Brett is gone for two days. I think there should be a party in the office. Too bad there are too many things to do; I have to actually work. Crazy.
Yesterday, after Brett read my post, we were talking about solar energy (weird, right? A solar contractor like Swan Solar talking about solar energy, preposterous) and it came to light that he did not know how a solar panel worked. He never needed to; as the CAD guys, our knowledge base is the city codes and the AutoCAD program. Handily, I took a class on electricity and magnetism at Cal Poly: San Luis Obispo last quarter and one of the subjects was how a solar panel works. By how it works, I mean how the radiation causes electron movement. He was impressed at my impromptu presentation of the material. I am to write an article about the subject to be posted on the Swan Solar webite.
This article should be a comic strip, of sorts. To explain something without pictures is like trying to describe a picture without words. The idea never really comes across quite the way it was intended. I have not passed this with Brett yet, but I think he will go for it.
These two days will be interesting. I have a few drawings to do; nothing too intense, though I may have to clash with a designer on one project. Mostly I have to do typical intern things: blog (ok, that might not be typical, but I could see any intern blogging about their experience), organize the city codes, clean Brett’s desk (he may be a supreme god, but who said that supreme gods’s desks are bare?), scan some papers, and work with advertising. You know about the blogging. The city codes are not particularly exciting, though important because Brett is the only one in the office who has almost all of the codes for the cities with regard to solar memorized. I am getting there, through his corrections and the research, but some things that the city wants can be a little unnecessary. For example, some cities want the location of where the conduit will run. Seems reasonable, but is totally impractical. Sure, the CAD designer will put a line from the panel to the inverter. That will probably not be the route that the contractor will go. From my short stint with Grid Alternatives, I know that the conduit is done by which ever route takes the least amount of wire with the least amount of effort. That can’t really be seen on the drawing. But, the city asks, and so we draw.
Brett’s desk may be described as a paper’s hell: tossed aside to be forgotten, but upon being found, considered important for 5 minutes and then tossed aside to repeat the vicious cycle. I do exactly the same thing with my desk at home. However, I can be more organized than a OCD librarian if necessary. This is one of those times.
The scanning itself is boring, though the things that I am scanning are odd. A little background is necessary here. Swan Solar is the child of Swan Pools. Swan Pools has also fathered another child: Swan Landscaping. So, I am actually interning for three companies at once. These papers are Landscape Details. Basically, on a drawing, I could put an arrow on something, call it by its name, and the person reading the plan would look at these details and know what I was talking about. I have to scan them in because then I could put the detail directly on the plan for the ease of the reader. Not exciting, but useful.
Working with advertising is a strange experience. I did a little work with advertising when I was at school. The Materials Engineering 100 series asked us to volunteer (with our group) at an assigned non-profit, identify a problem with in the company that impedes their mission and solve the problem. Our company was Pathpoint; they worked with people with cognitive disabilities to acquire jobs. The problem was not the shed or the awning that they proposed. The issue was with advertising and ability for companies to contact them regarding job offerings. My team’s main success was with the advertising. The particular advertising in the case of Swan Solar is different. The non-profit team had a very limited budget that affected our ideas. Swan Solar has less restriction in that regard, but still wants the most for its money. I decided that the best way to approach people was to go to their community events. It’s relatively cheap but a very targeted audience. So my assignment is to find the community events in likely areas. It seems Sysiphian.
Maybe next time I will Strike Back.
The Lowly Intern
Solar Power Your Life with Swan Solar