RE: What Would You Do with a Writer Who Can't Write?

Subject: RE: What Would You Do with a Writer Who Can't Write?
From: "Rick Bishop" <BishopR -at- jcdc -dot- jobcorps -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 09:08:48 -0500

Hi Doug: Looks like many of us have had similar experiences. When I was a contract tech w lead a few years back, the company hired a full-time doc manager because the volume was too much for the existing staff to review.
I had known our "motel-boy" from a previous project where he only lasted a month and knew he not only could not write, but couldn't manage his own work, much less that of others. But he could smooth-talk with the best of them and lived in the hiring manager's neighborhood.
My mention of my previous association with him to the hiring manager on the day he was interviewed brought only a deep frown and 'slick' was hired.
It took the company 6 months to see the error of their judgement and another 2 to get rid of him. All the while the writing team sat back and quietly produced as much quality work as possible. (about 1/3 of previous)
My advice is that as a contractor with no stake in the company, you must let them see their own error. It will do you no good to point it out to them, and can easily do you harm. Do your job and let him do his. Your only hope is that the customers will notice the trash and you will help make sure it can be traced only to him.
If you were an employee, you should go to the manager, and on up the chain until you at least felt heard. As a contractor, very few managers can believe that you are acting in the company's interests and not out of jealousy or conflict.

>>> "Doug Duplessis" <unclebonsai -at- hotmail -dot- com> 04/28/03 03:40PM
I'm working with a writer who doesn't seem to know how to write. Copy and
technical edits are taking more time than I can spare. Despite agreeing to
the project style sheet, he consistently ignores it.
I'm not sure how or if I should go to management--is it a contractor's
"place" to bring things like this up?

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