What's the significance of a draft

Subject: What's the significance of a draft
From: "Chris Knight" <cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 15:16:36 -0700

As others have said, it is wise to remove, or replace with placeholders, any
information *known* to be false.
If you know that a whole section (or table, or figure etc.) is deeply
flawed, or so in flux that it would be a waste of time to work on it for a
while, replace it with a placeholder and move the pieces you have to
somewhere else. I usually keep a subdirectory called Source for each
document, where I put fragments, screen captures I may not use, output
captured, text from problem-tracking systems, extracts from databases etc.

However, I would say that a more fundamental problem is the behavior of the
other writer who is messing with your files. She should not do this. Request
her to stop. Threaten dire consequences should she not.
If she is from the same agency, take the problem to the agency. Make the
case that her actions are seriously undermining not only your credibility,
but that of the agency.
Also, consider approaching whomever she is going to with her "revelations",
and asking that person to completely repudiate her methods: it's the right
thing to do. That person may be baffled by what she is doing (who wouldn't
be) but trying to avoid taking sides between you. He or she needs to
understand that by entertaining her submissions in any way, he or she IS
taking sides, and nor the right one.

You should adopt all the cover-your-rear techniques that have been
advanced...it's really not a good idea for important information (like the
fact that you know some text is wrong) to only exist in your head, even in
work-in-progress files.
But you should NOT have anyone opening your files without your express
If all else fails, the client's IT department can probably help you exclude
the interloper.

I have never endured a situation like this in 16 years free-lancing.
I HAVE had a rival contractor, working at the same client as me, attempt to
sabotage my credibility, but even she didn't dare open my files and show
them to someone.

Sounds to me like your "colleague" doesn't have enough real work to do.
Good luck.

Christopher Knight, Technical Communication Architect
E-mail: cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca
Phone: 604 877 0074

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