Re: YOU are responsible, even when YOU are not to blame

Subject: Re: YOU are responsible, even when YOU are not to blame
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 11:15:59 -0700 (PDT)

<MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com> wrote ...

> I think his point was that there are often those who will make
> something of a big deal about an error (even if it's to draw
> attention away from their own shortcomings...).

Don't play their game. You are correct, some people like to sit around and
blame people. Its fun and emotionally satisfying to blame others. And
generally, people who blame others are doing it just to distract from their own
inadequacies (this includes writers who blame others for errors.)

If you allow yourself to be sucked into a spiral of blame, then you're not
really any better than the person doing it.

> You, the writer, respond: "Yes, thanks for pointing that out.
> It's fixed now."
> Them: "No, it's not. At least 2000 copies of the erroneous material
> will be sold before the next release cycle comes around.
> That's at least a couple of dozen calls to tech support!"
> You: "Well, I could revise the readme.txt file or create a one-page
> "whoops" sheet, to include in the package..."
> Them: "That means issuing ECRs, getting them signed off for ECO,
> revising the Bills of Material.... that's far too much hassle
> for all these overworked people who are trying to get the
> next release ready."

And this is the point where a writer, rises above the argument and says

"Well, these things happen. Its not the end of the world. I'll see that it gets
fixed and the right information gets to the tech support people. No worries.
I'll take care of it and in the future, I'll make sure to double check with the
engineers before the docs go to print."

And then you instantly cast the other person as a butthead. No need to get
personal, nasty, or argumentitive, just rise above the argument, take
responsibility, and cast aside the finger-pointer.

Alterntaively, if you have a fit and try to defend your every action, you're
likely to wind up in a war. One which will be hard to win.

More importantly, you should be asking yourself - is there a way I can get more
involved with the engineering team so that I am aware of last minute changes.

Andrew Plato

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