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The consensus on this thread seems to be that John Fleming's boss is
being a petty tryrant for wanting John to submit his first draft to the
document administrator, not directly to the subject matter expert, and
that John is only working reasonably with an SME who is trying to help
him improve his copy. From what John has told us, it's hard to escape
these conclusions, and if that is all there is to the story, I feel very
lucky not to be working there.
What we do not know, and what John should take pains to find out while
he is apologizing for his misdemeanor, is why this bureaucratic-seeming
process exists in the first place. There aren't many documentation
managers who have the power to create administrative overhead just to
gratify their own sense of status, especially if that overhead requires
headcount. By understanding the purpose of the rule, and especially by
getting that understanding from his boss, John has a hope of obtaining
forgiveness now and both avoiding trouble and getting his needs met
later. Maybe this process was put in place because writers weren't
adequately managing their own technical review process, or because SMEs
wanted a single point of contact. Maybe John's boss is addressing a
disaster that happened on the last project. If so, John and his boss can
work out a way for him to proceed that will satify everybody. If indeed
this is just John's boss sprouting pointy hair, John will have learned
something important about his employer at a time when jobs are
jimpur -at- microsoft -dot- com
My opinions, not Microsoft's
IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
CALL FOR PAPERS OPEN UNTIL MARCH 15. http://ieeepcs.org/2001/
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