Re: Essential Technical Writing Skills

Subject: Re: Essential Technical Writing Skills
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 10:20:56 -0700 (PDT)

Pardon me, but I must take exception to some of these comments.

--- Goober Writer <gooberwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> Displays of anger are irrational and unproductive, no
> matter who exhibits them. No one should be acting that
> irrationally; not a manager, not an executive, and not
> a "low level" employee.

Displays of anger are NOT always irrational or unproductive. Sometimes they are the
only way to get a strong message across. Sometimes the only rational response is
anger. Anger is one of the emotions we come equipped with as human beings. Failure
to appropriate display one's anger can lead to serious health problems.

It seems to me that the issue is appropriate vs. inappropriate displays of anger and
appropriate vs. inappropriate targets for those displays of anger. But being angry
is not irrational.

> Anger situations need to be dealt with quickly and
> democratically. There is a reason why someone exhibits
> anger. Find the reason and combat that - not the anger
> itself. The cause could be non-work related (home
> issues, for example). The person who is angry needs to
> be made to rationalize the emotion and work out the
> cause, trying to ignore the effect.

I agree that anger situations need to be dealt with quickly, but how the heck do you
deal with them democratically? On what is the vote being taken, and who gets to

Yes, there are reasons someone displays anger. Since we agree that there are
reasons, I'll drop back to your earlier statement that displays of anger are
irrational. How does something both have reasons and be irrational? I guess Logic is
no longer taught in our schools. More's the pity.

And I get a visceral reaction to the statement "The person who is angry needs to be
made to rationalize..." That sounds disturbingly like Big Brother. How do you
propose to make anyone rationalize anything? Compulsory rationality?

> This is what HR *shold* be trained to handle and is
> certainly what they are for. If you can't resolve the
> issue immediately via management, don't hesitate to go
> to HR, explain the situation rationally, and let them
> handle it.

Finally, I am always suspicious whenever anyone makes an argument about what someone
else "should" do. Everyone should work and play well together. Why? Because I say
so, that's why. But everyone doesn't. How one deals with such situations, and they
come up all the time, is called conflict resolution. Everyone, each of us, is
responsible for how we handle conflict. It's not an HR function or a management
function. Conflict resolution is a HUMAN function.

Oh, and one can do it with good or bad results; depends on how one views a good or
bad result. To say that there is only one RIGHT way to handle conflict and
everything else is wrong is simply illogical.

Tom Murrell
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com Last Updated 05/26/2003
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Re: Essential Technical Writing Skills: From: Goober Writer

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