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Re: Honestly -- when an SME completely REWRITES your text ... GEEZ!
Subject:Re: Honestly -- when an SME completely REWRITES your text ... GEEZ! From:"Pro TechWriter" <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Thu, 16 Oct 2008 14:11:58 -0500
I understand the feeling. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes not, but my
attitude can make or break an interaction like this. This happened to me
recently, but I was very happy to get the feedback. I misunderstood how a
feature worked, and my SMEs provided me with very clear, understandable
explanations that pointed out where I was off-track. I ended up using
several sentences verbatim, along with my updated text (that fit the style
I am very lucky to have SMEs that create great software and write pretty
well too. They treat me like one of the team, which means they provide
feedback when I ask for it. On other teams, this has not been the case.
Taking what could be construed as criticism is never easy or fun (I am
muttering over editorial changes today, myself). My initial response is
not always positive, but I do attempt to assume the person wanted to be
In the long run, this makes me feel better, and that's all good, right?
On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 8:59 AM, Downing, David <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>wrote:
> The other day, I held a document review meeting, and one of the SMEs
> told me I needed to rewrite the description of a particular function to
> clarify it. Okay, fair enough. I rewrite the passages (and made various
> other revisions from the meeting) and sent out the revised text to
> everyone. I got an email back from this particular SME this morning in
> which he completely rewrite the function description for me. I'm not
> sure whether to be
> - Grateful to him for trying to be helpful.
> - Angry with him for not keeping his place and trying to usurp my role.
> Hey, I'M the writer.
> - Insulted, because he's decided I can't write. Rather than telling me
> the passage heeds further clarification, he's thrown up his hands and
> just said, "Looks like I need to write this for him."
> One thing's for sure -- what he wrote does NOT conform to our
> departmental style.
> How would you take it -- and has anything like this happened to any of
> (And I'm going to check the "To" filed in this email very carefully
> before sending it. I've made the mistake several times recently of
> sending messages to the list that were meant for someone else. It would
> be just my luck, that I would send this message meant for the list to
> the SME by mistake.)
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