Been Gone Too Long

Back in November, I accepted a semester long job teaching in a very small bush community, north of the arctic circle, in Alaska. What I didn’t realize when I accepted the job was the lack of communication options that existed.

I had my cell phone but cell phone service sucked. It was not unusual to either have no signal or have the signal dropped multiple times in a single call and then it could take a few minutes to get through. It was also not unusual for people to call me and get my voice mail.

Add in the fact the building I worked in had lousy reception and my room had absolutely none in this 50 year old building. In order to get a clear signal, I had to either go to the front or back entry ways.

Furthermore, the cost of installing internet was rediculous. It would have cost $500 for the installation fee and I think I determined it would have been $1000 for the installation fee, equipment, and maybe part of the first month of service. I wasn’t willing to spend it so I relied on my work internet. Since I worked at a school, there were all sorts of firewalls and such set up so I couldn’t get any of the sites I liked during the day and some not at all. Furthermore, the school internet was noted for messing up when needed so it wasn’t the most reliable even after hours.

In addition, postal service and such was horrible. It could take up to two months to have anything you shipped via the post office to arrive. Furthermore, the post office was so small, none of the teachers, nor the school could get a post office box. In fact, they didn’t have enough post office boxes for the towns people. The post office would call over to the school if there was mail to pick up because it was about the same size as a single wide.

Then add in trying to get Amazon to you. For most people, it takes a few days, maybe a week but out there it could take 2 to 3 months to arrive. When you ordered, the date automatically changed because it took that long to get out there sometimes. Amazon would ship everything but it got as far as the hub and was delivered to the freight airline. At that point, Amazon showed it as delivered. The airline would eventually bring it out and drop it at the airport. The school would get a call to come pick it up and hopefully someone could get there immediately.

Honestly, it was too hard trying to keep up with writing for Medium with all the quirky issues but since I’m back in town, I’m back to writing. Hopefully, I won’t take another job that has such lousy communication abilities. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.




I am a bit of technology geek who likes to write. I can be found at or

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Lee Mac Arthur

Lee Mac Arthur

I am a bit of technology geek who likes to write. I can be found at or

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