Re: Reviewer of Doom (was: RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?)

Subject: Re: Reviewer of Doom (was: RE: Secretary Proofing Manuals?)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 19:13:51 -0700

aschiff -at- factset -dot- com wrote:


Top 5 Signs You're Working with the Reviewer of Doom:


I like this list. It reminds me of the troubles I had with my recently complained-about Client From Hell who is refusing to pay. From that experience, as well as others, I would add:

- They're in charge, but hopelessly illiterate, and adamantly insistent that you must do things their way, leaving you the choice of correcting them and risking your job, or looking responsible for their ignorance.

- They take an invitation to edit as an invitation to rewrite you without consulting you.

- They rant that your work is substandard, but can't point to a single concrete problem when asked to elaborate. You suspect that they're using reviewing as a personal attack, or as part of some office politics that you don't really understand.

- They disagree with your wording because they wouldn't express the idea that way, not because you actually have the idea wrong.

- They are genuine experts, but have no judgement, and insist on an inappropriate level of detail for the audience that will put your printing costs way over budget.

However, just when I was thinking that only Reviewers of Doom were out there, I signed off on a project this morning in which the reviewers were genuinely helpful, literate, and very interested in making the project as good as our time constraints allowed. The result? I volunteered to ram a rush print job through this afternoon, because I appreciate their professionalism and hope they will want me to do further work. I even stood outside a rapid transit station for half an hourin the rain so that I could handoff the print job to the boss on his way home.

Moral: professionalism pays.

--
Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"What will I say when my children ask me,
'Where were you flying on that day?'
With trembling voice, I gave the order
To the bombadier of Enola Gay."
-Utah Phillips, "Enola Gay"




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