Re: THANKS! Re: It's time to go (LONG)

Subject: Re: THANKS! Re: It's time to go (LONG)
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 15:33:31 -0500



>>What to do about it? I haven't any idea.

Unfortunately, there is little you can do from a list managers perspective. If
anybody else on the list is listening, I think we are all responsible.
The general atmosphere on the list will only change from a 'bitchy' one into a
constructive and helpful one if everyone puts in some effort.

I'm going to step out on a limb here, some rambling thoughts:

Before posting, have a long thought about what you're going to say. If you
aren't going to be helpful, don't bother posting. A lot of the bitchiness can be
seen in the whole depression thread. IMO posts denigrating the situation or
poster are far worse than anything else. Why not just keep quiet? How does
insulting the original poster or belittling their situation as they perceive it
helpful? The hypocrisy of Techwriters who otherwise argue about being experts
before writing and then launching into tirades against two experts (the doctor
that diagnosed the depression and the writer experiencing it) with no expertise
(other than general curmudgeon-ness) of their own is baffling.

The same can be said of the griping against process, single-sourcing, the STC,
lazy writers, and other assorted riff-raff that seems to continually surface to
derail perfectly legitimate discussions. Is it just me or are the perpetrators
(perpetrator?) usually the same in these cases? Once again, in these cases the
hypocrisy of Techwriters who otherwise argue about being experts before writing
and but launch into tirades about subjects they self-admittedly have
little/limited exposure also baffles me.

Unless you have PROOF or first-hand knowledge that the current situation under
consideration is ridiculous or the result of obsessing over fonts or that the
current writer is being lazy/incompetent/playing the system, SHUT UP. If you
don't believe the poster or you have some chip on your shoulder it's near
impossible that your post will be of any help to the original poster or the list
in general. Indeed your post may turn out to be destructive.

Get rid of all generalizations. Talk only of specific items, issues, and people.
Talk only of the facts as they are known. Do not read anything into posts that
is not there unless clarification is given by the original poster. Talk only of
previous situations and problems if you have a solution that worked in that
situation to put forward.

If you had/have the same problem but have no solution, commiserate with the
poster in private. Do not bitch/whine in public. When solutions are offered, see
if those solutions apply to your situation. If they do not, then is the time to
ask for clarifications for your specifics. Have the decency to change the
Subject whenever there is the slightest doubt you situation is different from
the original.

Put-downs when written in e-mail and without knowledge of the posters
personality are always just insults. No matter how funny they seem when typing,
they are seldom funny once they are received.

Realize that this list *IS* a Support Group, particularly when some one posts
anonymously. People are looking for help, support, and positive feedback. Not
put downs and comparisons to all the slackers and idiots you've met through your
career. If you cannot give support or feel a posters situation is unworthy of
your support, think about why you see the whole world through such callous and
uncaring eyes and keep the negativity to yourself. If you can't, have the
minimum decency to start a new Subject so those that do wish to help can
actually help and ignore the whining.

Maybe we need a "rate this post" link on the bottom of every post. Something
like the personality tests that you can take. Our workplace participates in one
'motivational' seminar where you get others to rate your efficiency and
personality with collegues and managers by an anonymous mail-in form. Might open
some peoples eyes to know how people on the list perceive them.

Eric L. Dunn



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