The numbers indicate the number of weeks you’ll work followed by the number of weeks you’ll have off. This is called a Rotating Schedule.
The person who shares your job and works it during your time off is called your Alternate. You come up, your alternate goes home. Your alternate comes up, you go home.
You will not have any days off during your rotation and a typical day is 12 hours long. The most common shift runs from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm but there are many variations.
1 x 1 = work for 1 week followed by 1 week off
2 x 2 = work for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks off (most common rotation)
3 x 3 = work for 3 weeks followed by 3 weeks off
4 x 2 = work for 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks off