Another question to ponder

Subject: Another question to ponder
From: James Barrow <vrfour -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 08:08:35 -0700

Okay, this question may not come out right, but it's a serious nonetheless:

Has anyone's age been a factor on a tech writing assignment?

My motivation behind asking this question own advancing age:^) I've been a technical writer for 11 years. I started doing this when I was 31 (you do the math.) When I first started out, it seemed that I could work and socialize with just about everyone assigned to the project (developers, upper-management, etc.) I look younger than my age and I'm fairly well-rounded, so I can keep up with just about any topic of conversation.

I'm currently working on a project where most of the development team is in their early to mid-twenties. Upper management doesn't look a day older than I do. So here's my dilemma: I feel like I'm 'in-between.' I've gone out to lunch with the 'cool group', and feel as if I'm chaperoning a senior prom. I identify more with upper management but, and let's be serious here, there are caste lines drawn between staff and upper management, so asking a VP to go to lunch is not really an option.

Anyone else ever have a similar situation? I know that I am only there to work, but interacting with coworkers (outside of work related things) is inevitable. What is the next rung on the ladder for tech writers? Is there any management positions open to tech writers in general besides supervising a team of writers? In the future, I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to handle being a 62 year old tech writer going to lunch with engineers thirty years my junior:^)

Like I said, weird question, difficult to express, but serious...for me at least.

- Jim


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