Re: FW: Exploitation is a two-way street (was a bunch of other thread--- s)

Subject: Re: FW: Exploitation is a two-way street (was a bunch of other thread--- s)
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 09:24:03 -0600

Everybody seems eager to inflict their own values on each other in this
discussion. And I guess I can understand that, because when you've got one
worker intent on leaving at 5PM no matter what, and another one willing to
walk through fire to make a deadline, you're going to see some conflict.

I worked in a team that became accustomed to pulling all-nighters
(literally) for each new publication deadline. The first time it happened
was a fluke - a total Murphy's Law scenario where everybody rose to the
occasion and stayed all night to get the doc out the door. But it then
created an expectation. By showing they were willing to do that, it began
to be what the management *expected* from them. The second time it
happened, one team member balked, and was heavily ostracized for not being
willing to work nights and weekends. He had a kid he had to take care of,
but that didn't matter - he was considered a weak link.

I was new to this lifestyle, and it took me a couple cycles to realize
that these last-minute marathons were more indicative of poor planning
than of employee dedication. By the THIRD time this scenario arose, I was
at another company, but still in contact with my old team. They worked
over what should have been a 3-day holiday weekend. And were guilted into
doing so because of the expectations they had raised.

I approached my new gig differently. I work overtime only rarely, instead
making my deadlines by scaling down the scope of my efforts. They get the
best work I can do in a reasonable amount of time, and that seems to be
satisfactory. It has not raised any complaints, I have not been laid off
(knock on formica), and I actually have some free time.

While I don't object to other people having different mindsets about this,
I would STRONGLY resent being put into another situation where I was
guilted into working ridiculous hours simply because other people were
willing to do so. From what I've seen, those people have developed a
beaten-dog philosophy that makes them feel obligated to sacrifice their
personal lives for what are often very arbitrary deadlines. I don't
subscribe to that. And I don't see that loyalty and dedication getting
rewarded. Despite some tech writers' willingness to put in long hours,
they are always among the first casualties of every layoff scenario I've
seen. To me that is a very telling fact.

Don't get me wrong - I take deadlines VERY seriously, and I NEVER miss
them. But I don't kid myself that by frequently working extended hours I
will win the company's loyalty and appreciation - I have not seen that
happen. So I've learned to avoid that martyr-in-the-trenches culture some
companies maintain. I get the job done well enough - I've received
multiple awards, promotions, and raises. But I remind myself that I'm
writing Word docs to promote software, not curing cancer or saving puppies
from fires. So I won't kill myself for a software company, because from
what I've seen, no software company will kill itself for me. YMMV.

Keith Cronin
workin' for the man, but only for 8-9 hours a day


Robohelp X3, from eHelp, lets you quickly and easily create
professional Help systems for all your Windows and Web-based
applications, including Net.

Order RoboHelp X3 in May and receive a $100 mail-in rebate, PLUS
free RoboScreenCapture and WebHelp Merge Module.

Order RoboHelp today:

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 for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: xsl-fo designer (Antenna House tool)
Next by Author: Re: Orphan headers
Previous by Thread: RE: Exploitation is a two-way street (was a bunch of other thread s)
Next by Thread: RE: Attention job seekers--so you sent a resume and nobody acknowledged it, right?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads