RE: environment

Subject: RE: environment
From: "Keri Morgret" <morgret -at- operamail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 14:06:30 -0700

I don't think I've had a single "best" environment, but there are features from several jobs I have loved.

A third story office with a window that opened, near White Plaza at Stanford University. On Fridays and other random times I would get to hear the band as they played in front of the bookstore, people protesting, feel the breezes from a warm day, and watch the squirrels plot to overtake the world (or at least the campus).

The best "learning about what was going on" environment was at an educational think-tank, where we were actually encouraged to listen in to some of the speaker phone conversations the other researchers were having. We had wireless internet, brough our laptops to the small informal meetings, sent each other URLs about what we were talking about in the middle of a meeting, hooked our laptops up to a projector to show others what we were working on, and generally had a great collaborative environment.

I'm the sole tech writer at my current company, and share the office with five engineers. Management often neglects to inform some of us what is going on at times, so we've all learned to keep an ear out for what is going on, and spread the word to others. Listening in to the tech support calls and people fixing problems has taught me a lot about the current problems - and I'm sometimes able to step in and point out a document I know about that can help the engineers.

In general, I prefer office life with some people around, so I can know what is going on. If I happen to be in a job situation where I'm isolated, I tend to develop habits that will take me to where the people I need to see are.. walking down a flight of stairs to use the bathroom, checking the fax machine, etc.

Now I need to run, as I'm a victim of being too available to the people who want me to write stuff..downside of being visible to too many people.
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