Re: How did you handle your most difficult project as a TW?

Subject: Re: How did you handle your most difficult project as a TW?
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 11:53:20 -0700

We had a freshly-minted PhD (most likely purchased on the 'Net) assigned to
our small techwriting/training group at a Deloitte-run project for the State
of California. The guy was way in over his depth, and insisted that we write
to the APA standard. His Deloitte handler was also young and wet behind the
ears, but making every attempt to advance through the Deloitte ranks. If he
failed, it would be a black mark on her record.

After several weeks of being vocal about the CMoS being our standard, he
finally succumbed and bought a copy of "that Chicago book" (as he called it)
for reference. It stayed in his cubicle, as none of us worker-bees really
needed it. Although I drove that project to a successful conclusion in the
absence of capable management, received a raise part-way through my
seven-month contract, and have referrals from the client, at the end the
doctor gave me a poor review and I've been blackballed by Deloitte in this
region. I note with some satisfaction that Dr. APA is no longer affiliated
with Deloitte, they having finally woken up to his gross incompetence.

> Chris

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM, sbuckley <sbuckley -at- onlinewriter -dot- com> wrote:

> Please see inline.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+sbuckley=onlinewriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sbuckley=onlinewriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Cardimon, Craig
> Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 6:27 AM
> To: 'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
> Subject: How did you handle your most difficult project as a TW?
>
> I'm sort of stole the title of this thread from another list
> (http://www.techcommpros.com/), because it is appropriate for us, too.
>
> What is the most difficult project you've done as a tech writer, and how
> did
> you handle it? For instance:
>
>
> * Were you scheduled to give an informal presentation to your work
> group, only to have your manager's boss drop in?
>
> [Susan] Always write for all audiences. If turns out you don't have all
> information, you'll get it or at least all they know. If providing print
> outs, always take at least five extra.
>
> * Has a project had an impossible deadline that was delivered with
> a
> straight face, while your jaw dropped to the floor?
>
> [Susan] Try to get them to focus on priorities. This means asking
> questions,
> pushing for answers, and not giving into bullying which shows they either
> don't have the answers or don't believe in the schedule. Be helpful but
> firm. Recording and holding by their priorities (put it in email and ask
> for
> confirmation - no confirmation is a form of an OK) puts it back on their
> plate. They're the managers. That's their job. If they try to make it your
> job...well it's time for you to "personally" consider the facts and how it
> fits with "your life."
>
> * Has a project made you want to drop everything and run away to
> clown school?
>
> [Susan] No.
>
>
>
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References:
How did you handle your most difficult project as a TW?: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: How did you handle your most difficult project as a TW?: From: sbuckley

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