Re: new kid on the block (long)

Subject: Re: new kid on the block (long)
From: hanac -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:11:27 -0700

Looks like you're hearing some mixed messages: 'no-one reads the manuals'
but 'make sure you keep the content exactly as submitted'...this not only
turns you into a word processor [which might be some folks' definition of
a tech writer] but makes me wonder why this company is bothering to go
through the whole exercise.

As long as a company believes that no-one reads the manuals, any attempts
to conduct [normal] tech pubs business practices in that company are
likely to be squelched.

Despite that thought, and to stay in a company such as what you're
describing, I think you need to schedule a meeting with your boss to
present a plan of action to correct the situation. In this meeting [in
which you keep your emotions completely out of it], you present [1] the
current situation <identify both the pros and the cons>, [2] the business practice you want to put in place for
tech pubs in your company <i.e. how it 'should' be and why>, [3] how you can make your view of tech pubs
happen and how it would add value.

Of course, you should be armed with your tools and rules for scheduling,
planning, and authenticating the documentation [if you decide to conduct
this meeting with your boss]. Essentially, what I'm advising is that you
present a business case to the place. From what you've written, they can
either hear it from you now, or continue w/the dysfunctional stuff until
it gets so bad they'll have to pay a big price later.

I wish you much luck in surmounting this challenge. I, too, have been the
only girl attempting to implement healthier processes in a lot of places
that flat-out dissed tech-pubs practices...some of the adventures were
successful and some weren't. In the end, it just makes you stronger. So
you hang in there, follow your professional beliefs, and get the heck out
of there if they won't at least negotiate.



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