RE: Friday Questions (several)

Subject: RE: Friday Questions (several)
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 15:09:50 -0500

> 1. What newsletters do you subscribe to (technical,
> language-related, misc.)?

Hm. I don't actually have any such subscriptions.
I do belong to a few technical mailing lists. Does that count?

We stopped getting STC stuff when the company saved money
by no longer paying for "professional memberships" a few
years ago.

> 2. What sites do you bookmark and access regularly?

I bookmark whatever interests me, but the purpose is to
"remember" it six months from now. I don't visit a lot of
sites regularly... unless you count Google.

Every couple of years, I flush out bookmarks that I haven't
accessed in at least six months... which is usually most
of 'em.

I'm "of a certain age", so the _kind_ of non-work-related
site that I'm most likely to be caught visiting is
health-related. On second thought, it _is_ work related,
'cuz that's how I got my SafeType (TM) keyboard, my DuroBall
that I use as a chair, my Theracane (all for physical
amelioration) and my MarineAquarium2MD (
and screensavers for um... er... mental
health. :-)

> 3.  What diversions do you subscribe to or regularly access?  
> How much time a day do you feel is justified in
> accessing/reading these kinds of things? (A former team
> leader suggested 5 minutes for every hour.)

We-e-e-elllll there's this techwriters mailing list, see,
and the denizens of that list and my other lists are
forever offering links to interesting articles, products,

I feel justified in whatever amount of time I take, because
I keep getting good evaluations. Some days, I'm "in the groove",
and I just point myself at the work in the morning and then
(maybe) notice that people are leaving for the evening.
Other times I'm fighting with material or questions or
really nebulous stuff and find that either I can't make
my brain stick to it, or I have to take frequent breaks
to keep my head from exploding.

It all evens out, sorta.

Also, don't forget: A writer is working even when s/he is
staring into space.

Probably somebody else said it first, but when I say it
I'm quoting Kay Palkhivala, my manager and editor from
Philips in the 1980s. And she'd know. :-)

> 4. And perhaps to put everything in proportion, how many
> hours a week were you hired to work and do you actually work?

Officially, 37.5.

Truthfully? I really don't know. I'm... er... um... "in
attendance" for at least the 37.5. But last year I
worked a lot more weekends and evenings than is really
decent, and despite a new policy that discontinued our
full-week shutdown between Christmas and New Years,
which I made up by taking vacation days, I _still_
had to have a special dispensation to carry over eight
vacation days (plus 3 days that I was awarded for
working two days of November's office move while everybody
else stayed home), and I'm having trouble using them
up before the end-of-March deadline.

I was writing this e-mail and took a "break" for a
scheduling meeting, from which it sounds like I'm going
to have real, serious trouble taking my four weeks of
vacation between the end of March and the end of December.

While remaining employed, I hope to avoid any working
weekends or all-nighters this year. I'm old enough that
I really feel an all-nighter for the next several days.

Of course, if it isn't obvious, I'm salaried staff, so
I don't get overtime pay. If I am seen to go "above and
beyond" then I get "time-in-lieu" which is not much
help since I can't even seem to get through my
regular vacation. Sigh.

Yes, this seems to be one of _those_ days, doesn't it?


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