Re: Bitterness toward technical writers

Subject: Re: Bitterness toward technical writers
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 13:48:47 -0800

"Le Vie, DonaldX S" wrote:

> We won't be able
> to garner the respect or regard with the engineering/development
> organizations until we can address the issues of providing value-add content
> that transfers knowledge to customers (however you define "customer") AND
> develop a valuation methodology (NOT with the use of meaningless mechanical
> quality metrics) that can assign a quantitative value to our contributions.

For writers as a group, these may be important issues, especially
over the long-term.

However, for writers as individuals, I think it's even simpler:
cooperate with team members, know your subject, and behave
professionally. Most of us work in a meritocracy where we are judged
by results. If we habitually whine instead of cooperating, take
pride in our ignorance, or consistently miss deadlines because of
misplaced priorities, then we are going against the standards of
that meritocracy, and we shouldn't be surprised if we are judged
harshly or rejected because of our choices.

Those standards may be arbitrary or unfair in some ways, but, after
a few months in a first job, refusing to admit that they are there
is perversely self-destructive. Anyone who even tries to live up to
them will find their work situation improving. Conversely, anyone
who finds them unacceptable may need to find another profession.

Personally, I find little in them that is contrary to self-respect
or to pride in my own work.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"Rationality itself, tied to moral decency - the most powerful joint
instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
-Stephen J. Gould, Introduction, "Why People Believe Weird Things"

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