Re: Samples Query

Subject: Re: Samples Query
From: David Castro <thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 15:17:03 -0400

> The response of at Firm A was sexism and the response at Firm B was
> judgmental.

I'm surprised that I'm the first to offer a dissenting opinion from
those who have been posting on this subject. It makes me wonder if the
posts to date really do reflect the opinion of the vast majority of
the list, or if those who are of a different opinion simply didn't
want to be labeled a prude by responding.

Well, maybe I'll be taking on the title of prude, but I think the kind
of photographs that must have been in that calendar really don't
belong in a portfolio of someone who wants to work for mainstream
businesses. Remember, decisionmakers don't tend to go for the *best*
candidate for a job...they go for the *safest*. They want to hire
someone who isn't going to turn out to be a bad fit, because a bad fit
reflects poorly on the person who decided whom to hire.

If I was going through a technical writer's portfolio and saw the
verbiage that was included in an earlier post...much less seeing the
calendar that it would immediately send up red flags
that this person was as likely to exhibit poor judgment in the
workplace as he or she was in putting together the portfolio.

I participated in the process of interviewing people for a tech
writing position about 5 years ago. One of the candidates, when asked
what she did in her spare time, answered, "I write about SEX"
(emphasis hers). I know *I* wouldn't say such a thing in a job
interview, even if I did do that in my spare time. We ended up hiring
her anyway, and she ended up being as loose a cannon in her work as
she was in her interview. She avoided following any style conventions
in the company, and disregarded all feedback on her work.

I'm not correlating this employee with Michele, as that would be a bit
of a reach, but I *would* compare the appropriateness of the portfolio
selection with the appropriateness of the interview answer.

-David Castro


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