RE: Writers job description/definition

Subject: RE: Writers job description/definition
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 12:29:13 -0700

Ned Bedinger wrote:

> There's something disturbing about this. I can't put my
> finger on it, but the hairs on my neck are standing.
> OK, I get it. This is a shaggy dog story. No one could have
> this many problems on one project, right? Ha, good one!

It's a _disturbing_ shaggy dog story, and it's getting old. As Gene
noted, SB has had these issues for some time.

On 1/29/08, in the thread "Help me keep track of the time I spend..."
(which was really about keeping track of this "freelancer" whom she's
nominally in charge of, but who manipulates and controls her), she
complained that "He takes about 5 to 10 times longer than I have in the
past to update a same document" and "I just get very frustrated that it
does not matter how small the project, if he is given a life time, this
is how much it will take him." In my reply, I concluded, "If your
description of the situation is accurate, then no offense, but you need
to grow a spine."

But that wasn't the first problem SB had along the same lines. On
10/30/07, she solicited our input on "What is the best way of getting
feedback?" regarding "My colleague (or rather the freelancer that works
with me) who is much more verbose." She summed up the situation thusly:
"I believe in working with people and adapting to them. He believes that
people have to learn his method and adapt."

But it goes back even further. On 5/27/07, SB wrote "I am working with a
freelancer who suggests the following. What do you think of it?" The
following was a set of "policies" for working with Word; the first one
said all paragraphs should have zero space before and after, and
carriage returns should be used for vertical spacing. (Was this the
beginning of the never-ending "template project?)

I don't know if this has been the same "freelancer" all along, or a
series of them who just happen to share some disturbing traits. I don't
know if the problem is with SB, her boss, her boss's boss, or the entire
organization. But this dysfunctional situation has apparently existed
for most of a year.

If it's the same guy, he should have been given a clear description of
what was expected of him in May, and should have been shown the door in
October, if not sooner. A number of us have made repeated suggestions
along those lines. If the organization is so dysfunctional that this
situation can't be remedied, then SB should find a new job. Several list
members have made that suggestion as well.

There's really nothing more to say, except "My sympathies. Are you done


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Re: Writers job description/definition: From: Ned Bedinger

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