new kid on the block

Subject: new kid on the block
From: "Wright, Lynne" <lwright -at- positron911 -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 10:40:00 -0500

"No, we don't do it that way. Just keep everything the same.
No one reads the documentation so there is no need to
improve it."?

That quote raised alarm bells with me, because i got the same malarky
from each of the "senior" writers on the them when i started my current
job. ie. "it doesn't matter if you are a veteran writer and your ideas
are better, or what is best for the user; you must comply to my
pathetically low standards, because otherwise I'll look bad by

You also have to wonder why the previous writer was shifted to QA;
because their documentation was AWFUL, perhaps?

However, since you're brand spanking new, you DO need to be careful
about how you assert yourself. The advice about getting everyone
together and explaining your reasoning is smart, because it gives you a
forum to prove that you know what you're talking about so other people
at the company (especially your boss) will support you. Otherwise,
things will devolve into a personal clash between one embittered and
arrogant ex-writer and the person hired to replace them.... and then the
whole working atmosphere becomes poisoned by the power struggle, and YOU
may be branded as "not a team player" and given the boot.

Just do your research so you can prove that what you are proposing makes
sense... and try to put things in terms of how your ideas will help the
end user/overall company image within the market. Then you can't be
accused of the whole conflict being about YOUR ego.

Lynne Wright
Editor/Technical Writer
Technical Communications
Positron Inc.
514-345-2200 ext. 2533


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