TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Getting the job done...or not From:Michael Andrew Uhl <uhl -dot- mike -at- epamail -dot- epa -dot- gov> To:"TECHWR-L, (Tech Writers)" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 08 Jun 2000 15:43:45 -0400
As a technical writer, I am often at the center of
not-getting-the-job-done but looking very busy. I think this is the kind
of scenario that Andrew Plato most destests, as frequently expressed in
his postings to TECHWR-L.
I am at the center of many of these processes because where people don't
actually want to *do* anything, they also want to cover their butts with
a paper trail, never mind that the paper trail is often circular.
Clearly, I have a choice: leave, or continue aiding people in the art of
doing little but looking very busy. For now, I choose the latter, for
family reasons. This, however, won't last.
As for breaking the rules, I rarely do anymore. I've learned that it
isn't worth it. Why should I risk anything for people who don't care one
way or another? Someone made a great observation on this list this
afternoon that it doesn't help an organization in the long run to be a
cowboy or a "loose cannon." I agree. I have come to enjoy watching the
system grind to a halt under the crush of its own weight. The system is
absurd, but I've learned to not take it so seriously. Cancer and AIDS
are serious, not the ineffectualities of a bureaucracy.
The hope is that the taxpayers or shareholders, as the case applies,
will become so angered by the lack of accomplishment due to the
consequences of excessive attempts at control, that they will destroy
the non-functioning entity and replace it with something new and fresh.
...it almost sounds Jeffersonian. :-)
None of the opinions expressed are those of U.S. EPA or Lockheed Martin.
(Of course. :-)
Michael Andrew Uhl (mailto:uhl -dot- mike -at- epa -dot- gov)
Lockheed Martin - U.S. EPA Scientific Visualization Center
Ph. (office) 919.541.4283; 919.541.3716 (lab)
P.O. Box 14365 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709