Re: Tech writing situation

Subject: Re: Tech writing situation
From: "Asao B. Inoue" <inouety -at- navicom -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 12:02:43 -0700


Let me answer your responses one by one.

| What I'm hearing you say is that I should walk into a client/job and
| automatically expect respect. What if as a writer, I'm an idiot?
| I prefer to walk in with a blank slate. No opinion one way or another
| and let me prove that I deserve respect (or disrespect if I'm that
| idiot.

Not exactly. I believe everyone deserves a baseline amount of respect,
regardless of the job, gender, ethnicity, etc. I don't think this is
happening in Emily's situation. I'm not sure, but that's what it sounds
like. Especially with Tech Writers, being a new bonafide career-track, we
aren't always seen as contributing members of a team, at least not like
others, such as engineers and programmers. I think what your talking about
is that additional respect that comes from doing one's job well, earned over
time. So I kind of agree with what you're saying, to a degree.

| > Emily to do her job well and be satisfied with it, two essential
| > ingredients
| > to a happy and productive career.
| To be happy and productive, you need to be emotionaly secure and
| competent.

Right, and to be "emotionaly secure," you need to know that, at least as
some level, others around you respect you -- not think that you are
talented, but a member of the team that others can go to for certain tasks
and information.

| > 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.
| F'em. Find someone/somewhere that based on your proven
| productivity/intelligence/competency, will respect you...or at least
| pay me enough that respect falls down the list. I'd rather have the
| respect of those that deserve respect than from someone that doesn't.
| However, let mne earn that's higher quality respect than
| that afforded to me by some quality that originates in your mind.

Again, I think you are talking about a higher level of respect than I am.
And we can't just ignore everyone who sees things (even ourselves)
differently. That seems awfully counter-productive and shortsighted.
Besides, I want to "convert the natives," sort of speak. I want that
engineer or manager who previously didn't find my work valuable to see,
after a period of time, that it is valuable and hard work. Finally, I know I
can learn something from even those who resist me and my ideas. I hope I can
show these same folks that I have something to offer then as well.

| > 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?
| Maybe, just maybe, he's very good at everything else he does. Just
| because he doesn't have the position of WRITER, doesn't mean he's not
| pulling more than his weight (I was a salesman for 15 years and I was
| asked to ghost-write proposals for other salespeople and put their
| name on them because I was a good proposal writer...OTOH, some people
| doesn't think I'm a good writer and I don't claim that my strongest
| feature is my ability to write. My strength is communication and
| project completion, of which writing is only part. Why not give the
| poor jerk a shot at blowing it before we assumke he will. Maybe he'll
| surprise everyone.

I never said he wasn't possibly good at other things. Obviously he is, or he
wouldn't have the job. What I addressed was the fact that in what seems like
a small company or IPO their writing specialist is not being treated as one.
So I say, let him do what he was hired to do, and what he's good at, and let
the writer do what she was hired to do. This just makes good business sense.
While an obvious logic, it needs to be said to this CEO, or the reasons for
the CEO's decisions must be made clearer.


Re: Tech writing situation: From: John Posada

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