Re: Writer Attitudes

Subject: Re: Writer Attitudes
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 09:20:59 -0500

Itowsley -at- aol -dot- com wrote:

> I think you have hit the nail on the head. I would also add the statement
> that sometimes, these individuals also perceive others as being rude when
> they are challenged.

Yes. Beware the animosity of the insecure: for some of them, no
immorality is too great if they hold a grudge against you. The
trouble is, if you're not prone to the same behaviour, it's easy
to under-estimate them, and then be blind-sided.

Even worse, in the minds of these people, everything becomes
part of the struggle for prestige that makes up their lives. Not
only can they take dire offence at something you've long
forgotten, but you have no way of telling them that you're not
playing the same game, because they'll interpret making this
declaration as an elaborate move in the game.

> I would also hesitate in making a judgement about someone. I always look at
> the environment someone is in. Some environments make it impossible to be
> anything but difficult - not because the person wants to be, but because they
> have to be in order to get the job done. When ridiculous hurdles are being
> constantly thrown in front of someone who has a ridiculously short deadline
> (read 2 days to get it all written, Compiled, Tested, Checked In, QA'd and
> ready for release), no one should be surprised if that person starts having a
> reputation for being "testy". Remove those elements and the person becomes
> extremely easy to work with.

It's true that everybody can be testy from time to time, or in
the wrong situation. However, giving in to that reaction often
only makes the situation worse. In these situations, I usually
find that I can get more done if I swallow my impatience and
keep polite. For example, instead of telling someone that
they're such a bald-faced liar that they must have just shaved,
I ask if they're mistaken, and give them a chance to back down.
Of course, this course is hard to maintain, but I try to keep
reminding myself of the goal I have in mind. Then I go for a
long, hard run to get my frustrations out. And complain bitterly
to my long-suffering spouse.

> when I got to do
> the last bit of work for one project where the individual managing it has
> been a complete a##(&(&D about introducing procedures that do nothing but
> slow down production, I was so happy that I was bubbling over with joy the
> whole next morning. That person would claim I was difficult. (Many around
> him would say he is difficult.)

Warning: the chances are that the official reality at the
company will soon be that you're difficult. That's the way the
insecure work.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | 604.421.7189

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