Re: us vs. them (somewhat long)

Subject: Re: us vs. them (somewhat long)
From: "Dan Roberts" <droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 21:21:27 -0400

oh, just to be ornery...

>It has been said, you cannot have a discussion unless both parties are
>equals. We must respect our collaborators and earn their respect as well.

and oftentimes, TWs are not perceived as equals, valiant word-smiths, user
advocate, ad-hoc QA, etc, that we may be.
and oftentimes, developers and other program-coders are not as competent in
their craft, as we might be in ours.
yet, we competent TWs are supposed to "respect our collaborators" intrinsically
(hrm, my Websters is outta arm's reach, so that might not be the word or the
spelling I want), while we TWs have to "earn their respect"?
I sense a penalty flag being thrown here.

>We must also be agents of change.
>We can change the processes within our companies.
>We can change the attitudes of our co-workers
>We must facilitate communication between departments and between our
>companies and their clients/customers.

one thoroughly non-serious epigram comes to mind: "You can lead a horticulture,
but you can't make her drink."

>I have no issue with communication issues that we have within our work
>situations. Whether someone has an english degree, an art degree, or a degree
>agriculture (U of Minn's tech writing dept is in the agriculture dept) seems
>somewhat silly and not at all related to communication issues.
Buy me a martini (shaken, not stirred, no garnish) and I can argue that point
with you. An MFA (for example only) can (probably, somewhat) effectively
communicate with someone in her field. But can she communicate about a field
that is not her specialty, about which she has no real experience, to an
audience that she has never communicated with before? I'd rather place my bets
on a snowstorm in the Sahara.

The question is whether she can adopt her audience's vocabulary, its mindset,
its understandings and expectations, and communicate to them usable information
about technical information? If so, you GO, Missy!

>I do understand the need to vent and perhaps I should view techwrl as a
>virtual water cooler: A place where we can stand around and talk without
>having to police ourselves too heavily.
yep, you're right on that target!

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