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Kunne du tænke dig at arbejde som slædehundeguide på Island, så læs nedenstående og overvej at sende en ansøgning til Denis, bare rolig han er dansker, så det kan godt gøres på dansk. Teksten er sakset direkte fra Denis hjemmeside, så du kan se meget mere på www.dogsledding.is her kan man desuden læse at firmaet er blevet sat til salg, hvis man har modet på at prøve det.

 

Work for Dog Steam tours

We hire staff under au pair like terms.

Thanks for your interest in working with our dog sled tours, here is a description of the work and the terms we can offer. Our company (Dog Steam Tours) is a still a new company, only about four years old. We have a lot of experience in working with sled dogs, but the experience in tourist work has only been four seasons. Therefore, the plans and ideas we describe here may change to match the requirements from the tourist industry, and the weather has great influence on this as well. If this happens, it could have influence on tour areas, working hours and other routines. It could mean that we have to hire extra staff or discharge staff before we have calculated.

The short dog sled tour we are offering is about 1 hour. During the tour, the tourists are sitting on the sled, while we ski next to the sled and hold on to it. This way we get most of our glide from the dogs, but we can easily give the sled a push to help the dogs up slopes and over rocks. Also the dogs don’t have our full weight to pull on top of the tourist’s weight.

The summer season is from May to August. In the summer we are at a glacier called Mýrdallsjökull, 160 kilometres East of Reykjavik. In the summer we live on the glacier. We pull some old campers up onto the glacier and reside in those. The dogs stand in chains when tours are not running. In summer we need 4-5 persons on staff at the same time.

The winter season is starting in December, and continues until the summer season begins in May. In winter we only need 2 or 3 staff members at a time. It takes too long a time to drive to and from the tour area daily, therefore most of the nights will be spent in a rebuilt van in the tour area.

The autumn season starts at the beginning of September and continues until we get snow in December. This season is primarily a dog handler’s job because we don’t do dogsledding this time of year. During this season we are training the dogs in front of trailers and only recently, have been offering these tours to tourists. In the autumn we need only one staff member.

Properly speaking it is wrong to call this a job- it’s more a lifestyle. Every day of the week there is something to do, and there is no difference between weekends and weekdays. Most of the work is during the day, but very often there will be something to do in the evening and night as well. There’s the risk we may have to break up a dogfight in the night, and in the worst-case scenario, we may have to sew up a dog as well. Most of the transportation to and from the tour areas is late at night or early morning. All 7 days of the week there is dog work to do (cleaning out the kennels and feeding the dogs). The work also includes maintenance on equipment and gear. A day off is something we try to arrange when we don't have any customers for a tour, or other urgent jobs waiting. Often a day off is something that is decided the day before.
In short, if you need a 9-5 working day, and 2 scheduled days off a week, this wouldn’t be a job for you.

I, myself, have a lot of office work, maintenance on snow scooters and cars, and I have to take care of getting supplies to the glacier as well. That means I will almost never participate in the daily work around the dogs. So far I have done this job for 14 years, and I properly have to continue for the next 30 years as well. For that reason I try to avoid the daily routines if possible, so I don’t lose the spirit for it. I’m writing this now so no one working here will blame me later.

It is challenging work. The romantic dogsled dream with blue skies and fluffy dogs has sometimes been stronger than my words in the minds of new staff members. Will it still be romantic after you have had the first 50 tours or after you have cleaned out kennels 14 days in a row? And maybe it is raining and windy as well.

The staff work here under au pair like terms, we offer a place to stay, food and pocket money. There's not much money in this, but on the other hand where can you try out a special job that would normally require a lot of experience? Because of this we prefer not to have anyone here for less than 3 months, as we have to train you before we can use you. Shorter stays can be arranged, but we do set certain demands, such as ski experience.

Now I have described all the negative points so no one should get a negative surprise by the work. If you are a wild man (or woman) who likes nature, dogs, al1 types of weather and can accept a working lifestyle, then you will have a fantastic and unforgettable experience.

We aren't especially interested in looking at school papers; we would rather hear something about your skills and experience. Things we are especially interested in are listed below:

- We want staff that can think on their own and take initiative. I don’t see myself as the boss, I rather see myself as an experienced colleague, however of course I draw the longest straw if we disagree about something. If I’m not present, I expect that you will think and deal the way that would be best for the company, even if it isn’t always the easiest way out. We have experienced that responsibility is often something that works best for people who have worked in a full time job before, however this isn't a necessary demand.

- Skiing experience. You can easily work the first month without learning anything about controlling the dogs, if you have to learn how to use skis first. Therefore we would prefer skiing experience. However other forms of sport can also provide a good balance, making it easier to learn skiing.

- Driver’s license. This is necessary to drive a snow scooter. And in the winter we drive the dogs to and from the tour area in jeeps with trailers. Obviously we give first priority to those with driving experience.

- Languages. The primary language we use for tourists is English, so it is necessary that you speak this well.

- The European Economic Area (EEA). Citizens living outside the EEA need a special permit to work in Iceland. It makes a lot of extra work and responsibility for us. Therefore we prefer to get staff from an EEA country. EEA countries included: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Austria.

If you can’t put yourself in respect over the dogs, this wouldn’t be a place for you to work. We have about 30 Greenland sled dogs, the weight is between 35 and 55 kilos. If they fight, they do it to kill. You have to break up a fight without hesitating, and by every means. The Greenland sled dog is no doubt the toughest dog that exists however, it is also the most affectionate dog I have ever seen. The dogs love a good scratch behind the ear. They will be your friends for life, if you understand to show them the same affection as they show you. I have been bitten by a dog about 6-7 times in the many years I have been working with dogs, and always by accident never on purpose.

Your personal appearance has to be acceptable in the eyes of everybody. T-shirts with, for example, political slogans that can affect the mood of our customers, aren't acceptable.
Personally We don’t care if you have a strange length/color of hair or a piercing, however it is not acceptable while you work with our customers. As well, don’t show up in camouflage clothing or military outfits.

We do not tolerate illegal drugs or anything like that. One mistake in this direction, and you are out of here. We have the same rule for people who can’t handle alcohol on an acceptable level.

We do not hire both parts in a couple at the same time. It can be tough to lose a staff member when we are busy, so we will not risk losing two at the same time. It is a greater risk if we have couples working here (if one is unhappy with the work, both might leave).
We also have an age limit. We don’t hire people older than 35 years old.  It is of course a bit stiff to say that people are too old at this age, but we have a better chance to hire people in good health conditions by having this rule. The average age of our staff is about 22-23 years old, and by having this age limit we also ensure the generation gap isn’t too big, especially under the close conditions we live in.

If you are still interested in the job after reading this, we would like to get an email from you. Write something about yourself and give some comments on the things you have just read. We would like to hear when and for how long a time you are able to stay here as well.

 

Copyright Thomas Holgaard Pedersen