Re: Tech writing situation

Subject: Re: Tech writing situation
From: "Asao B. Inoue" <inouety -at- navicom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 09:33:55 -0700

Now, John,

You know as well as I do that in order to do your job, you must be respected
in your work environment. I'm not saying that your advice to Emily isn't
sound -- It is. Yes, Emily's job as a technical writer isn't "PRIMARILY to
be respected," as you say, but everyone needs a certain level of respect
initially in order to feel good about the job he/she is doing. This allows
Emily to do her job well and be satisfied with it, two essential ingredients
to a happy and productive career.

And I disagree with your final point. I've met enough narrow-minded,
old-world managers and engineers in my time to know that just because you do
your job well, even spectacularly, they don't always respect you for it.
Some think that technical writing can be done by almost anyone who has the
time and inclination to do it -- that we're some kind of glorified admin or
secretary. Emily's CEO may be under this delusional spell also.

As for what Emily can do? I think John has a good plan. I also think, Emily,
that you should ask your CEO what he/she expects from you in all this. I
know this may sound a bit vindictive, or petty, but what about actually
leaving the project entirely up to the NMG? The quality and timeliness of
his product will show the foolishness of the CEO's decision, right?

Now, if your CEO expects you to help, then I think it's still reasonable to
ask why you, as the only tech writer in the company, are being placed in a
subordinate role on a writing project to a guy with little writing skills?
Doesn't this sound like bad management of resources? Coaches don't put
linebackers in the quarterback position for a quarter "just to give the guy
some experience." They place players where their strengths help the team.
This is what this CEO should be doing too. Now, I won't say that to your
CEO, but somehow you might hint to this CEO this: how much will it cost the
company in image and money for this new guy to get some "learning
experience" under his belt? Is it worth it to the company to give this guy
some experience in a field that isn't his? Is it worth it to him? If I
remember correctly, marketing and tech writing are two different career

My two cents.

Advanced Documentation Services
(503) 606-0520
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| Subject: Re: Tech writing situation
| From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
| Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 20:43:47 -0700 (PDT)
| X-Message-Number: 5
| To make a long answer short...
| You've expressed your feelings to both New Marketing Guy (NMG) and
| CEO. As an employee, your job is to do your job as best you can.
| Nothing is gong to change things right now. Do your job
| professionaly, give whatever assistance you can, and if it goes
| right, you will look good for donig your part in making everyone look
| good, and if it doesn't go well, you've expressed your feeling and
| you did the best you can.
| Our job is not PRIMARILY to be respected..our job is to do your job
| and with it will come the respect.
| --- Emily Cotlier <Emily_Cotlier -at- cardlink -dot- co -dot- nz> wrote:
| >
| > I'm dealing with a very annoying tech writing situation here, and I
| > wanted
| > to get some perspective on it. The three players are: me (tech
| > writer w/MS
| > and 2+ years solid experience at the company), a newish
| > international
| > marketing guy (with our company 3 months), and our CEO. The
| > location is a
| > small software company.
| =====
| John Posada
| Technical Writer
| mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com
| 732-259-2874

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