Re: On Summer Help

Subject: Re: On Summer Help
From: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 10:19:52 -0600

Dr. Kieffer offered: And that is why we should treat them as adults (which
they are). If this is the first experience they get in the workplace, it
should be positive. And maybe after their university studies, they will
return to work for your company. A win-win situation.


Yes, and this could be written even more positively. That is, if you allow
the intern to flower, to show what s/he can do, and it's good, then you know
you want him or her back. "Being treated as adults" is an ok statement but
a little vague and subject to misinterpretation, especially between younger
and older folks. "Letting them show what they can do," on the other hand,
is likely to be also a positive experience (for the kind of person you want)
and will be seen as being treated like an adult regardless of your views.

This is an amazing thread for its cultural implications. So many assume
"initiation" is always required. Even hazing? It's just the start of
teaching the caste system, that is, "grunt" work is not as important as
something else and important people never have to do it. Will you hire
someone to change your child's diapers? Suffering child abuse does not make
it ok for you to dish it out to your child. Being treated badly, in any
way, was never good for you. That's only rationalization, a defense
mechanism. Some of this "initiation" stuff seems to still be accepted in
the military and I think there could be some good things among the bad in
that, and I'm not particularly qualified to argue those specifics, but for
an intern tech writer? I don't think so.

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