RE: On Summer Help

Subject: RE: On Summer Help
From: "Susan Ahrenhold" <sahrenhold -at- winspc -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 09:54:28 -0400

Wait! How did THIS get here?
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.
Summer help are people who are there to HELP. They are great resources, and
can help you get through stuff. But I'm not a teacher, I'm an overworked
tech writer, and one thing someone can do with minimal training is FILE. If
they can't, they're not helping.
If they help out to get me dug out of my hole, I'll teach. When I have time.
But the reason for this type of help, is to help.

I was a library volunteer in my teens. I filed library cards. I liked it,
and I was good at it. The librarian really needed help.
My summer jobs were working in hospital business offices. I usually filed
about one day a week. It was me, or somebody who knew what they were doing,
people that the hospital wanted to keep as staff.
Neither of these experiences made me feel oppressed. Instead, they showed me
how useful order was in a work environment. Heck, I have a masters as a
medical librarian!

None of the ideas that were presented about teenagers being computer
literate were bad. But lets not forget that almost all professions have
their share of filing as well as web site development, and we aren't doing
young people any favors by pretending differently.

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