AM - The Merchant of Words : For Words Worth Their Weight - NZ
Don’t let the title mislead you. As the Merchant of Words, I’m not related to the Merchant of Venice.
To be honest, Shakespeare never appealed to me. Neither did academics. Thus, I just about managed to complete my schooling – or let’s just say that my teachers got fed up of me. After all, I was an immense strain on their conscience. It couldn’t have been easy deciding where I deserved fractional marks for an answer i.e. a 0.3 here or a 0.6 there etc., could it? Suffice it to say that my academic success in school resembled a village after a Mongol raid.
A few years later, I began working as a software developer. In that time, I learnt that I could create software for an accounting system. Considering that all I knew about accounting was the definition of debit and credit, it was an educational achievement on the job. I also learned how to travel to various parts of the city. An online job that taught me several offline things!
Later, I found myself applying for an executive position to answer e-mail queries sent by Amazon.com’s customers. However, the powers that were thought I was a glutton for punishment. Therefore, they made me a Quality Editor instead. I handled the responses for the escalation e-mail queues. I also trained and audited e-mail responses for 15 executives. A relocation ended this brief but enlightening dalliance.
My next assignment was as a back office executive in insurance processing. I processed transactions related to insurance cover. In some time, my supervisors realised that my innocent smiles (certainly not my good looks!) lay behind all their troubles. So they gave me charge of a team, of a process and of a client relationship too. From indexing scanned images of insurance claims related post to recovering money from at-fault third parties, my team did it all. Sadly, they also did me in… I finally turned to becoming a freelance content developer: writing about things I hadn’t heard of or seen, for clients I hadn’t ever seen (or ever would, for that matter!) at places I didn’t even know existed.
After such an extensive background, can I really write? Well, in over 16 years of experience that is the only thing I’ve done. See how:
• As a software developer, I WROTE computer programs and manuals
• As a quality editor, I WROTE e-mails and responses
• As an executive in back office processing, I WROTE manuals, desktop procedures and white papers
• As a team leader, I WROTE policies, manuals, emails, white papers etc.
• As a content developer, I WRITE articles, blogs, website content, product descriptions etc.
So what’s common across: softWare – auditOr – data-entRy – team leaDer and writing Stuff fulltime?
The answer is simple: All of them deal in WORDS…that express what needs to be done in the best way possible…