RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?

Subject: RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Donald H. White" <dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com>, "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:39:02 -0600

Geoff Hart wrote:

> STC should always try to play a role in establishing legal precedents
> that protect technical communicators and establish our importance and
> legal rights. This is what professional associations do all the time,
> and it's a shame we aren't doing it.

A nice idea, but here's the fly in the ointment: At least some portion
of STC members (me, for instance) believe that many of the arguments
we've heard regarding "legal rights" and overtime will only diminish the
profession's stature and importance, implicitly promoting the notion
that we're clerical help.

Donald H. White wrote:

> As for the union "issue;" the Society is not a union and never will
> one. To a degree, in my opinion, that's unfortunate. While some
> practitioners of our crafts may consistently experience success in
> individual negotiations with companies and agencies, this does not
> uniformly. <snip>

I should hope not! I've cleaned up enough messes from previous tech
writers to know that some in our profession experience _more_ success
than they deserve. We certainly don't perform uniformly, so why should
we be treated uniformly?

I sure don't want STC (or anyone else) acting like the NEA and insisting
that all tech writers are excellent and that any attempt to
differentiate good from bad performance (and reward on that basis) is
likely to be unfair.

I'm sure there are people in the left tail of the distribution who
disagree, and I understand their point of view. But don't expect me to
cooperate with it. Any effort at "leveling" inevitably pounds down those
who stick out, and generally by far more than it raises up those who


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


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Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?: From: Bill Swallow
RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?: From: Donald H. White

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