Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Collin Turner" <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 12:28:39 -0600

I can tell you what I've observed. It won't go over easily, so please don't
kill the messenger. There's a reason why I've named my site Never Whisper...

We (Tech Writers) are generally a quiet lot who just want to get our jobs
done and don't care to rock the boat. We're not here to create trouble or
rouse a riot. We complain to each other about how rough it is, but take the
lumps from the outside without raising hands to the outside world.

In short? We can be rather cowardly bookworms when it comes to finding a
voice.

There we have it. I've raised my voice many times and have caught hell for
it. Will I do it again? You bet! I know the system fairly well now...I also
know when to shut up and how to admit when I'm wrong.

But I also know how to negotiate and how to get what I want from a
situation, even if it takes a while and requires patience. Corporate America
is a big game. Learn to play.

-Collin
------------------------------
collinturner.com <http://www.collinturner.com>
The unofficial words of a Tech Writer
[image: Collin Turner] <http://www.collinturner.com>

On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com> wrote:

> Ned Bedinger wrote:
> > Janice Gelb wrote:
> >
>
> > That law, in effect, informs employers that we're not professionals.
> > We're that class of worker who collects overtime pay: laborers and
> > tradesmen, in effect. I think that is damaging, that this impression of
> > us that employers have is reinforced every time they hire a contractor.
> > Overcoming that, to recapturing our professional status, seems like a
> > task of mythic proportions to me. It is easier to change the laws than
> > our standing in the workplace.
>
> I've read the thread where Dani and Evan (2 former
> Sun tech writers) discuss the reasons for the suit
> and the anticipated effect on working tech writers.
>
> http://www.goer.org/Journal/2007/06/how_to_po_a_tw.html
>
> It is troubling.
>
> I know that the gap in compensation between software
> engineer and tech writer pay can be big enough to
> taxi a cargo plane through.
>
> I think that the OT is a token of recognition
> that we often work as hard and are owed a
> chance to earn something like professional
> wages when we do.
>
> The laws that prescribe OT pay are from an age
> when W-2 writers were the way software houses
> could have the staff when needed, without maintaining
> a costly staff of FTEs. Let's not (yet) get
> distracted by whether OT is only for w-2 contractors.
>
> The question is, how does OT pay amount to a problem
> in technical communications between engineers and us?
> Hhow does it follow that software engineers would
> treat us differently if we bill OT hours?
>
> Let's face it, tech writers have been in this
> position for a decade or more, we're not well
> informed about the laws, we haven't been insisting
> on OT pay and employers have been insisting they
> won't pay it.
>
> We're not so well paid or numerous that our
> OT pay would affect shareholders and the bottom line.
>
> I suspect that something else is in play. Does anyone
> know what it is?
>
> Speak up, the truth can't be any worse than the current
> dark mood of fear and loathing.
>
> Ned Bedinger
> doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
>
>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Eric J. Ray
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Rob Hudson
RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Jodie Gilmore
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Janice Gelb
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Ned Bedinger
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Ned Bedinger

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