Re: Tech writer = office manager?

Subject: Re: Tech writer = office manager?
From: Gene Kim-Eng <gene -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 13:58:46 -0800

All true, and as I have previously said, I personally know of several very good tech writers whose latent abilities
were discovered when they were suddenly called upon to add the duties to their existing jobs. Hell, that's how
*I* got into the field (I was originally an aircraft field test and service engineer). Yes, it is entirely possible that
somehow the company will, as John suggests, find someone who can actually research and write, most likely
because their qualifications grossly exceed the job requirements but they need the work badly enough to take the
job, who will manage to show them what they really need. However, it is *more* likely that they'll shoot themselves
in the foot and *reject* anyone with the qualifications to actually do the job even if they do get such applicants
because they'll assume they won't be able to retain them (surprise) when the economy recovers, and end up
dumping the job on some poor admin who happens to have some DTP skills, resulting in unusable user docs and
an admin who really hates the job and will *also* leave when the economy recovers and opportunities in *that* line
of work improve.

BTW, have you ever tried changing your own brake pads without the (tech writer prepared) shop manual for your
car? Brake pad companies *need* tech writers, whether they're hiring them or not. :)

Gene Kim-Eng

At 04:04 PM 4/3/2003 -0500, Dick Margulis wrote:

Okay, buoys and gulls, we've all had our fun now. But, being serious for a moment, has it occurred to you that everyone has to start somewhere. No, I don't mean the poor schnook who takes the job; I mean the company that placed the ad.

Those of you who went from high school to college to a nice clean office job in a software company may not realize it; but there are a lot of small, old technology manufacturing and service companies where Windows 3.1 is considered up-to-date technology and the notion that there are people who consider themselves professional tech writers (at the kinds of salaries many of us make) sounds about as ludicrous as booking a flight to Mars for next year's vacation.

Let's give these folks credit for coming to the conclusion that they need _some_ kind of documentation. In whatever industry they're in, maybe they're the most progressive company out there. I mean how much doc comes with four-ought steel wool, right? Or replacement brake pads?

There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than software!

At 04:02 PM 4/3/2003 -0500, John Posada wrote:

While we're merrily taking jabs at posts like this, there are unemployed
writers looking at the posts thinking.."da.., if I only knew the name
company put these ads up, I'd send them my resume." To someone who's
unemployment ran out, $20k is about $20k more than $0k.

The company puts them up because they know they'll get bites. They may get a
great deal of chaff, but they'll get wheat, too. These adds will continue to
appear while there are more writers than positions. It's not their's ours.

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Re: Tech writer = office manager?: From: Dick Margulis

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