Departmental Budgets

Subject: Departmental Budgets
From: "Cathy MacDonald" <camacdonald -at- core -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 21:27:55 -0600

Has anyone encountered a "tech writing" job that encompasses three separate
responsibilities, that is, technical writing, translation preparation, and
doing the department's budgeting? Our four-member department creates
massive amounts of documentation that need constant revision. The medical
manuals are translated by an outside vendor into 16 or more languages. The
department is incredibly busy and understaffed. It's no mom-and-pop
enterprise either; it's one of the 10 largest conglomerates in the world.

I recently fell into this position, and what a rude awakening! The job title
is "Translation Coordinator," which I'm certainly capable of handling.
Squeezing in the overflow documentation is somewhat manageable. But making
up departmental budgets, juggling invoice dates, and trying to guess how
much money should be spent each quarter (a constantly moving target) is not
a skill I've ever needed before; the department head usually does this, in
my experience, and the worker-bee staff rarely knows anything about
budgeting. It's not that I would object to learning a new skill, but I was
surprised to find a very disappointed supervisor staring me down on the
first day because I was unable to demonstrate my accounting skills. I
suspect I won't be staying long.

Are there any other technical writers/translation coordinators/accountants
out there?


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