Where my working life is concerned, I seem to be doing pretty well at the moment. Just two or three cycles was all it took to become the "chief clone specialist" and my jaunt at the port is doing even better. Most ship technicians spend their working days installing and re-installing nav system upgrades or new starcharts, While I can retire to the lounge and work on ship designs. It's simply amazing how many people, even those who know how to read ship blueprints, are willing to look away on nouveau limoges if the design happens to contain some non-standard cargo spaces.
But today, I'm going to share what little wisdom I've accumulated working for anima. I have no idea how far I get. But maybe I'll finish it in time to conduct the same series for port technicians.
To get some things out of the way first though: Cloning machinery has these strange magical properties of throwing columns of numbers and codes at you. While humans may be highly evolved monkeys (or so we believe after a dramatic reduction of chimpanzee numbers), growing new highly evolved monkeys is mentally very demanding if all you've got is a glass pod and more nutriant fluid than you know what to do with. So to make it a little easier for our monkey brains, we've got to translate what's going on inside those pods into something halfway understandable. And no, that doesn't mean that weird gaule language which makes cell development graphs look like adding 1+1.
It's not all about brain power though. Clone pods don't get moved by thinking hard at them. How do you even think at something? I have no idea but it might be interesting for another post. Bashing your head into them to make them move into the arangement you want isn't recommended either. Some individuals may be able to shrug off the inevitable concussion, but the machines won't, not in the least helped by the fact that they can't shrug, full stop.
In the higher ranks of cloning specialist training, there are diverse jobs to be performed which all have a good payout attached. The problem? There also is an art form involved in working at clone centers, which i like to call "clone wrecking", and there are people like the promethians who pay generously to see it is carried out. It's not even hard to get started, because they seem to have infiltrated the clone center of every station I've worked at.
Here's the thing though. Station security doesn't exactly appreciate it, and if some closed minded do-gooders decide to call in the crime, they might take somewhat negative interest. They can't exactly fire you from your job, at least from what I've witnessed, but I wouldn't dare to say that "Hotel de la brig" plays host to five star accomidations.
But as they used to say back when entertainment was a trillion credit industry, "the show must go on". So go on it will.
The life of a pod mucker:
If I wanted to cheat here, I could simply say "It sucks, get past this stage of your life as quick as you can". But who wants to read that? never mind, who wants to read this? You do obviously, because you've gotten this far!
Now, let us elaborate on the statement that a pod mucker's day sucks. It already begins right as you walk onto the central floor. You've got no one to boss around, but everyone can feel free to tell you what to do. The hydrophobic cleaner's scrubs can compete with consortium guard uniforms for "drabbest dress code." It's no wonder a lot of people decide to try something else rather than get their hands, and often arms, dirtier than the cheepest hotel room on caen.
The advantage as with most entry level jobs is that even a sencient tier 1 ration pack could do the work because of the minimal training required, and if you keep at it for a couple of days, you're garanteed to move up. With the rations program being practiced by all stations except some pirate outposts like caen, lots of people might not feel the need to aquire new knowledge or even work a decent job.
The two main things a pod mucker has to worry about are "Are all the lights green"? and "Is the current pod unoccupied?"
They are in charge(yes even a pod mucker can be in charge of something) of ensuring that all the gestation pods within the center are functioning correctly, though they don't have to fix them. For some random reason their superiors wish for the condition of each and every pod to be noted down.
Fortunately, to make it easier for pod muckers to do this and to save on training costs, there are indicators on the pod screens that are simple to understand. If something doesn't look right, they call a technician. If no technician is available, they're hopefully good at pretending they never saw it. "No Ser, that tank was definitely Bob's responsibility", (Not intending to refer to my aquaintance, Ser Bob Simson).
We mentioned unoccupied clone pods. It's a simple procedure but apparently the senior clone technicians really can't be bothered to perform it. Yes, collecting pay checks can be greweling to the point where connecting a few hoses is up to the new guy who doesn't have to worry about losing 12 credits.
Unused gestation fluid tends to go bad after a while, even if the containers are supposed to be airtight. So someone's got to drain empty clone tanks before the fluid's old enough to be unrecyclable. But don't even get me started if some dumb jock lets go of the hose and the entire floor looks like the clone pod spontaneously combusted.
At least there's one thing the prfessional pod mucker can be glad about. And it's that many centers frequently outsource the actual pod cleaning to the side jobs board. Why however might these pods require cleaning after being drained? Because unfortunately, gestation fluid leaves nasty residual clumps behind that didn't make it out of the pod. Those are only going to get bigger as the pod is re-used and no one wants to see that. Especially potential customers.