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: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Janoff, Steve" <sjanoff -at- illumina -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 19:16:06 +0000

Oh yeah... that writer worked with me too! In 3 different incarnations!

That's why on-site testing and interviews are really really valuable.

In the above lost-cause cases, I smelled trouble when I interviewed them... but kinda had to pick the best of a bad lot to fill the position. Each time the red flags that poked up during the interview turned out to be very, very real problems.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Peter Neilson
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 3:16 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Janoff, Steve
Subject: Re: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]

On Fri, 21 Oct 2011 14:37:13 -0400, Janoff, Steve <sjanoff -at- illumina -dot- com>
wrote:

> And in fact, how can you even prove that *anything* is your own work,
> even when it is?

Once in a while the other side of this emerges. A newly hired writer, X,
with an extensive portfolio, was unable to accomplish even the simplest
writing assignments. She whined that she should not be expected to learn
the doc-prep software. One of the managers brought her ten-year-old
daughter to work one Saturday, and in just one day the young girl
completed a good portion of what the supposed tech writer had not been
able to accomplish in several months.

So X was let go, and Y came in. Y was given the same cube that X had
occupied. Y's first words on seeing X's leftover nameplate were, "You had
X working here? WHAT DID SHE TELL YOU SHE WROTE?"

As for proving that some piece of writing is mine? Unless it's something
that shows up in a blog to which I contribute or here on TECHWR-L, I am
hard pressed after a year or two if I have to pick my own words out of a
collaborative effort. "Yes, I may have written a portion of this. It's
really pretty [good, mediocre, rotten], isn't it! I'd like to believe that
I improved it over the original version."

Some may think that by showing the dates on computer files, precedence of
creation of documents can be established. Unfortunately anyone with admin
access to an computer (like YOU on your own PC) can adjust the file
system's notion of the date of any file. To establish solid dates, a
system must have an uncorruptable method for registering data. Few
businesses and hardly any individuals have computer records with this kind
of provable integrity. Your online portfolio is certain to lack such solid
evidence. Printed books that include the author's name are harder to fake.
Ordinary tech writing has never produced many of those; probably even
fewer now.

For me, I guess a lot of it goes back to being able to produce managers
from the Scriptorium Invisible.
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References:
RE: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]: From: Janoff, Steve
Re: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]: From: Peter Neilson

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