Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings

Subject: Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings
From: randall -dot- larson-maynard -at- powerconv -dot- alstom -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:57:23 -0800

We've just be instructed by management that we are to take minutes at the
meetings at the meetings we attend. These meetings generally discuss
business requirements and outstanding issues for the projects we work
on. The meetings also cover items that do not go into the documentation we
develop and frequently include task updates and assignments.
We're feeling undervalued and demeaned by this change -- the first time
this unit has ever taken minutes. Are we nuts to feel this way? Is it
typical for tech writers to take minutes? Words of advice?

I don't think it's unreasonable. I do it. They use me because I'm a writer. I am
not just a "tech writer" to management. They see a way to dole out the
responsibility efficiently.

And they're right. I do the job more efficiently than others. I use a Handspring
Visor Platinum to take notes. I walk to my desk, sync the unit, drag the memo
into Word, spell check and format, copy and paste into the meeting minutes
template, then post the minutes as an attachment. Bingo, in less than 5 minutes,
I'm done. Sometimes the minutes are posted before the participants return to
their desks. When someone else writes the minutes... well... I would say that
timely. accurate, and efficient are not part of the equation. I relish the
opportunity to publish minutes. Why? It gives me a chance to use my Visor and
show my value to the company.

Your feelings of being undervalued and demeaned...well I believe that's you're
choice to feel that way. You're not nuts, you're just making a choice to see it
that way. I choose to see it as an opportunity to use my skills in another
environment. Is it typical? I don't have clue. Maybe a topic for the next poll,
Eric? My advice? Get a Visor (or other handheld) and impress them with your
flexibility and worth.

Randall Larson-Maynard
Technical Writer
Alstom Schilling Robotics
Davis, CA, USA
randall -dot- larson-maynard -at- powerconv -dot- alstom -dot- com


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