From August 2018 to March 2022, I worked as a content specialist for Arc Products, a subsidiary of Lincoln Electric. The corporate marketing department was located in Cleveland, Ohio, and although it wasn’t a remote position, I had to contact people in Ohio quite a bit for resources and legal approvals on the orbital welding operators manuals and marketing literature I helped to design, write and edit.
Driving down to San Ysidro from Mission Valley every morning and working in a windowless office that smelled due to the dialysis center next door, wasn’t easy. I had to wear safety boots and glasses when outside of the administrative office, but everyone did and it was strictly enforced. It was also the toughest position I’d ever had as a content designer. Eventually I got to know and work with a couple of the women welders and the software engineers all had a good sense of humor.
There was another silver lining, too. Montgomery Park was only a couple of blocks from the building. It’s a huge, green space with paved walking trails running across its large expanse of hills. The ocean and the Coronado Islands can be seen to the west from the higher elevations. I went there almost everyday for a long walk at lunch.
All of the orbital welding parts from the weld heads to the tracks were manufactured onsite. The assemblers were smart and hard-working men and women from Mexico (we were a mile from the border). They bent over microscopes, wiring the connectors in each welding pendant requiring very meticulous work.
My photography skills were also put to use, and I learned much more from the director, Steve Cole who was an excellent photographer himself. Using a white box, manual settings and a couple of lenses on a Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR, I spent hours photographing small parts. I also had fun taking artsy shots in the machine shop. This was all in between writing and editing owner’s manuals and creating content on the Arc Products and Lincoln Electric websites.