RE: Are we just secretaries?

Subject: RE: Are we just secretaries?
From: "Mason, Catheryn" <CMason -at- InfinitecNetworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 13:56:19 -0500

Anna writes to say that she is feeling down about spending a couple of weeks
doing mainly administrative sort of work.

Anna, take heart. A lot of us who are lone writers (or even those in small
groups) have to do pretty much everything concerned with the documentation
effort. Since most of us don't have assistants, we run into stretches of
time when we're not actively writing/researching/creating, but instead
cleaning stuff up, archiving project files, formatting stuff that we've
written or revised, etc. Everybody has to do stuff that's boring once in
awhile ... look at it as a time for your mind to rest a bit so that you can
be more creative later on.

Sometimes I will pass tasks to our departmental administrative assistant
(also a good friend) if it is some really mindless task that she has time
for and doesn't mind doing. After all, her time costs the company less than
mine does. But I also spend time, as you say, formatting stuff and making it
pretty. Case in point: I just redesigned a GUI that I created a few months
ago, so today I'm working in Visual Basic doing stuff like deleting some
command buttons and resizing some screens. It's not challenging, and someone
else could certainly do it, but there is no one else. Since I don't have an
assistant, I do it all myself. It's OK, though, because at least no one has
brought me information on a new feature that I've never heard of and asked
for documentation by 5:00. Those, for me, are the really ugly days. Give me
a mindless task so that I can recharge my batteries any day!

I think this is just a case of taking the bitter with the sweet and
realizing that, unless you're a senior executive, you usually have to
perform some tasks that are administrative in nature. At any rate, the
weekend is coming up and that's a sure cure for the doldrums.

Good luck --

Catheryn Mason, Technical Writer
Infinitec Networks
Winner, 1999 IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Technical Writing
Winner, 2000 IABC Silver Quill Award of Merit for Technical Writing
Winner, 2000 IABC Bronze Quill Award of Merit for Technical Writing

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