From: Fred Brown <fred -dot- brown -at- allegrotechindexing -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 16:38:04 -0400

Hi John,

I see your main problem as "a dearth of projects involving real tech writing work." In most fast-paced, high-tech organizations, you need to be making a regular contribution to the bottom line. Otherwise, your services may not be needed. In many high-tech groups, it's what you accomplish, not your job description or title that counts.

Try looking at the assignments your boss is giving you as opportunities to contribute to the bottom line. In every job there is room to find improvement, to show initiative and imagination. The Daily Activity report may be an awkward bit of administration that needs to be simplified. Perhaps, you could format the report to be more informative or produce some graphs that show some critical trends.

These little jobs also give you a chance to network with your colleagues in engineering, marketing and administration. You could develop the reputation as a "solutions" person that people seek out when they need advice. And as you develop your contacts, you will learn about upcoming projects. You could then propose technical writing avenues to your boss and Engineering.

In terms of feeling a lack of assertiveness, you can do something about it. First of all, any accomplishment, no matter how small will bolster your self-confidence. Toastmaster International is also a great place to develop your speaking and leadership skills. And you can take courses on assertiveness, dealing with difficult people, etc.

Best wishes,

Fred Brown

At 08:12 AM 4/19/2001 -0700, you wrote:

Hi Twinners,

Just wanted your opinion on how I should handle this
problem. My boss feels that there's a very thin line
between a tech writer's job and a secretary's job and
he keeps dumping all kinds of nonsense on me like
keeping a track of the Daily Activity reports of
developers in my company, and making the resumes of
other employees. I feel very underutilized and
misused, but I don't know how to tackle this problem.
One reason is also that the organization is facing a
dearth of projects involving real tech writing work
and I am, technically speaking, on bench right now.
It's not so much the time that these tasks involve,
but more the feeling of not being respected and
violation of my rights. And I am a person who lacks
assertiveness. If there's no tech writing work, I'd
rather that I spend that time honing my tech writing
skills and learning more about tech writing, instead
of doing these silly jobs.

Do I need to justify the salary that my company is
paying me, by doing all this, just because I am on
bench right now? Please tell me how I should tackle
this problem.


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fred -dot- brown -at- allegrotechindexing -dot- com
voice: (613) 728-9373 fax: (613) 728-0644
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