RE: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid

Subject: RE: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Lori Olcott" <lori_olcott -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 16:39:05 -0800

Hmmm. The "personal notes" comment is a bit odd. I'm also not sure what
she means by saying that she doesn't want step-by-step instructions. How
does she expect people to use it? How have they learned to use it in the

But, since you entitled your letter "On Office Politics..."

Who do you report to? Is the same person that this woman reports to? If
so, then you do need to cooperate with her. Get an idea of what *she*
expects you to do. Then get an idea of what your *manager* expects you
to do. If you get the same answer, well, you know what to do! You may
not like it, but probably nobody pays anyone to "like" something,
especially not in a typical business organization.

Now if she reports to someone else, then the real important thing is
what your manager wants. If he or she is at odds with this woman, you
have a political challenge, but you should sound it out with your
manager. You might get some help. You may not; your manager may expect
you to handle it by yourself. Sigh. In that case, do a good analysis of
what you think the documentation needs are, and why. Then ask the lady
to review it with you. If she likes it, fine.

If not, don't comment. Show it to your boss and explain that this is
what *you* think but *she* disagrees. Then find out what your boss wants
to do about it, and do whatever she or he says.

Your boss might want to avoid conflict; your boss might want to storm
the battlements. Doesn't matter, follow his or her lead.

Remember that a boss may tell you to think for yourself, be a
self-starter, make your own decisions, handle conflicts yourself, and so
forth. This is true as long as you know *exactly* what your boss would
do in the same situation, or if your boss generally says nothing about
what you're doing. Otherwise, tell your boss everything, and make sure
you have approval. Look for ways to deflect problems from your boss.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Lori Olcott
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 9:25 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid

Hi Y'all -

I've been settling into my new job for a little over a month now. It's
not a titled tech writing position (Data Management), but the interview
team was very excited about my writing background. "We don't have much
documentation. This will be great!" Since being hired, I've been
learning the systems and writing up how-to's for what I've learned so
There is some documentation available, but it's very high level - not
something a new person would be able to use very effectively.


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