How many kayaks can you fit in a cabin?

Janet ploughs through work at Quark – just like a nuclear ice-breaker

I feel like over the last few weeks I’ve been juggling lots of pieces of work, and that, each time I complete work for presentation in time for a deadline, this work completion generates multiple questions and potential leads – and so lots more work!  Winter is slowly receding in Toronto (giving way to, well, rain – I’m not sure which is worse) and in a similar way my projects feel like they are moving forward with some sort of self-propelled determination…

Things are going well.  I am currently sitting in my cubicle (just like I imagined a North American office to have!) and my walls are covered in teeny tiny annotated pictures of ships that operate in polar waters.  I’ve learnt to understand the ratings of a ship’s ice class and the various ways in which you can strengthen a ship’s hull against icebergs (pretty complicated, but basically no ice class = bad)… over the last few weeks I have presented two 40-slide presentations of market analysis (my longest presentations ever) and this week I am trying to figure out how many kayaks you can fit in a cabin, tetris-style, (and the economic benefits of filling with kayaks rather than people).  Also the cost-benefit ratio of a kayak instructor versus a climbing instructor… and where you can store a hot-air balloon in Antarctica.  (Actually someone else is doing that, but once he has it’s my task to work out how much it will cost!)

Quark is nearing the deadline for the presentation of its five year strategic plan.  The great thing about being in a business in the midst of change, I’ve found, is that pretty much any idea for generating profit is fair game.  Some things go straight on the pile of rubbish ideas (sadly the MD vetoed a suggestion for the filming of a reality show on a ship’s expedition) but the staff here have so much knowledge of the destination, and passion for the product, that it seems that there really is potential to drive the business forward into its third decade as the world’s best operator for polar travel.  Please vote for Quark in the Travel and Leisure Awards to make it official!

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