'I think it has something to do with rent'
Technical writer: 'Feel like an author'
Reuven B. Frank
I'm a senior technical writer with Oridion Medical 1987 Ltd., located in one of Jerusalem's high-tech parks. The company has been in business for more than 15 years and was originally called Spegas. Oridion makes high-tech medical instruments, particularly breath-analysis products.
My job is to supply all the documentation for these products. This includes operator's manuals, service books, technical journals, marketing material, the Web site and more. It might sound boring, but I feel that I'm helping people. Our instruments are saving lives and I'm a part of that.
I also feel the sense of accomplishment in a job well done. I do desktop publishing. And, when I'm finished, I've written and published a book. I sometimes feel like an author.
Years in position
I just started this year.
I'm 45 and an Aquarian, if anyone is really interested.
I got my bachelor's degree in analytical chemistry in 1979 from Drexel University. I spent a long time in a Talmudical learning program. When I went out to work, I found myself doing a lot of writing and I liked it.
How did you get your current job?
I used an employment agency.
How many hours do you work per week?
I try to work between 45 and 50 hours per week. I try to leave early two days a week to visit my kids -- I'm divorced. I try to stay late a few days. I find that I can get a lot done when the office is basically empty and quiet.
What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
I answer my e-mail and phone messages.
What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?
Around 1 p.m. Usually just crackers or bread, and some hummus. I usually take lunch at my desk.
What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?
All the time. Deadlines, pressure, sudden needs, questions from other departments, meetings, requests for help with writing, publishing, file conversion, scanning -- I'm usually pretty busy.
If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?
Getting something finished.
How much work, if any, do you take home?
What does your work contribute to society?
Instructions for using instruments that are saving lives. (Emergency-squad medical technicians are big-time customers of ours.)
Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I'd like to.
If you could have two more careers, what would they be?
A singer and a comedian. I have a pretty good sense of humor, and I love to sing. I've been told I have a decent voice -- it's always been one of my dreams to see if I could make it or not.
What's an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
What do you do to relieve stress?
Walk around, visit another cubicle, surf the Web, switch to doing something easier that I know I can do.
What have you been reading lately?
Time, CNN.com news, science fiction, Reader's Digest, popular novels.
When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?
Thoughts of supporting my family. A very wise man once said, in response to a colleague: "Why do we keep coming here every day and putting up with all this abuse? I'll tell you, I think it has something to do with rent."
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