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What I Do

Monday, June 15, 2009

I recently talked to some of my friends from school who are also going through their internship. I have to admit, I'm a teeny, tiny bit jealous. They're doing creative projects, picking materials, visiting job sites, drawing plans, meeting sales reps and getting free food. And I'm doing boring government work.

I'm sure all ten of my readers are just dying to know what I do for a living, so without going into too many confusing Army acronyms, I am a technical writer. Our office orders furniture for all the garrisons in the Army. We don't pick it out, we don't draw furniture plans, we just handle furniture procurement.

Here's the process:
1. Some designer/architect/DPW (department of public works) decides what furniture is needed. 25 conference tables, 100 task chairs, etc
2. We write FIDs (furniture item descriptions) or specifications, as they are called in the civilian world. "Specifications" means the detailed written description of construction, workmanship and materials of the work to be undertaken. This document is usually over 100 pages.
3. We send the specifications to furniture companies.
4. Furniture companies send us back big binders of their furniture, which they think matches what we want.
5. The furniture companies are always wrong. We write a Technical Review telling them in great detail that they aren't giving us what we want.
6. Furniture companies think that our requests are obscene. They don't understand that we are the Army, and if we want a desk drawer that can hold 150 lbs, then that's what we're going to get. The Technical Review process goes back and forth in several rounds, until the furniture companies give us what we want.
7. Contracts are given to the furniture company that gives us what we want at a decent price. We order the furniture. I don't have anything to do with step 7. The contract specialists and project managers handle this part.

It's boring work, but I'm thankful to have a job. And most importantly, I'm getting paid a lot more than the other interior design girls who get to do creative work. Government work does have its benefits.

4 Responses to “What I Do”

  1. It sounds like a good job! I bet you are learning a lot.

  2. Sounds like a really fab job, woohoo!!

  3. I love your sense of humor! I think the job sounds great, especially the pay part ;)

  4. I think you're forgetting the important thing here.

    You're (probably)making more money than them. ESPECIALLY with your overtime. Cha-ching.


Comments make my day! You can also email me: RenovatingRebecca (at) gmail (dot) com