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Subject:Re: Quote of the Day From:"Edwin Skau" <eddy -dot- skau -at- gmail -dot- com> To:"Jim Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net> Date:Tue, 28 Aug 2007 21:29:13 +0530
Not *how long*, but *what*.
Two things I can think of offhand:
1. When it begins to impact revenue.
2. When they find a technical writer they respect.
I've managed to win over folks from other departments by stepping into their
world and showing them how to work with information to solve their problems.
The thinking tools we use to perform our job are great decision-making tools
On 8/28/07, Jim Barrow <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net> wrote:
> "Writing is not a profession, but a vocation of unhappiness."
> -- Georges Simenon
> 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"?
> 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. From Wikipedia:
> "A scribe (or scrivener) is an ancient professional...usually involv[ing]
> secretarial and administrative duties such as taking of dictation."
> 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".
> My manager is disgusted and wants to call a meeting. He wants to spend an
> hour extolling the virtues of the tech writers. Uh...no, I can't subscribe
> to this approach.
> Personally, I find this demoralizing, especially when I see these same
> developers getting praised for a job-well-done after creating
> software...using the technical specifications that the tech writers
> developed. </rant>
> - Jim
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