Re: Tuesday's news: cost-cutting measures

Subject: Re: Tuesday's news: cost-cutting measures
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 11:17:24 +0200

I disagree entirely that offering to go part time (or contractor) leaves you vulnerable to the perception that you were under-utilized in the first place. Your'e saying, "I know you want to reduce the cost of the docs. I can participate in that reduction by going part time. If I go part time, here's what we can accomplish." What yopu can accomplish may be less than previously done.

If you can indeed accomplish the same thing that you always did in fewer hours, then I guess you *are* showing that you were under-utilized. In the first place, that isn't necessarily your fault - it was your mgmt that hired you, that planned your projects, or at least planned the doc dept. (one lonely writer - is that the situation here? That's how I understood the original post.) and its relationship with the company, etc. If that planning was indeed flawed, then maybe they're right - you *could* accomplish the same on a part time basis. If they're planning to reduce doc costs by cutting writers, they likely see it that way. Pretending it isn't so will not change their view.

Another point to consider. Managers generally don't like to lay people off. Even the horrible people are hard to lay off for some (if not most) managers. It just doesn't feel good. Usually, a manager is given a quota to fill - lay off x amount of people in y depts. If you can work with a manager to make it less painful, that will be appreciated. Consider the manager who is *required* to lay off the lone tech writer - but will still be responsible for the docs! Double the pain in that case. I'm not saying we should weep for the manager (although the manager is usually human, too), but I am saying that honest, human communication is what works best.
I'll say it again - work *with* the mgmt. here.

Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es

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