RE: need suggestions on handling a boss

Subject: RE: need suggestions on handling a boss
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 20:09:59 +0000

One thing I find odd is that your manager is telling you how to do your job. Good managers provide goals and assign tasks and leave the "how to" to the employee. Unless SMEs have explicitly told your manager that they don't have the bandwidth to deal with writers, it is their place, not your manager's, to draw boundaries. But who am I to psychoanalyze your boss without hearing her side of the story?

Having said that, one thing really stood out for me in your email:

"I wasn't given the material to prep for the meeting, so a lot of what they talked about in the meeting went over my head."

I would assume that the information missing from the processes you wrote would be the stuff that went over your head. Granted that, I can see at least three things that you could do in the future. First, when you get an invitation to a meeting, be proactive and ask for any information that you may need to help you understand what will be discussed. Second, ask questions when you don't understand things; or, at the least, write down as much as you can so that you have information for later reference. If there was pre-meeting material that would have been necessary for understanding the discussion, if you have a list of things that you didn't understand, you can always do research after the meeting. Third, tell your manager that you are not like Mozart (but maybe use different words). If you were like Mozart, you could write concise, complete, and beautiful technical documents in one draft (in ink). For the rest of us, writing is a process, and even when we've been proactive and asked many questions during the preparation phase, we often discover gaps in our understanding only while writing.



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Kari Gulbrandsen
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 5:49 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: need suggestions on handling a boss

Hi all,

I have a sticky situation, and I don't know how to handle it. I get along well with my boss, except when it comes to work deliverables. I never seem to be able to do what it is she wants. Half the time, I don't think I have enough information to do what it is she wants me to do.

For example, today I was to write procedures for a process that I didn't really know except for one meeting that I attended. She said that I left out half the stuff that we talked about in the meeting, but she didn't tell me what it was that I left out, but that I was to give her another draft by tomorrow morning. She doesn't want me to talk to the people who do the process, because she doesn't want me to bother them -- they're busy. When I ask her questions about it, she told me to put in what I knew and she would fill in the gaps.

Of course, I wasn't given the material to prep for the meeting, so a lot of what they talked about in the meeting went over my head.

I have tried talking to her about this before, and she told me that I was argumentative. Or she just freaks out and then tells me to come to her if I have questions, that she knows the process. Well, she is so busy, that I can't get her to sit down with me. I mean, if she has to sit with me and go over it, she might as well write them herself.

So now I have this major deliverable for tomorrow morning, and I don't know what or how I am supposed to put it together.

I have written a lot of procedure docs before, but I always sat down with the person, or went through the steps to do it on my own. I feel like I am having to write it with being deaf and blind.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Kari.

--
Kari Kristine Gulbrandsen
Reflective Editing | Enlightening Sciences http://ladykchronicles.blogspot.com/
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References:
need suggestions on handling a boss: From: anonymous

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