Re: Need advice for a sticky situation

Subject: Re: Need advice for a sticky situation
From: "rlslists" <rlslists -at- mail -dot- ev1 -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 12:48:23 -0500

Greetings Colleagues,

This is my first post to this list. I subscribed a few days ago
and have been quietly reading the posts. Many express how tech
writers are misunderstood and unappreciated; an experience which I
share. I have been a tech writer for 15 years and despite this
have an undying, growing passion for my career. During this time
I have worked with all sorts of clients and employers in the US
and South America, and the disrespect for tech writers holds true
in other languages and cultures as well.

I dedicate most of my efforts demonstrating to internal and
external customers that tech writing is a true profession based
upon ethical principles, scientific methodologies, and systemic
approaches in addition to its creative, artistic aspect. (By the
way, internal customers are more trouble.)

It is important to try your best to get along with everyone at all
levels, even if it means humbling yourself and letting others
think that your ideas are theirs. However, I believe that you
must also draw a line at some point and stand your ground, even if
it will cost you your job. As a professional, expert in your
area, you deserve respect and trust --as does any other working

I have encountered many types of individuals among managers and
SMEs. Those with an open-mind and true knowledge of the ?big
picture? (i.e., the system) are the exception. Many are closed-
minded specialists who know very much about what they do but very
little about anything else (and sometimes do not care about
anything else or do not realize that there is something else).
Yet there are those cold, calculating snakes with obsessive
ambitions and their own agendas which are inimical to the
organization?s success (and do not care about anyone or anything
except themselves). You can work with the first two, but if the
third (snake) type has certain hierarchy or influence and is on
your case, there is not much you can do to save yourself, unless
they temporarily need you on their side for their personal goals.

Politics, bitterness, and envy also contribute to unfairness in
the workplace. I have yet to find a manager who is a true leader
brave enough to put his or her job on the line in favor of ethics
and fairness over corporate politics or the need to pay bills.

My suggestion to Lurker Writer is to cut your losses and move on
to another project or company before things get worse. This
situation will get worse before it can get better. Your manager
may agree with you and to some point, support your performance,
but I can assure you that he will terminate your employment before
defending you to his superiors against another manager. Even
though supporting you would be the ethical and fair thing to do,
it would not be ?politically acceptable? and it might ruin his
chances for promotion within the company.

I do not mean to promote pessimism with this long rant (my
apologies, it?s built-up frustration), but to make an observation
about the realities of corporate culture. No matter how you
decide to act, be professional, show goodwill, and do not ever
loose your cool. I wish you best of luck.

Sent via the EV1 webmail system at


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