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Old 04-16-2018, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
841 posts, read 610,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
so youíre saying youíd live in Anchorage over somewhere like Wasilla? I already drive 45 minutes to work where I live now and my Corolla is pretty young.
That 45 min drive gets extended in the winter. Al the idiots in jacked up 4x4's still trying to go 70mph and ending up in the ditch really slows down the traffic. And just like the LA freeways when there is an accident on one side of the highway the traffic on the other side slows down to see what happened. So end result is that normal 45 min drive is now 2 hrs.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:59 PM
 
1,777 posts, read 1,169,296 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
Haolejohn, so youíre saying youíd live in Anchorage over somewhere like Wasilla? I already drive 45 minutes to work where I live now and my Corolla is pretty young.
I wouldn't live in the valley and work in Anchorage. That is what I am saying.
I will be moving to the valley this summer (june or july) and our current network of friends is in Anchorage. I commuted from Anchorage to the valley three days last week. No way would I do that daily. No way. Of course I hate driving with traffic.

When I lived in GA, my first school was 15 miles from my house and it took 45 minutes to commute during rush hour. I hated it and if there was an accident, my commute was still 45 minutes to 55 because of alternate routes. There are no alternate routes from Wasilla to Anchorage. The 45 minutes is no traffic commute.

I'm also a math guy. The savings I'd make with renting in the valley vs Anchorage is non existent when you add two hours of commuting and the extra gas costs.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:54 PM
 
19 posts, read 8,145 times
Reputation: 19
Ok that’s helpful. I talked to a friend of a friend who has lived up there since she was born. She recommended Eagle River, Chugiak, and Peters Creek. She also recommended getting a 4wd if I intend to explore. I interview tomorrow so we’ll see what happens after tomorrow.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:25 PM
 
6,070 posts, read 2,495,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
I’ll try and shed some light on a few things. The mechanical supervisor called twice and asked if I was still interested and I said yes. They do interviews this coming Wednesday. I inquired about layoffs and job security and he informed me they haven’t done layoffs in awhile but they’ve lost about 20% of their workforce due to attrition and are struggling to get everything done. They are hiring 3 journeymen mechanics and this is the first position open, so if I took it I’d be 3 up in seniority. He also mentioned a wife of an employee wanted to move back to the lower 48 so one of his employees may leave. And lastly he said when work was very slow they offered people to take voluntary unpaid leave in order to avoid a layoff. I would likely keep my eyes open for a second job, too, until I felt secure there, but I also have an emergency fund. Part of the reason for me wanting to go is because I’m young and able and could recover a lot easier than if I was older and more settled. I don’t know what the future looks like for the economy up there but who knows. Everything could potentially line up perfect and work out well. If not I’ll have a backup plan. I want to be realistic with this though because this is a big decision.
I dont know if I believe that, A BIG part of the reason that they are now profitable is due to lay offs. I would ask what his definition of "a long time ago" is. Pretty sure they did mass lay offs just last year. Alaska is starting to do mass annual lay offs every year now across multiple sectors (except state and federal jobs, federal jobs are especially cushy but you basically need vet pref points to get them).

I have a hard time believing that they achieved profitability through natural attrition and minor furloughs (not to exceed one week of unpaid leave a year).

If you want to do the Alaska thing at all costs make sure you have a massive emergency fund so that if you are laid off (especially if you are caught in a spring lay off, though most lay offs are done during the holidays so they can forgo pay out of bonus etc) but you want to have WAY MORE than enough money to play during the summer and leave and still have a cushy emergency fund once you get home. If you are coming up here for the Alaska experience you want to make sure you leave in the late fall and are not forced to leave in spring or early summer due to finances.

Unfortunatly I think the hiring manager straight up lied to you, either that or "not in a long time" is some time last year which is still dishonest. Not in a long time is like 5-10 years.

In regards to commuting to the valley (or even eagle river for that matter), I only go out a few times a week to visit my parents and it seems like every 3rd time there is some kind of issue that holds me up for a really long time if I leave during the rush 3 hour time frames, some people make it sound like stacked up traffic is rare, but its really not, even in summer some one some how manages to do something dumb and block traffic on a way more frequent basis than I am willing to tolerate. Most of the really bad traffic is between Muldoon and Eagle river, so its all pretty much a wash because most of the boondoggle is going to be right around the ML&P power plant where you will slow to a crawl every 3rd day.

Also as alaska eric says you have to own 2 cars to avoid running up miliage on your nice truck. So now you are doing 2 oil changes, 2 tire change over, 2 registrations, etc etc. By the time you get done with all the screwing around you better really like that slightly bigger yard and slightly newer house.

BTW, wasilla is an absolute crap hole, the trucks are bigger, more of them are lifted without mud flaps, more diesels with nasty fumes and ruder people and the lights were timed by a phyce ward patients, I would say the people are ruder and nastier in wasilla than in anchorage. If you do the valley I would do palmer.

It just sucks that you are getting this rouge offer as an out of state person into an economy that is completely in the crapper so you have nowhere to jump if things go off the rails (no pun lol) other than back out of state again. If this were the mid 90's or early to mid 2000's I would say heck yea, come up lots of jobs. Not so now.

I wonder if they are making an offer to an out of state person to exploit their naivete of the situation because I know for a fact the market is saturated up here across all sorts of skill sets and professions. If I had to wager money I would guess they have inept management and cut just slightly too deep and cant get certain people back after their treachery.

Last edited by pittsflyer; 04-17-2018 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:37 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
5,842 posts, read 6,028,487 times
Reputation: 98277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
Haolejohn, so youíre saying youíd live in Anchorage over somewhere like Wasilla? I already drive 45 minutes to work where I live now and my Corolla is pretty young.
One of the big headaches driving between the valley and Anchorage is when the highway shuts down, and it does many times during the winter, there is no other route to take. Part of the way you could move over to the Old Glenn highway, but it can not even begin to handle the morning and afternoon commute. So your only option is to sit and wait for the highway to reopen.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:13 AM
 
19 posts, read 8,145 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
I dont know if I believe that, A BIG part of the reason that they are now profitable is due to lay offs. I would ask what his definition of "a long time ago" is. Pretty sure they did mass lay offs just last year. Alaska is starting to do mass annual lay offs every year now across multiple sectors (except state and federal jobs, federal jobs are especially cushy but you basically need vet pref points to get them).

I have a hard time believing that they achieved profitability through natural attrition and minor furloughs (not to exceed one week of unpaid leave a year).

If you want to do the Alaska thing at all costs make sure you have a massive emergency fund so that if you are laid off (especially if you are caught in a spring lay off, though most lay offs are done during the holidays so they can forgo pay out of bonus etc) but you want to have WAY MORE than enough money to play during the summer and leave and still have a cushy emergency fund once you get home. If you are coming up here for the Alaska experience you want to make sure you leave in the late fall and are not forced to leave in spring or early summer due to finances.

Unfortunatly I think the hiring manager straight up lied to you, either that or "not in a long time" is some time last year which is still dishonest. Not in a long time is like 5-10 years.

In regards to commuting to the valley (or even eagle river for that matter), I only go out a few times a week to visit my parents and it seems like every 3rd time there is some kind of issue that holds me up for a really long time if I leave during the rush 3 hour time frames, some people make it sound like stacked up traffic is rare, but its really not, even in summer some one some how manages to do something dumb and block traffic on a way more frequent basis than I am willing to tolerate. Most of the really bad traffic is between Muldoon and Eagle river, so its all pretty much a wash because most of the boondoggle is going to be right around the ML&P power plant where you will slow to a crawl every 3rd day.

Also as alaska eric says you have to own 2 cars to avoid running up miliage on your nice truck. So now you are doing 2 oil changes, 2 tire change over, 2 registrations, etc etc. By the time you get done with all the screwing around you better really like that slightly bigger yard and slightly newer house.

BTW, wasilla is an absolute crap hole, the trucks are bigger, more of them are lifted without mud flaps, more diesels with nasty fumes and ruder people and the lights were timed by a phyce ward patients, I would say the people are ruder and nastier in wasilla than in anchorage. If you do the valley I would do palmer.

It just sucks that you are getting this rouge offer as an out of state person into an economy that is completely in the crapper so you have nowhere to jump if things go off the rails (no pun lol) other than back out of state again. If this were the mid 90's or early to mid 2000's I would say heck yea, come up lots of jobs. Not so now.

I wonder if they are making an offer to an out of state person to exploit their naivete of the situation because I know for a fact the market is saturated up here across all sorts of skill sets and professions. If I had to wager money I would guess they have inept management and cut just slightly too deep and cant get certain people back after their treachery.

Those are very valid points. The employee Iíve been talking to about the job (not the mechanical supervisor) is a journeyman mechanic. Heís been there 10 months and informed me the journeyman mechanics have never been laid off. There are about 42 mechanics there and ARR owns 52 locomotives and they are trying to hire 3/4 more guys for the shop. He told me they have a strong union and a good steward, and that because ARR is a state owned business they arenít really affected by job cuts. Basically he said not to worry about layoffs. Itís still definitely my biggest concern being Iím halfway around the world and I know how railroads like to do layoffs when things arenít going their way. With where Iím at now, we havenít had a layoff since Iíve been here (almost 7 years), and even if we did I likely wouldnít be affected because of my seniority.

You mentioned having a massive emergency fund, how big are you talking? 6 months expenses, 12 months?
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
278 posts, read 120,735 times
Reputation: 557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
Those are very valid points. The employee Iíve been talking to about the job (not the mechanical supervisor) is a journeyman mechanic. Heís been there 10 months and informed me the journeyman mechanics have never been laid off. There are about 42 mechanics there and ARR owns 52 locomotives and they are trying to hire 3/4 more guys for the shop. He told me they have a strong union and a good steward, and that because ARR is a state owned business they arenít really affected by job cuts. Basically he said not to worry about layoffs. Itís still definitely my biggest concern being Iím halfway around the world and I know how railroads like to do layoffs when things arenít going their way. With where Iím at now, we havenít had a layoff since Iíve been here (almost 7 years), and even if we did I likely wouldnít be affected because of my seniority.

You mentioned having a massive emergency fund, how big are you talking? 6 months expenses, 12 months?

Keep in mind that pittsflyer is our resident pessimist. He also has a different view on many things then most of us. I'd keep enough money tucked away to get you by for a few months while you look for another job or move back south for another job if it comes to that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:39 AM
 
1,777 posts, read 1,169,296 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northrick View Post
Keep in mind that pittsflyer is our resident pessimist. He also has a different view on many things then most of us. I'd keep enough money tucked away to get you by for a few months while you look for another job or move back south for another job if it comes to that.
Exactly. Our emergency fund has two parts. One part is the stay in Alaska part (6 months of living expenses) and the other part is get out of Alaska, and that is 5 plane tickets.

Our two funds are two separate accounts. The only way we'd leave the state would be in a catastrophic event scenario.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
841 posts, read 610,273 times
Reputation: 911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northrick View Post
Keep in mind that pittsflyer is our resident pessimist. He also has a different view on many things then most of us. I'd keep enough money tucked away to get you by for a few months while you look for another job or move back south for another job if it comes to that.
Ditto on pittsflyer!
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:27 PM
 
6,070 posts, read 2,495,091 times
Reputation: 3876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab4you26 View Post
Those are very valid points. The employee Iíve been talking to about the job (not the mechanical supervisor) is a journeyman mechanic. Heís been there 10 months and informed me the journeyman mechanics have never been laid off. There are about 42 mechanics there and ARR owns 52 locomotives and they are trying to hire 3/4 more guys for the shop. He told me they have a strong union and a good steward, and that because ARR is a state owned business they arenít really affected by job cuts. Basically he said not to worry about layoffs. Itís still definitely my biggest concern being Iím halfway around the world and I know how railroads like to do layoffs when things arenít going their way. With where Iím at now, we havenít had a layoff since Iíve been here (almost 7 years), and even if we did I likely wouldnít be affected because of my seniority.

You mentioned having a massive emergency fund, how big are you talking? 6 months expenses, 12 months?
I had about 12 months saved when I was laid off late January from oil and gas. I am feeling like 12 months is the minimum. It took me over a year to find my first job out of college and its starting to feel like that same situation all over again. My almost 13 years of engineering experience does not seem to be buying me much right now plus the top tier degree and I now have a professional license.

The union is a big plus, I would ask to review the contract and the details of the lay off pecking order. My understanding is that unions have had to make a lot of concessions and now they have what is called "bumping rights" so if the ax falls its a mad scramble by more senior union members to start looking for positions they are minimally qualified for so they can bump a less senior person out and still keep A job, A job is better than no job in this economy, especially if they have kids in school, own a house, have aging parents here etc etc. A lot of people cant just up and move because the company decided to treat them like an inanimate commodity.

So if you have 12 months minimum of emergency fund (to include one summers worth of play time, fishing, flight seeing, whatever) AND a stable place to return to in the lower 48 where you can comfortably look for new work without a risk of becoming homeless then I say go for it.
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