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The Spec Hunter

by Peter Gerenz

Long before Mall Cops set the Gold standard for job intensity there were Documentation Managers. This is their Story.

I jump out of bed at the first click of the alarm. It’s Monday. I can’t wait to face the week. I shower, shave and brush my teeth. I can eat breakfast as I drive. A single second can’t be wasted: efficiency is key, and people depend on me.

I’m one of the first to arrive. I take my usual front row parking spot and nod to the guard as I walk through the gate. We understand each other. At the vault I remove the key from the lanyard around my neck and insert it in the lock. The room smells of order, ammonium, and Diazo paper.

It’s 7:00 a.m. and the first requests will come in less than an hour. There’s no time to loose. I drop my lunch and coat off at my desk in the front corner. I’ll need to start all the copying machines so they can warm up before I open the top half of the Dutch door.

The first customer is already waiting outside. It’s Ron from manufacturing. He’s impatiently ringing the desk bell out front. What a dope. Documentation doesn’t open until 8:00. I’ll have to make an exception. It’s my duty.

I’m sure he didn’t fill out the request form properly. He never does. This isn’t the best way to start a morning. I’ll explain to him (again) that Procedure must be capitalized and the month must be completely spelled out. It’s September stupid, not Sept. It’s all about specificity. I make the corrections for him. Poor man, his understanding of my role in the company is limited.

I look at the number; this could be a hard one to find. The designation is only 5 digits, not the usual 7. We haven’t made this product in years. This may take some detective work. Maybe in the back, in the old green legal file cabinet, the one I’ve only opened out of curiosity. Nope, it’s not there.

Concerned, I glance around, if not here, where could it be? I can feel Ron leaning over the lower shelf of the Dutch door. Maybe it fell behind. Maybe it’s misfiled. A shot of clarity hits me. It’s in the shredder bin. I rush to the corner and start digging through the old dusty documents. I find it the middle of the pile, torn with frayed edges. Wow, are we lucky. Now only to copy and stamp it “REFERENCE COPY.”

I hand it through the window. Ron mumbles his thanks and meanders off. I certainly hope he’s thankful. In my personal battle with entropy his influence is not a positive one. Some people don’t appreciate my huge contribution; they call me the “Prince of Procedures” or the “Duke of Documents” but please call me by the name I prefer. I am the ”Spec Hunter.”

Copyright © 2006 by Peter Gerenz

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