Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: voxwoman <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Greg Holmes" <greg -dot- holmes -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 07:36:10 -0400

The model is not with "professional" -- Doctors are typically (small)
business owners, and when you pay "a doctor" you are paying for the services
of his company, which are billable on the "office visit" (which usually
equates to about 15 minutes of the doctor's actual time in a face-to-face
meeting/exam) and the time of nurses, receptionists, billing people, etc.
Lawyers, another category of professional, definitely charge by the hour (in
15-minute increments) for many of the same reasons.

When we tech writers are working as independent contractors, we bill by the
hour worked, or we're going to find ourselves out of time and money very

My opinion on this matter is: "Real professionals bill by the hour for the
actual time worked"

The model used by companies is that they equate their "professional"
employees to *management*, which is a completely different kettle of fish.
Management is typically salaried, and managers are expected to put in
whatever time it takes to get the job done. Management jobs, however, are
also typically tied to performance bonuses which are paid out annually, or
other perks that compensate for the hours worked.

I think engineers should be paid for overtime, just as I think tech writers
should be. If management can't schedule things in a realistic way, their
underlings should not be the ones suffering for it. I know that's not the
way the real world works (having been an engineer for 12 years and a tech
writer for 15), but that doesn't change my feelings about the way things
SHOULD work.

As an aside, I got out of engineering precisely because of the overtime
situation. And we were being paid for our overtime - I just got tired of
working 50 and 60 hour weeks, and being forced to come into work during the
"holiday shut down" when everyone else was off for the week, and the place
was dark and cold, because our project was always "behind schedule".

It's one thing to ask an employee to stay late on occasion (like once or
thrice annually) to meet a deadline. It's another to pay for 40 hours/week
and expect 60.


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Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Greg Holmes

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