Control Issues

Subject: Control Issues
From: Wanda Phillips <wanda -at- writelivelihood -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 2005 11:19:49 -0800

I know that I, as a technical writer, have often encountered control issues. As a contractor, I found that these issues were easier to negotiate and, therefore, work with contract by contract.
As an employee, I find myself constantly struggling over issues of control. I could list a series of incidents, but in my usual pedantic way, I would get caught up in the specifics.
I'm looking for insights, and for this I'm looking for input from employees rather than consultants and contractors. I'm engaged in an on-going battle with the forces of evil, oh, sorry, no I mean with the concerns and attitudes of those I work with (both within the tech pubs team and without). I know it can't just be that I've landed in an evil empire, because I haven't. I think that some of it resides with me, and so I'm looking for strategies for enabling myself to identify the battles to choose and those to, as gracefully as possible, step away from. I am so frustrated with my job that I was considering taking a new job, ANY new job.
So, how do you deal with the control issues that come up where you work?
How do you determine which issues to fight for and which to step away from.
I'm hoping that the broad range of people on this list can help me. I am also hoping it doesn't degenerate into another place where I find myself feeling attacked where there is no attack intended (I don't mind as much if I'm sure the other person is attacking me, then I can just bite back).
Some background, maybe, I have 15 years in the field, and for the past year I've been quite ill, and unreliable in my employer's eyes. Some of the frustration I feel is an outcome of having spent a year in and out of medical treatment (but, I'm better now!!) and the long-term effect of illness is worse than I could have imagined. I am not the happy-go-lucky girl I was a year ago, I'm much more of a curmudgeon, though I know more adept curmudgeons.
The employer is a not-too-recent merger of several companies. Some of the tension I'm experiencing is felt by all as upper management tries to turn a group of companies into a single well-oiled machine. Some of the tension is from the struggle to have *our* way be *the* way. So, there is cross-group mud-wrestling going on. Pile onto that, senior management's search for the perfect corporate way, which means that, ultimately, it isn't going to be any way we've done it before. So, we're all crabby, now.
Some of the tension is from a lower level of management, where the folks stuck between me and the machinery are not up to the constant shifting, they are 25 year veterans of one way of doing business. They aren't managing any more. My immediate supervisor hates confrontation, so it is up to me to determine what the *right* way to do things, during this period of transition, which has been going on for a couple of years now.
We made some progress on the integration of processes (the review process) but we're constantly strapped for resources to handle issues outside of *getting the manual done*.
Well, a lot of wind and tree shaking, but, there you go. I'm looking for generic strategies to survive my time as an employee.


Accelerate the document lifecycle with full online discussions and unique feedback-management capabilities. Unlimited, efficient reviews for Word
and FrameMaker authors. Live, online demo:

Doc-To-Help 7.5 Professional: New version with new features, improved performance and reliability, plus much more! Download your free trial today at

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Re: Document Review Process
Next by Author: Re: Control Issues
Previous by Thread: Re: Peer Reviews (was Document Review Process)
Next by Thread: Re: Control Issues

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads