Thanks for being here! The six of us at CoolWorks welcome you and wish you success in finding your Jobs in Great Places®!

I thought it would be nice if the returning employees could educate the new employees on the TOP do's and dont's. 

I'll Start:

Do recreate:  Experience your surroundings, it's up to you to have a great summer, take advantage of the beautiful state of Alaska. 

Don't expect it to be okay to be late for work.  Your boss is not your mother; so bring an alarm clock, and be on time!

Views: 589

Replies to This Discussion


I couldnt agree with you more...

ther are so many oppurtunities to get out there and enjoy all that ak has to offer... from the many excursions that are available to employees at discounted rates, talkeetna which is a small village with shopping and dinning and the areas right around the lodge...

also, there is no excuse for being late, we live and work in the same place- being late is never acceptable at any job!

Take advantage of the shuttles to anchorage- they dont last all season... also take advantage of any special trips offered... last season there were a few trips to byers lake- excellent hiking and canoeing opportunities, as well as a trip to the copper princess lodge...

Just wanted to let you know there will not be a Copper trip this season.

One the BIGGEST things is you are here to work! Work always comes first, be on time and prepared to start the day. I will be honest you are expected to work hard they don't hire people to do nothing. Which mean enjoy your days off. If you are lucky and get two days off sleep while you can, and plan ahead to do sometime off property. I don't suggest doing this every day off you will be tired and need to sleep and relax sometimes. 

Going to Talkeetna is a lot of fun and we are lucky they provide rides for free. Respect that. I can't believe how many times I road the bus to TKA and dealt with team members not acting properly. No one especially guests want to hear your potty mouth, dress appropriately, if you eat on the bus leave no mess or garbage behind, and at the end of the night try not to rely on the last shuttle to get you back to property.They are sometimes very very full and guests come first and you will be left behind. No one wants that. 

Respect the laundry gods! It is really not nice to stop someone laundry before it is finished, wait your turn. If someones laundry is still in the dryer and obviously not dry, be nice and turn it on again.  There are 16 washer and dryer sets on the Park and 14 sets on the bench. Try not to move from your own building but sometimes it has to happen. If you do a load a week and keep up with it you won't take up a huge amount of laundry time AND you decrease your chances of nasty spiders making a home  in your laundry pile. :)

 For the ladies! Make sure you have all your feminine needs covered for at least 2 months on the Walmart/Fredmeyers stop right after the airport. You don't know the next time you will get to town again.

I am soo very excited to get up there and I am sure I will think of more.

Good stuff Ryan, it made me think of more. 

That Walmart stop; who knows when the next time you will get to go for supplies of any kind will be; stock up on hygiene one wants to deal with a smelly roommate.  A little air freshener goes a long way too. 

Respect others space, your roommate may have a more taxing job than you, if they need additional rest, respect that.  Also there are several public areas for the employees to enjoy in their free time; just be sure to respect the space and leave it better than you found it.

Ryan had a great point with Laundry; I just want to remind everyone; laundry soap is provided for your use, so no need to buy any on your way up, unless you like something special. 

Very good points Ryan. I would like to expand on the subject of the Talkeetna shuttles. Last year I had to refuse employees access to the coach due to being intoxicated. There is nothing wrong with having a good time and blowing off steam. However, do it BEFORE you get to the shuttle stop. Guests board first, THEN, if there is room, you will be allowed to board and you must proceed to the rear of the coach. Also, don't think if you create problems, your manager will not find out. Hold on to that dream, because they will. You can't out run the radio..... As a driver guide, there is nothing more embarrassing, than trying to explan points of interests to guests. Only to be interrupted by half tanked employees in the rear of the coach. The guests have paid thousands of dollars to enjoy Alaska, for some it is the chance of a lifetime. Many have worked and saved all their lives just for the opportunity to visit for a few days. Don't ruin their experience because you can't hold your liquor. If you see a manager and a member of security waiting at the curb when the coach arrives. Keep in mind they are not the meet and greet committee, they are there to greet YOU.  Ryan touched on another subject, if you eat on the coach, pick up after yourself. There is always trash bags available for you to drop garbage off on your way out. Enjoy your time off. However, do it responsibly.

Very good points there Mr. Van Horn, I will also add that we in the past we have stopped shuttle service to Talkeetna for employees. The TKA shuttle is not a right and you must understand that, we have it first and foremost for our guests. I can not stress the importance on acting accordingly on the shuttle. One person can ruin it for all employees.

Ooh.  I am just loving all of these comments from our experienced team members!  Thanks, everyone for your input.  My pointers would be:

1 On the Walmart run, do not forget to buy hand soap.  It is the one thing that most people seem to forget about purchasing, but you will want to wash your hands often during the summer, and it is not supplied in your housing rooms.

2 Get to know people outside of your department as well as within your department.  This helps to create a better team mentality and it makes people more willing to help each other out from one department to the next.  Plus, you'll have more friends!

3 Take advantage of employee activities in your off time.  There will be multiple activities during the week ranging from movies to games to outdoor activities.  They are a lot of fun and they are an excellent way to meet people from other departments.

4 Do eat breakfast before your shift if you are on day shift.  It might seem like a good idea to sleep in a few more minutes, but trust me, you will be happier and better able to do your job if you are well fed.  Plus, nobody likes working with the cranky complainer who needs a meal.

They now call that being Hangry. Its so true, you well be very sad and cranky all day, you work hard and burn lots of energy up there. If you are someone who is just not a morning person. Buy breakfast/granola/health bar before you get there. I keep them in stock for the mornings you over slept a smidge or just don't feel like walking down to breakfast. Those don't work everyday and trust me you need real food and you have already paid for this meal and you just need to walk to it. 

I was reading some of Rick's past suggestions and he had a great point in regards to roommates. 

Don't judge a book by it's cover; or don't decide you hate your new roommate the first time you meet them just because they aren't as cheery as you.  They may have just traveled 20 or more hours to get to Alaska, and all they want is food, and a clean bed.  Give it some time to get to know them before you decide they don't gel with your personality.  There have been many incidents where people actually moved into a different situation just to find the one they were in was actually better. So just give it time. 

Don't over-pack; then of course don't under-pack either.  I have seen both extremes and neither one is good.  You will be in uniform a good portion of the day, and we won't need every article of clothing we own.  I might suggest bringing a few items to make your room feel like home; you will be living here for 5 months.   It's sad to see all the overflowing dumpsters as everyone is madly trying to get bags packed at the end of the season.  Remember you will accumulate more stuff too. 

Laundry Soap!!!! OK here is the deal on the soap. It is kind hard on dark clothing, and if you are sensitiveor have allergies you need to take precautions. Some people have no issues and use it for general washing but if you bring any nice clothing (Topher :) ) you might want to grab a bottle of soap you trust. You should only need one maybe two bottles for your summer. You are in charge of your own fabric softeners/dryer sheets and bleach. Your bedding will be white, Team Housing will be able to tell if you haven't washed your sheets all summer and can charge you for ruining them. That said, Wash your darn sheets, its just nasty not to and the make your room smell funky and that is rude. 

Sunscreen and bug spray are very nice to have. I can hear it already, sun screen in Alaska? Yes, I got burnt a few times and it can ruin your day (miss going horse back riding!). The summers in AK have long days, close to 24 hours of daylight,, which means the sun, when its not raining, its out for a good part of the day. You may find yourself on a hike or playing football in the Park, losing track of time = sunburn. Be prepared. The Mosquito is called the Alaska state bird. you are warned...

If you are at all prone to catching colds pick up your favorite cold medicine at Walmart. I won't promise your going to need to use it but you are better safe then sorry. Living and working together means we share more then just tongs at the salad bar, once one person gets sick it can sweep through housing pretty fast, If you wash your hands and stay fairly healthy you might get skipped. The gift shop does carry some medicines but most likely by the time you are sick and need them, they will be sold out. Not to mention it is a pretty penny buying cold supplies at the local store and sometimes are only offered in travel sizes for the price of a normal bottle at Walmart. A bottle of ibuprofen, benadryl, and any other basics are nice to have on hand as well.

I also suggest if you are a light sleeper to pick up an eye mask and a package of ear plugs. You will have black out curtains in all housing rooms but it can still sneak through the cracks, and you will have a roommate who might stay up/come home later then you or get up earlier for work. Its better to just be prepared for that. 


Here is the deal on spiders, and rodents; They do exist in Alaska, and if you keep your room clean they won't be much of a problem.  They like messy rooms....A LOT!  and rodents will sometimes be found in rooms as well.   I know of a situation where an employee got a nasty spider bite, and was unable to go to work.   They instead had to make multiple trips to a Dr.  Not very fun.  Don't let a spider ruin your entire summer....keep your room tidy :)

Great ideas, everyone!!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.  Getting the information from those who live it makes a huge difference,  The best advice I have is to make smart decisions.  It's kind of a broad statement, but it summarizes everything.  Coming to Alaska is an experience...for some it's the first time they are away from home...for others it's an opportunity for a fresh start...and others it's to fulfill a dream.  Regardless, it is important to remember that you are responsibloe for yourself, so make smart choices. 


A social network for those who want to compare and share their work and life experiences in great places.

CoolWorks Links

CoolWorks Journals

Real People, Real Stories

 Get inspired by the CoolWorks Journals.

Have a story to tell? We'd love to hear about it and perhaps feature it on the blog.

Email to get started.

CoolWorks Gear

CoolWorks Kids come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and creeds. There’s one thing that unifies us all together – we’ve made the decision to buck the norm, to live for now, and pursue a lifestyle full of experience and adventures.

Now you can find your tribe and make yourself known with our Made in the USA CoolWorks gear! You’ll know just which kindred spirit to saddle up next to at the Brewpub for some great stories.

Visit the CoolWorks Mercantile!

© 2019   Created by CoolWorks®.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service