RE: Writer Attitudes

Subject: RE: Writer Attitudes
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 15:02:12 -0500

I would eliminate #3 (Superstar, difficult). We have had the opportunity to
hire such people in the past, and passed on them. No matter how brilliant or
talented someone is, if they come in and cause headaches for everyone else,
it's not worth it. I would much rather hire someone who has the right
attitude and works well with others. As a recruiter friend of mine used to
always say:

Hire for attitude, train for skill


John Garison
Documentation Manager
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Voice: 978-402-2907
Fax: 978-318-9376

-----Original Message-----
From: David Orr [mailto:dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 11:11 AM
Subject: Writer Attitudes

The recent assertion that clients might overlook a good writer if they
eliminate someone because he or she is rude is true, of course; but most
clients would rather have someone who is both competent AND easy to work

My company has worked with literally hundreds of writers over 17 years, so
we've had our share of difficult writers. One lady, upon being politely
rejected by a prospective client, declined to accept his proffered handshake
and commented, "Consider your hand shaken." Needless to say, this act
damaged our reputation with the prospect, so we never considered the writer
again. On the other hand, one of the best writers and editors we ever had
used to have daily knock-down-drag-out fights with the client and her
coworkers, but she remained on the project because everybody recognized how
good she was.

I think it's up to the writer: if I want to be difficult, I'd better be good
in direct proportion to my negative traits. I ought also to remember I'm
making enemies, so if I am human and slip even once, my enemies will surely
pounce. (By the way, we make a distinction between being assertive and being
difficult.) Here's our hierarchy of preference from most to least desirable:

Superstar, easy to work with
Superstar, OK to work with
Superstar, difficult
Competent, easy to work with
Competent, OK to work with
Competent, difficult
Incompetent, easy to work with
Incompetent, OK or difficult

We only work with the first five categories. A merely competent writer who
is difficult is not worth the trouble to us.

M. David Orr
Orr & Associates Corporation

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