flushing toilets and showering is done on passing ships. There’s no WiFi, there's constant daylight, subzero temperatures, and a dizzying array of tasks that includes monitoring 1,500 Gentoo penguins. The good news is that the four employees only have to do the job for five months. Between November and March in the austral summer of 2022-2023, the four women will be living the Antarctic dream at one of the most popular tourist attractions on the coldest continent in the world. The four positions are postmaster, wildlife monitor, gift shop manager, and base leader. Once the selection is narrowed down to 12 candidates, they’re brought together in person for a day of interviews, tests, presentations, and group activities — after all, if you’re asking four people to live together using the bathroom in a bucket for five months, you want to make sure they’re likely to get along before you ship them off. The four successful candidates this year will meet up at Port Lockroy in November and begin counting nests and sorting mail right away. In addition to the toils of their labor, the women will get to spend time watching whales and non-penguin seabirds, talking to visitors from every continent, taking in glaciers and the breathtaking Fief Mountains and really getting to know their co-workers. Good luck, ladies!