Tuesday, June 03, 2003
All Work and No Play Makes It Hard for Scott to Blog
This week is going to be busy. Next week? Busier. (Honey, incidentally, I'm going to be bringing some work home with me this weekend.)
I'm a technical editor (II) at an environmental consulting firm. This means I have an English (creative writing) degree and have at least two years of technical editing experience. I know what a monitoring well is. I know what a SVE system is. I know what BTEX is. And MTBE. And PAHs, TRPHs, and VOCs. I know way too much about soil and groundwater cleanup standards in the State of Florida.
But you know what I really know a lot about? I know how to use a copier, specifically the Xerox 480. Yeah, that's right. Because editors don't just edit anymore. Nope, they're expected to do it all. You wanna be an editor? Make sure you know how to use a variety of word-processing software backwards and forwards. And some basic graphics software. And spreadsheet software; yep, you'd better know some basic accounting, kid. And bone up on those comb-binding skills. Remember any high-school chemistry? That would help, too.
I know, this isn't true everywhere. But as I scan job listings, I often see people who want editors who can do layout and design, or build webpages using HTML. And if you're not doing those upscale things, you're making your own revisions and producing your own documents. I'd venture that, soon, there will be various editing and document-production tasks under the job title of "Administrative Assistant."
Now, I'm not complaining exactly. But I know that I will eventually leave this job and move on to something else . . . possibly in the editing field. What are the chances that I'll find something that I'm qualified for? (You got a line on that, Meredith?) I know job prospects are better in larger cities. Maybe even pure editing jobs. But I'm not holding my breath. For the next few years, I'm going to squirrel away every transferrable skill I can . . . graphics, accounting, arcane grammar rules, etc.
Look out, because I'm gonna rule the fucking Earth.
And by "the fucking Earth," I think you know I mean an 8 x 8 cube near a copier, with a large stash of binding supplies.