Thanks for burnout thread

Subject: Thanks for burnout thread
From: Emily Cotlier <Emily -dot- Cotlier -at- zeacom -dot- net>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 10:31:41 +1200

Just wanted to say, thanks to everyone for the burnout thread...I'm starting
a new job now, moving from being the Documentation Queen at a bad software
company to being a midlevel documentor/tech writer at a good software
company, so it's good to know that new job queasiness isn't just me.

The main issue here is the other documentor where I work now; she was the
lone tech writer before I started. She is 180 degrees separate from me as
far as her philosophy of tech writing goes. She never made a deliberate
decision to get into tech writing, doesn't identify as a writer (and said so
to me!), and, upon being asked, wasn't interested in either joining the
local tech writers' organization, nor in signing up for this mailing list.
"I'm not interested in any of that," says she. As an example of how she
approaches learning new document-related software, she tried installing
Adobe Acrobat and ran into problems. Instead of calling tech support, or
trying to troubleshoot, she gave up. Although she only has one year of
experience in tech writing, she's an expert in the product and the manuals
she has done are competent--but not created with any knowledge of online
help conversion/navigation issues. She is very sharp, and I think she's as
antsy as I am about our different perspectives/experience/surrendering lone

This software company has no online help. Bupkes. My goal here is to bring
this company into the 21st century as far as documentation goes (they tried
having developers create online help, and then they hired me), and making
some fairly radical changes, while at the same time trying to build a
working relationship with this documentor.

Ahem. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm treading very softly right now,
listening more than talking, indexing manuals (800 pages of user
documentation sans indexing), learning their programs, waiting until she and
I have built up some rapport with each other before getting radical with
document changes.


Emily Cotlier

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