RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?

Subject: RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?
From: Margaret FalerSweany <pfalersweany -at- CoServ -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 10:45:11 -0500

I worked as an administrative assistant and administrative secretary for a
number of years. Assignments like this were not unusual at all. Once I was
the first-line evaluator of applicants for senior-level positions and
eliminated candidates before the actual selection team ever saw the pool.

First, give the situation some time. You may have a gem on your hands
because, as several here have noted, every new set of eyes can make the
product better. Also, make certain your team, the VP, and the AA agree as to
what final approval means. My assumption is that it's proofreading for
formatting consistency and not copyediting-and hopefully not content
editing. But, I wouldn't assume the VP knows the difference.

Second, even if the AA is bogged down, that person may not be able to say no
for reasons you don't know. Once I was assigned to proofread (really
copyedit) a 500-page book with a content I knew little about because the
boss was afraid there would be errors like a previous book had. Given his
paranoid personality, it quickly became clear that my suggestions that I
didn't have time nor the training the job deserved were unacceptable. I bit
the bullet, proofed to the best of my ability, and documented the myriad of
other tasks I had to do that interrupted my work on the project Only then
could I convince him to revise the policy in a sane manner. In other words,
you should build a record of how the procedure works/doesn't work, but the
AA may also be doing that to provide proof that the idea just isn't working


If you treat people like idiots, they will act like idiots--J. Brunner
Margaret L. FalerSweany, Ph.D.
5718 Green Hollow Lane
The Colony, TX 75056
falersweany -at- gocougs -dot- wsu -dot- edu

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RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?: From: Beilby, Margaret

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