Re: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]

Subject: Re: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:40:23 -0400

On Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:37:15 -0400, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

of the writers could have pointed to a finished document a month after it
was done and they had gone on to the next and said "I did this part.".

More skepticaler curmudgeonlyerness ...

There is the issue of ghost writing. My wife (the quality engineer) wrote a report for one company where she worked. The report went into the corporate hopper, and she didn't see it again until ...

... she was at a conference months later and someone said to her, "You might be interested in this report that your company's VP of research wrote. Take a look."

"But I wrote that!" she said. "He put his name on it and didn't change a thing."

There's no way she can ever claim that report as hers.

Eventually she mentioned the situation to a lawyer. "If you wrote it for that company, it's theirs, not yours. They can do whatever they want with it. It's not yours."

- - -

With few exceptions, all tech writing that I have produced that actually has my name attached is from longer than 20 years ago. I really do not know how I would establish that I wrote the useless but proprietary material that I might still have, lurking on old 1.44 floppies in the back of a closet. That was part of a failed project several years ago. The failure itself was spectacular, and I may have triggered it...

... "I'm told you can tell me about the XX that I need for the B project," I said. "Huh? What's that?" So I explained. "Oh," said my high-level SME. "The B project. I didn't know about that. That'll never happen." About a month later they pulled the plug, after having spent millions. And I have the floppies with the incomplete tables and charts, some of which I helped adjust.

Is that crap my portfolio? I worked really hard on the B project for months.

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