RE: Pleasing a Manager

Subject: RE: Pleasing a Manager
From: "Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 11:26:54 +1000

CJ/Doc Writer.

Interesting conundrum.

(A) Awwffulllll is just one word. Ignore it. Listen to what he says, but DO
NOT take it personally.

(B) Ask for what changes he is seeking, set a meeting for an hour before
your manager's usual lunchtime, sit down with him and a highlighter - and go
through and mark-up the document. Be available to change your ideas, fight
where you professionally think you can win - but BE PREPARED TO CONCEDE. If
you have no professional reason just a subjective reason that "it sounds
better" do not fight it and use his words - we are all subjective to the way
we write in regard to rhythm and sound - perhaps your "voice" jars on this

(C) Spend as much time on updating and fixing up your resume as you do on
the white paper. Don't call your manager names on open mailing lists - even
if you consider they are appropriate and accurate.

(D) Do the changes as suggested by the manager, save the one you had marked
up together, get him to sign off on the changes.

(E) Release the document.

As TWs, or whatever you may be called, we write documents for an audience -
often that first audience is our own management./ We must please them before
we can hope to place our work before a wider audience. It is of no gain to
fight for the best possible document for that wider audience if your direct
management will not agree to release that document - if we have to
compromise we must. Aim for the highest possible quality - and the keyword
there is possible - within the circumstances.

good luck,
Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes
Subject: Pleasing a Manager

Times are tough at my company right now with at least one layoff per pay
period. Everyone is on edge, and I hate it!

The problem, I can't please my direct manager. He thinks that he is the best

writer since Shakespeare! The other day, he reviewed a white paper that I
wrote. He came in to my office, plopped it on my desk and said, "This is
AWWWWful." He wasn't kidding. He said it has no beginning, no middle and no
end. It's poorly organized and doesn't flow. Then, he proceded to ask, "what

is it about?".

I told him that the first paragraph explains the topic. He hadn't read it. I

told him that "awful" was a pretty strong word, could he be more specific. I

also asked him to edit it. He said that it needs to be rewritten. I'd
rewrite it, but know that nothing pleases him. He doesn't read the documents

just has opinions about them.

I have seen different styles of writing, taught varying styles of writing,
but never seen "AWWWful" writing unless it was completely "ilegable wth
grammr and speling erors."

He does not know how to write technical documentation. That's why they hired

me! I just can't get it through his thick brain to read the documents! He's
pompous, lazy, airheaded, unfocused and is going to make me want to quit!

Thus the reason for the post... Do you agree that they want me to quit?

Sorry, for the vent, but I've never been told that my writing was "AWWWful".

Needs editing, yes, but not that.


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