My name is Robert B. Boardman, but you can call me Bob.
I was born in Florida, but the family soon moved to Manhattan. I started school in Tennessee, finished high school in Idaho, and graduated from college in Walla Walla, Washington. In the years since, I have also lived in California, Oregon, and Texas; and had short-term assignments in Missouri, the UK, Russia, Germany, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
Kids put up with a lot of drudgery in school, but there was one task I still remember as fun. That was diagramming sentences, trying to pick out the subjects, verbs, correlative conjunctions, and all the other parts of speech. I also enjoyed, and usually won, spelling bees.
When I went to college, my favorite subject was philosophy. But to graduate would require the mastery of an enormous reading list in four short years. Instead I majored in economics, so I am no stranger to creative writing. (Economists make weather predictors seem almost believable!) I put my education to profitable use, conducting and documenting occupational structure studies for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (I can tell you when the current recession will end. See my FAQ page.)
Then I discovered computers, and it was love at first sight. I found that I had a knack for translating customers’ words into language the system development folks could deal with, and vice versa. As part of that job, I supervised the development and installation—and the documentation—of a very complex system that took 65 person-years to implement.
Later on, I worked as an internal auditor for a large corporation. While in school, preparing for the Certified Internal Auditor exams (which I passed), I learned to read reports backwards and forwards to ensure their accuracy.
My most memorable assignment was working for a German company that was doing business in Russia. English is a difficult language, in the eyes of those not born to it, and English was the only language both sides had in common; my job was to ensure that all their English-language written communications said what the authors intended to say. During that time, I wrote the final copy of a 300-page report authorized by the European Commission. This report covered the Russian space program’s possible role in enhancing the utility of all forms of transportation in the former Soviet Union—from city buses to petroleum pipelines.
Industries in which I have worked include information technology, government, publishing, oil, trucking, railroads, food manufacturing, and school administration.But around 1993, I decided I liked editing novels most of all.
I have written and edited program specifications, user manuals, procedure manuals (here's one), audit reports, advertising brochures, business cards, strategic business plans, restaurant menus, fiction—and essays on the social scene (for a sample, click here.)