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Archive for June 2009

My birthday

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My birthday is on Friday, and here are a few items on my wish list.

1. Skagen watch. I'm allergic to nickel and finding a watch that doesn't give me a nasty rash is pretty difficult. Skagen is one of the few companies that specifies what material their band is made out of. You'd think that every expensive watch would automatically be made completely out of stainless steel, but that is not the case.

2. Crocs. I spend most of my work day sitting at the computer, but I still want to wear comfortable shoes. I've always thought that Crocs were pretty ugly, but that was before I went to the Crocs store during my trip to Boston. Crocs now sells comfortable heels, wedges, and flats.

3. Sour Patch Fruits. Favorite. Candy. Ever.

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.

My life has changed

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Life has changed in our family ever since Megan became a crippled (yes, I called my sister crippled, but in a loving way. I figure if her family calls her crippled it won't hurt as much when meanies call her crippled to make fun of her). Of course Megan is the one experiencing the biggest change, but the rest of the family is also affected.

1. Handicapped parking is amazing! No longer do we have to park in the boonies and walk a mile to get inside Target.

2. I get to lug Megan's crutches around while she drives around stores.

3. Speaking of stores, employees are very helpful to customers in wheelchairs. Whenever I go shopping with Megan I'm guaranteed to get good service.

I got a haircut!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I have had long hair nearly my entire life, except for a very brief period of time in 7th grade when I got my hair cut just below my ears. After about ten years, I decided it was time to have short hair again. I also wanted something more professional now that I have a real job.

Here's my hair before (this photo was taken about a year ago):

And my hair after:


Monday, June 8, 2009

I feel like I've joined the Army. Except for the basic training part. And the uniform. And doing PT. Except for all that stuff I might as well be in the Army. I even got sworn in and promised to uphold the Constitution and not give information to terrorists.

Two weeks ago I started my internship, which is with a military organization. Here's what I've absorbed so far: don't let anyone in the building because it might be a terrorist. Don't leave your CAC card in the computer or terrorists will know what furniture the military is ordering. Don't wear your badge in public or a terrorist will get you. Don't leave your bad weather evacuation plan book on your desk, or take it home, or show it to anyone, or even take it out of drawer because terrorists will get you.

Today I got set up on a computer, and now I have to do all sorts of training about not giving information to terrorists. I like all this stuff about not giving information to terrorists is pretty obvious, but what I'm having the hardest time with is filling out my timesheet. I know it seems like a simple task, but it's hard for me to get used to military time. I have white-out all over my timesheet. Eventually I'll get the hang of it.

Have a great Monday! I'm going to go fill out my timesheet.