Re: True insignificance

Subject: Re: True insignificance
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 10:01:19 -0800 (PST)

--- Karen Gloor <karen_gloor -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> My gripe:
> I scheduled this meeting via Calendar...NO ONE had any
> conflicts and ALL had accepted. However, since they
> have more important jobs than me, (a little venting
> there) my meeting was deemed insignificant, even
> though a change has been requested. Even IF I
> reschedule this meeting, how can I be assured that the
> same thing doesn't happen again?

Karen, I honestly think it has less to do with the fact that you're a Tech
Writer and more to do with two other things. One, the people you involved in
your meeting are incredibly busy (whether they are more important or do more
important jobs than you is probably irrelevant). They could well have been hit
with priority interrupts that dropped your meeting down too far on their list
of must-do's at that moment.

Second, it's my experience--and only my experience, ymmv--that places where
such things routinely happen (and you don't say if this is a one-time
experience or more the norm at your organization) do not really value people
(and possibly documentation). There is little you can do to change this facet
of a corporate culture, in my experience and opinion. You have to come up with
other solutions.

You can try to meet with the important people individually; sometimes this
works better than a group meeting, and often it is easier to schedule, say,
half an hour with each and dump the presentation than it is to get all the
right people together.

You can try circulating side-by-side drafts of possible ways of solving the
issues that have been brought to your attention. You may have to do extensive
follow up in this case to get the votes for what they like plus reach a
consensus when five people vote evenly for five different ideas.

You can take your best shot at resolving the issues raised, knowing that
someone will criticize whatever you do. (It's human nature.) You may also find
yourself having to redo and redo your efforts until all the decision-makers are

FWIW, I tend to take the last option mentioned almost all the time. As Admiral
Grace Hopper said, "It's easier to get forgiven than it is to get permission."
The odds are that these people really don't care what you do with the Release
Notes and will be either equally happy, equally unhappy, or most likely equally
apathetic about whatever you do.

These are my opinions, anyway.

Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page -
Page Last Updated 02/27/02
--I'm a Tech Writer, dammit, not an Engineer!--

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True insignificance: From: Karen Gloor

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