Re: Quote of the Day

Subject: Re: Quote of the Day
From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Jim Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 10:58:42 -0400

> If I had to boil the following rant down to a simple question, it would be: How long does it take for a business to treat technical writing as a respected profession? More specifically, how long does it take them to stop referring to us as "scribes"?

As long as it takes for the technical writers to earn the respect they
feel they deserve. Respect is earned, not given.

> There are 70 people in our department. Twenty-five of these know that a portion of their success is due to the documents that the Tech Pubs department has produced. Forty of these people view tech writers as people who take documents and "make them pretty" (dot this, cross that, use a pretty font, etc.). Five of these people refer to us as "scribes". I can't stand that term.

Do the best job possible, turn the 25% from acknowledgers into
cheerleaders, grow rapport through them into the rest of the crew.

> Four of the people who refer to us as scribes are developers who all but have outright contempt for technical writers. Their "scribe" comments used to get muttered under their breath. After a recent all-hands meeting, in which a senior VP referred to us as scribes, these developers started walking around snapping, "Hey, tech writer, go scribe; jot that down".

Sounds like harassment. Contact HR. Remain professional in your day to
day demeanor. In other words, don't stoop to their level.

> My manager is disgusted and wants to call a meeting. He wants to spend an hour extolling the virtues of the tech writers., I can't subscribe to this approach.

Nope. This won't help. He needs to manage the issues and allow the
technical writers a clear playing field in order to shine. See my
comment about the 25% above.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
Senior Member STC, TechValley Chapter
STC Single-Sourcing SIG Manager
avid homebrewer and proud beer snob
"I see your OOO message and raise you a clue."

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Quote of the Day: From: Jim Barrow

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