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Most writing tests ARE a waste of time. When I give them, I also evaluate
the candidate on the kinds of questions they ask me, can they figure out how
to get around the application on their own, do they freak out when asked to
log in, and half a dozen other things only marginally related to writing.
The good ones also have given me new ideas to consider in documenting the
As for drug tests, hate 'em, but if it's a requirement then I do it.
From: Andrew Plato [mailto:intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 1:53 PM
Subject: Writing / Drug Tests
Waste of time. Because technical writing is really only about 1/4 writing
3/4 being able to gather, manipulate, and comprehend complex information.
of people have excellent grammar and spelling but are abysmal technical
writers. Sorry, but writing just is not that important. Writers who do not
have the brainstem power to handle complex information and make it useful
pass writing tests with flying colors but bomb when it comes to dealing with
You're better off to just rigorously interview people. You're digging for a
work ethic, not a perfect handle of FrameMaker. Good people will rise to
challenge and get a job done. Goof offs will BS their way through in and
whine when things get hairy.
If you don't do drugs, what the hell do you care? Invasion of privacy? Give
a break. There is no such thing as privacy. It is an illusion people create
make themselves feel "special". If I wanted to I could hijack virtually
anybody's identity with just a few phone calls and letters. Privacy is a
in today's world. Ultimately - nobody really cares about you and that is
keeps your secrets private.
If you do drugs, then don't be surprised when the world rejects you. I don't
want druggies working at my company either. Take the test or get lost. If it
wasn't for whacked out loser suing companies for billions, you wouldn't have
take such tests.
Now, get back to work before we make you take a writing test about drugs!
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