RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?

Subject: RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?
From: "Beilby, Margaret" <MBeilby -at- ebuilt -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 15:40:14 -0700

<<Befriend them. Ask questions of and listen to them. Build and carefully
your relationship with them. Never piss them off. Follow this advice and you
will be more effective. Consider the exposure a strategic advantage to your
department and career.>>

This is really good advice. When you think about it, the executive
assistants are really the ones who run the company. Having been one in a
past life, I know. My boss (VP) gave me a tremendous amount of power and
authority. If I'd chosen to do so, it would have been really easy for me to
ruin people who p****d me off!

It's probably better to assume that she is well qualified until she proves
she's not. I was better qualified than most of the technical writers in that
particular company and did a lot of proofing and editing for them. However,
if you have any problems, be sure to document them.

In the meantime, take advantage of having someone to proofread your
documents. It truly is a luxury. If she's not too overloaded, you can also
use her in other ways. I often ask admins (if they have the time) to try to
use my documentation. Even though I'm careful about procedures and test
them, I'm always afraid that I've left something out. The admins don't
usually know how to use the software I'm writing about and find problems
that I've missed because I'm too close to the product.

I suspect that if you respect her opinions and treat her as an equal instead
of a "second class citizen" (as lots of people treate secretaries and
executive assistants), this can benefit everyone.

mbeilby -at- ebuilt -dot- com

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