us vs. them

Subject: us vs. them
From: Bill Swallow <bill_swallow -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 06:44:57 -0700 (PDT)

I'm sure I'll be flamed for this, but what the heck.

The ugly truth of the matter is that you have to do
something to correct the situation. Sitting around in
your cube, crying in your coffee and venting to your
favorite e-list is not going to help. Be proactive,
and be smart about it.

I'll be the first to admit that I put myself and my
family first. Sure, I want that raise, I want more
vacation time, and I want a SME who doesn't run upon
eye contact. I want management who understands the
value of technical documentation, and understands that
it takes a specialized talent to do it right. But...
in order to get your way at work, you have to start
thinking like a company.

Remember, everyone is out for the good of themselves,
whether they admit it or not. As long as you approach
your personal work concerns as valid corporate
concerns (show me the money), you'll get to the next
step in changing your situation: corporate
consideration. Plant the seeds and get them thinking.

Once you have their attention and when they seem to
understand just a bit, introduce solutions that make
sense. You have to think economically here, as there's
a fixed budget to play with initially. Then, if and
when you get approval to move ahead with your plan to
correct the problem, live up to their expectations of
you.

I understand that many are not willing to do this, but
those who do will see a dramatic change in their work
environment. Most companies, especially smaller
companies, don't understand what a tech writer is, or
how the company should function with respect to
documentation. Most small companies grew out of
techie-dom where product development meant hacking
away on a program or product until it was done.
Documentation was usually not even considered.

Think of an established company as a rolling stone
(not the wrinkled detoxed kind). There's a lot of
momentum in a rolling stone. A lot of work and force
needs to be applied in order to change its direction.

Damn it Jim! I'm a writer, not a physicist!

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