Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Greg Holmes" <greg -dot- holmes -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 06:20:58 -0400

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
>If I had been told when I interviewed for
>my first writing job back in 1992 that I
>would be going from professional to hourly
>employment, I would not have made the jump
>from engineering to technical writing. My
>personal opinion is that Hoenenmier and her
>lawyers are willing to send the entire
>profession of technical writing down the
>path to becoming secretarial help in order
>to get their payoffs. But that's just my
>view on the subject.

Something about this whole concept continues
to baffle me, at the most basic level.

How is it "unprofessional" to be paid for the
actual time you work? And to be additionally
compensated for additional, unusual demands
that are occasionally placed upon you (i.e.

The concept doesn't track with everyday life.
I don't consider my doctor "unprofessional"
because I pay for his time.

The ideas being used to support this concept
seem rather fanciful as well. No full time
employee *really* works on a "however long
it takes to get the tasks done" basis. If
you're coming in at 8 every day and leaving
at 10 (in the morning!), then I don't care how
stellar you are; your company is going to give
you more to do. There's no other way, in fact,
to determine how much you *should* be doing,
than to have a "typical work day" kind of
metric. If I discover a way to get my current
day's work done in two hours, I've just won
the right to do more stuff in the remaining
six; not to work two-hour days.

So where does this "getting paid for overtime
is unprofessional" idea come from? Is this some
sort of crafty cultural ploy to get people
to be proud of and happy about working extra
hours for no pay? Or is it some strange historical
artifact of the upper classes or nobility
disdaining the very idea of needing money?
Or what? Inquiring minds want to know :)

Greg Holmes

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