Re: If you don't want people to know your age...

Subject: Re: If you don't want people to know your age...
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 12:05:05 -0400

In many instances having someone who thinks contrary to me is exactly what I want, so that we get the balanced view. And you want someone who can stand up to recalcitrant SMEs. But this guy was just a jerk. He would make an argument out of someone saying "I like blue", if you know what I mean. It's one thing to hold your own position; another to start an argument for argument's sake. I remember just walking away from him at the gathering thinking "What an idiot". Agreed, without wine in his system, and in a business situation, he might have been the most competent techwriter one could have ever wanted. He never got the chance to show me. I had plenty of qualified applications, and no reason to expend the time on someone who already had one strike against him. We tend to think people are their most authentic and natural in a social situation vs. business situation, because they can be themselves. If that was him, I didn't want him on my team. Rush to judgment? Perhaps. But it was my dime, so I get to make the rules.

Contentious SOB? You? Nawwwwww.... :-) Aren't we at the age now where we can be lovingly called "curmudgeons"?

Dick Margulis wrote:

Beth Agnew wrote:
Along the same lines, if you're attending a conference or even an STC chapter meeting, don't forget that the people you are schmoozing with may be in a position to hire you at some point, so any impression you make could be important. I attended a wine and cheese night at our large local chapter a few years ago, and ended up talking to a fellow who was quite argumentative about a few subjects, not just with me but with everyone in the conversations. I recognized his name when his resume showed up a few days later. No interview for him.


You and I are generally well aligned on most subjects. I think I have to part company with you on this point, though.

On the one hand, if the position you are trying to fill has as a job requirement following instructions and never thinking for oneself, then, yes, I can understand why you would reject someone you know to have a contentious streak in him.

On the other hand, I don't understand the point of public gatherings--or even private gatherings--if etiquette demands that everyone agrees with everyone else all the time. How are we to exchange ideas and move society forward if it is universally considered rude to engage in persuasive argument. Further, if you are looking for a creative person, an independent thinker, for the value he or she can bring to your organization, perhaps you need to accept the personality baggage that may go along with those qualities.

Or maybe I'm just jumping to the guy's defense because I'm a contentious SOB myself. Who knows?


Beth Agnew
Catch the Buzz:
STC Presentation archived at:

Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133


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RE: If you don't want people to know your age...: From: Robotti, Anne \(Carlin\)
Re: If you don't want people to know your age...: From: Beth Agnew
Re: If you don't want people to know your age...: From: Dick Margulis

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