RE: Samples Query

Subject: RE: Samples Query
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 13:57:39 -0400

Well, I HAVE looked at the calendar, and I'm forced to agree with this
sentiment. I would definitely not consider myself a prude or a puritan,
but in a WORK situation, one is usually expected to keep to the straight
and narrow, so in dealings with any prospective employer, I would make a
point of sticking rigidly to the straight and narrow unless explicitly
instructed to do otherwise.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Castro [mailto:thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: Samples Query

> 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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