RE: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers

Subject: RE: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, "'mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net'" <mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net>, 'Bill Swallow' <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 20:19:23 +0000

Over the course of various editor vs writer vs managerial skirmishes, I've grown several pairs of them things you boys like to go on about.

Got a set dangling from my rear-view mirror.

Wear a smaller set as earrings.

Very handy.



-----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 Cardimon, Craig
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 3:11 PM
To: 'mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net'; 'Bill Swallow'
Cc: 'Techwr-l'
Subject: RE: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers

Honestly, I am not that ballsy, either.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 2:56 PM
To: Bill Swallow
Cc: Techwr-l
Subject: Re: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers



Yikes!



"Grow a pair."



Really?!?



Guess it's only men -- real, ballsy men at that -- who have the strength to do the right thing.



(Not to mention having the ability to figure out -- and know with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY -- what the right thing is.)



Guess I'm just not ballsy enough...



(What a relief...)



----- Original Message -----


From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, January 6, 2012 11:50:01 AM
Subject: Re: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers

This is going to be a very matter-of-fact response.

You need to grow a pair and tell your management that you cannot use unskilled people to write documentation. You need to make it painfully clear that it is more work to train an unskilled person to get up to speed than it is to just do the work yourself, and you need to again reiterate that you need a skilled writer who can come in with minimal hand-holding to help you.

I've been around the block and in this situation many times. Would they toss the admin assistant into the developer pool? Or hand them massive accounts to manage to help sales out? Would they hand someone who has never driven anything more than a bicycle the keys to their $150k Mercedes and have them pick up their kids from day care?

Not only is this a case of "you get what you pay for" but is also a case of inventing work where it's absolutely not needed.

Grow a pair, put your foot down (politely) and explain this to them.
You're overworked, so they give you more to do (train an unskilled person to eventually help you out). I could see if you were doing this during downtime or doing this with other pro writers already helping you (been there, done it all and more), but not in this situation. You need to get it through their heads that while you appreciate the gesture, that it's simply hurting more than helping, and you need to bring in someone who can immediately get to work with minimal to zero training from you.

On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM, INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net> wrote:
> Moderator Note: ÂThe following is being posted on behalf of a Whirler
> who needs to remain anonymous. ÂPlease post all replies to the list
> and not to me, as replies will not be forwarded to the original poster.
>
>
>
> I have been in this job for almost eight years. I started documenting
> two products. Now, Iâm responsible for eleven. Three share similar
> interface and features, but it is a lot to handle. Iâve presented data
> on why an additional resource is necessary each year, and Iâve been
> rebuffed. Shortly before the end of 2011, I was told to hand one
> project to one of the Admin Assistants to do since âshe has a lot of
> downtime until the summer.â She isnât stupid, she isnât clueless, but
> she canât write. She is a novice at using Word. I use Flare as the
> authoring tool, and it is beyond her. Again, Iâm not saying sheâs
> stupid, but she doesnât get the concepts or the workflow. She gave me
> seven topics to review, and theyâre terrible. ÂWhile theyâre spelled
> correctly and the mechanics such as grammar & punctuation are good,
> the procedures are poorly written and theyâre just not acceptable. ÂI
> can rewrite them, but thatâs not the point. When I brought up the
> writing problems and the time involved, my manager said that I need to
> help her come up to speed and work with her. Iâve tried to show her
> how to write a procedure and what goes into a topic, but it just
> doesnât seem to work. Iâve suggested local and online courses that
> might help her, but thereâs no budget for it. This is taking up more
> time that I can afford to devote to it.****
>
> ** **
>
> Iâm trying to react to this with uhâgrace and no emotion.****
>
> **
>
> What next steps would YOU take?
>
>
> Anonymous
>
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--
Bill Swallow

Twitter: @techcommdood
Blog: http://techcommdood.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/techcommdood
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers: From: Bill Swallow
Re: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers: From: mattgras
RE: ANONYMOUS POST: Staffing with unskilled workers: From: Cardimon, Craig

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