Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Collin Turner <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 11:48:38 -0700

Collin Turner wrote:
> 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.

A saying attributed to the Japanaese is "The nail that sticks up gets
pounded down." We tend to believe that will happen. I think we tell
ourselves these stories, about how the work is our reason for being tech
writers, but at the end of the day I think we'll all wish we'd made more
money, taken better vacations, sent our kids to better schools, had
better health care plans, and retired in more comfort. If the laws
provided that opportunity (to earn more) and we quivered like jello
instead of reaching out and taking it, then I guess I just don't know
what kind of fools we are. Poor ones?

>
> 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.

Well, I've always thought it curious that two people doing the same job
could negotiate drastically different compensation packages.

But negotiating for OT with a W-2 agency or employer has been
off-limits. When they say "Sorry, no overtime pay", that's the end of it
if I want the job. I've been uniquely qualified and in control of
negotiations a few times, but for the most part I find that Tech Writing
work has been reconceived as One Size Fits All (OSFA), where unique
requirements/qualifications seem less important than the art of just
jamming any peg into any hole.

I'd like to hunt Big Game. I can't afford to go on safari, but if I can
hunt Corporate America from my desk, I say "Let's Play!" What're the
rules, are they on a server somewhere?

Thanks for raising the Cone of Silence.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

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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
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Collin Turner

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