Thank You (Was Ruffled Feathers)

Subject: Thank You (Was Ruffled Feathers)
From: "John Fleming" <johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 00:42:04 -0700

I want to start by thanking those who responded to my request for
advice. I appreciate it.

Here is the approach I took.

At the beginning of the meeting with the person in charge, I brought
up the subject, explained what was intended (just as I did here), and
offered an apology.

She was only too ready to admit to having made similar faux pas in her
days as a consultant. It looks like she's quite ready to let it be a

In this respect, Tom Murrell's, David Brown's, Bonnie Granat's, Bill
Swallow's, and Dick Margulis' advice has produced the desired
result--smoothing out the working relationship with the person who
pays my invoices.

Jim Purcell made the suggestion that I " should take pains to find out
while he is apologizing for his misdemeanour, is why this
bureaucratic-seeming process exists in the first place." While I
haven't gone quite that far, I have seen a few documents there
produced by "writers who didn't survive" (including a few I've been
asked to rewrite) that suggest they have had some bad experiences with
other contract writers in the past.

Hence, the process of submitting a first draft to the document
administrator would be a quality control measure designed to ensure
that documents meet a minimum standard at the first draft stage.

My faux pas aside, the person in charge seems very happy with the work
I am doing for them, which should give me some very useful manoeuvring
room. Add to that, the SME I sent a copy of the pre-first draft to is
also happy with what she's seen.

If I keep producing a top notch product for them, they may be a bit
more willing to forgive a few minor transgressions on my part. And if
truth be told, having this company in my client list is worth going
the extra mile.


John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta
email: johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca


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