TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info>
> > It is an ethical issue if a writer is hired and not told *all* the terms
> > employment and what is expected.
> > There's really no question about this among professionals in the
> > If you hire me, and you surprise me, you are guilty of being unethical
> > your behavior toward me.
> You're kidding, right? You don't actually believe this?
If you hire me and you do not tell me that my drafts have to be ready at any
time for inspection by you, and that they really shouldn't be drafts at all,
but should be finished product, you are behaving unethically.
> Okay, let me see if I understand this. If Joe the Boss at Company X hires
> has to describe EVERY conceivable expectation to you the instant you're
> And if Joe or Company X changes their expectations, they must warn you in
> - lest they become unethical.
If you do not tell me what you require of me, and then knock me for not
meeting your expectations, you are not only being unethical, but you are
> First off, even if this was possible, it wouldn't make any sense. Since it
> assume that there is a never (or seldom) changing set of static
> Which is hardly the case. Most organizations are in a constant state of
> and therefore a constant state of fluctuating expectations.
When I say "*all* the terms of employment and what is expected* I am
obviously referring to those things that are known at the time I am hired
that pertain to how I perform my job and how my work will be evaluated.
> But mostly, no organization in the universe has the capability to tell a
> *all* the possible expectations. That's why there is training and why it
> people months to "come up to speed" in a job. You can never expect to walk
> door and get the entire job and all possible expectations laid out. There
> delicate dance that ensues at any new job as a new employee finds their
> and "learns the ropes."
It's quite a fundamental thing for a manager to tell an employee that the
manager wants to see drafts of work and that those drafts should be clean,
well-organized, and not what most people would call a "rough draft". That's
real easy to do and it is the ethical thing to do. Anything less is jerking
around the employee. Again, when I say *all* terms of employment and
expectations I am obviously not referring to those things that come up later
because of change. That would be absurd. Of course there are changes in the
work environment and in requirements, but even then, notice to employees is
the bare minimum that a manager owes his or her subordinates. Without it,
there is no trust and the manager ultimately fails.
> Why must people see their job as a struggle between "them" and "us?" When
> tells you to improve in some area, did it ever occur to you that you might
> actually need improvement in that area? At the very least, did it ever
> you that different organizations (and bosses) have different expectations.
> part of your job is to determine those expectations and then strive to
> exceed) them.
I don't see such a struggle in the present instance. I see a writer who was
treated like a child. That's unethical. If you cannot see it, perhaps that
is why you have so many horror stories about your employees.
Experience RoboHelp X3! This new RoboHelp release combines single sourcing,
print-quality documentation, conditional text and much more, into the most
monumental release of RoboHelp ever! http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
Enhance, optimize and automate your FrameMaker-to-PDF workflow with TimeSavers:
Define all PDF features in your source FrameMaker files ONCE, distill MANY.
Bookmark Controller, Link Controller, UnBloat & more : http://www.microtype.com
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.