RE: Lone Writer Struggles - A Horror Rant

Subject: RE: Lone Writer Struggles - A Horror Rant
From: Ed Manley <EManley -at- Solutionsplus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 15:57:34 -0600

Okay - I did!
As far as surviving my situation - I don't know what to do.
I hope it helps folks realize the importance of technical screening and
detailed interviewing - I sure will from now on!

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Cronin [mailto:kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 3:44 PM
To: 'Ed Manley'
Subject: RE: Lone Writer Struggles - A Horror Rant


You should post that to the rest of the Techwr-l list, too.

I hope you survive your situation! :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Manley [mailto:EManley -at- Solutionsplus -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 4:29 PM
To: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
Subject: RE: Lone Writer Struggles - A Horror Rant

Of course you could do what I did - convince management you need a TW to
take over various technical documentation tasks.
They approved the hire.
I went to the STC (Society of Technical Communicators) and asked for
Was given some member contacts. Found one ready willing and able.
Talked to her on the phone. Great - she says she meets all the
qualifications and has experience with most of my needs.
Recommended her to my boss.
She's hired.
Bills herself as a Word and RoboHelp expert. Knows how to document software

Two months now.
She doesn't know a damn thing about documentation. Has no clue what the
software development lifecycle is or what documents it calls for, much less
how to create them. Has no idea what goes in a Technical Specification, nor
how or why one would be created.

When asked to do anything she acts like she knows what you are asking. Very
personable. Very helpful. Sure. Can do. Management thinks she's great. Then
operates in secrecy with passwords on her files. Ask to see them and it's an
emotional nightmare.
Ask her how I can assure management that we'll meet deadline if nobody can
see her work. Get "Don't worry about it - I got it under control".

Asked her how to do something in RoboHelp (I am a novice). She can't open
the document!!!!

Totally useless - worse - dangerous.

Now management thinks we got time - there are two of us now so obviously we
can handle more now I have to do it all. I am an anlyst, not a

She has claimed responsibility for my work twice already.

Spends her day reformatting headers for old documents and "creating a
documentation plan".

I have to get this User Guide out by the ifs ands or buts.

God help me if I ever ask for help again. How can I tell management this
woman I interviewed and recommended for hire is incompetent? Dishonest? That
there's no way I can work with her? I RECOMMENDED HER!! What's more, I took
a $1500. finders fee for doing so!!

If you can do it yourself - do it!


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