Re: Someone to do the "donkey work"? (take II)

Subject: Re: Someone to do the "donkey work"? (take II)
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2009 13:41:45 +1100

Geoff Hart wrote:

>The important point is to sell this to
>your manager in terms of "I only have
>time to do priority A; you'll need to find
>someone else to handle priority D", not
>"I'm too important to do this" or "you'd
>be wasting my skills on this lame-ass job".
>Both the latter may be true, but it won't

>win you any friends if that's the impression
>you give. <g>

Right. What it would win you in my shop is a one-way ticket to Palookaville
(to quote a guy named Terry Malloy). The "professional" approach, I think,
would be to present to your manager an honest assessment of the effort
required and the potential impact on production schedules if you do it as
opposed to someone else doing it (and throw in an intelligent suggestion for
automating the task in future while you're at it).

Otherwise, I don't see the problem; to me it (editing hyperlinks) sounds
like a perfectly reasonable task for a technical publications team to
perform. That "It's not my job" approach can get people sacked pretty
quickly in a tight job market.

Someone else in this thread registered what seemed to be a complaint around
being asked to provide suitable graphic images, or to improve low-quality
graphics, for a publication. Again, this a task I would be more than happy
to take on, though my job description is about writing, not graphic design.
It's a great opportunity to show your colleagues what a good technical
communicator is capable of - not to mention a refreshing break from pushing
words around.

Don't just do what you've been asked to do. Wow 'em.


Mike West


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