Ruffled feathers?

Subject: Ruffled feathers?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 09:20:25 -0500

John Fleming unwittingly broke The Unwritten Rules: <<I needed some details
from a SME for the first draft of a procedure I'm writing for a client.
During a short phone conversation, the SME suggested I send her a copy of
what I'd done, as it would help her fill in the details I needed. So I
e-mailed a copy, and cc'd the person in charge of the project. When I
checked my e-mail this evening, I found an e-mail from the person in charge.
She was pretty miffed that I'd sent the copy, and that first drafts were
supposed to go to the document administrator, who would send them to the
SMEs for validation.>>

I think you need to be firm, but so firm that you're seen as striking back
at the manager. Make it perfectly clear to her that you do understand the
formal process, and had no intention of violating it, but that she simply
misunderstood why you'd sent the letter: explain carefully, without sounding
too defensive or trying to rub her nose in it, and try to move on ("... and
I'll have the actual first draft in the administrator's hands on Mar. 23rd,
okay?"). The idea is to move past the initial attack, and reassure her that
everything's still proceeding "by the book". It's difficult to finesse this,
since you don't want this to become a "she wins, I lose" situation, but
standing up to her too strongly might lead to some bad blood. If you're
planning on working with this person for any length of time, you don't want
to win such a crushing victory here that she ends up resenting your
existence, but neither do you want her to think she can dump all her stress
on you for something you didn't do. Good luck! Hopefully you know this
manager well enough to know what path to take.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"Do I contradict myself?/ Very well, then I contradict myself,/ I am large,
I contain multitudes." -- Walt Whitman


Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**New Dates!!** San Francisco (Apr 16-17), San Jose (Mar 29-30) or 800-646-9989.

IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Capitalization - current trends? (And: cross-references)
Next by Author: Lumberg? (was Ruffled Feathers)
Previous by Thread: Capitalization - current trends? (And: cross-references)
Next by Thread: RE: Ruffled feathers?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads