19 February 2010

What Do I do for Living?


I get asked that a lot. I say I work for a contractor of the United States Coast Guard and people look at me like 'Okay and that means...." So I thought I would try to explain it.

This is the most complicated job description I have ever had. In the past I could just say secretary or director's assistant and people were like "Okay,you push paper and play on the internet all day doing nothing at a desk" and they smiled and went on. When really those positions are hard and tiring and usually the secretary is the backbone of the office even though many might disagree with me. (My dad in particular who works on his feet all day and sweats for a living.)

I am an evaluator. I am given applications from the mariners of the United States and must professional qualify them for the rating in which they have requested. I must comply with the Code of Federal Regulars written by the United States Coast Guard and the United States Congress. We are given checklists that give us a outline of what is acceptable and what is not and we must make sure that everything in that application is acceptable and legal.

When given an application we must make sure the the legal name and address are correct, that a drug test is provided and is signed off by the correct doctor, and that the sea service matches the necessary requirements for the rating in which the mariner is requesting. A complete evaluation can take anywhere from 15 minutes to almost 4 hours depending on the application request. Once I can show that everything is in the application and complete I am able to either send it to be printed and sent to the mariner or send it to be reviewed by a government employee and then be sent out. It can be very fustrating if the mariner did not include all the required information and I have to try to get in contact with him about it. Especially if he wants to argue about the required information or state that he didnt think he needed and will have to obtain it, making it a longer process for him to receive his credential.

Customer Service is a huge part of my job. I communicate through email, fax, and phone. Some of my guys can be pretty nasty but some are so sweet and I wish I could work with them throughout their career.

My position is complicated and the rules and regulations change a lot so I have to always be on my toes but I enjoy it. My experience here has made me grow and allowed me to become a more critical and analytical thinker.

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