RE: % of time technical writers spend on core tasks?

Subject: RE: % of time technical writers spend on core tasks?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:34:07 -0400

I started choking about the point where I snipped the rest of your post.

I'd be asking that twit when he became competent at his job, or if that was still in the future.

If his gums were still flapping in flabbergast, and I hadn't already been shown the other side of the door, I'd ask him to demonstrate what he was demanding by providing such numbers for what HE did all day/week/month/year/career. You DO have a well-developed example, based on your own work, of what you require from your [potential] clients, don't you?

Wouldn't be long before it would add up to a couple of hundred years that he'd been working, I bet.

-----Original Message-----
From: William Sherman
Sent: March-14-13 3:54 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: % of time technical writers spend on core tasks?

Wow, this is almost like some of the job requests I have had lately.

They have requirements like formatting, using HTML, UI design, etc. I
tried to explain to the recruiter, who obviously didn't have a clue what a technical writer does, that each of these things vary so much from job to job and day to day that it is extremely hard to put a figure on it. I have done them for 20 years. I can't say I did each one every day for 20 years.
Some may only have been a dozen times in twenty years.

He wanted information like:
- How many years formatting?
- How many years using Excel?
- How many years diagramming?
- Ability to write technical documents and end-user documentation
- How many years using Visio?
- How many years creating PDFs?
- How many years of Office Experience?
- How many years of MS Office - Expert Level? -- OK, so does the Office Experience above mean Microsoft Office or sitting in a building at a desk?

But he really wanted to know how much time I had actually spend on each type
of task. It wasn't good enough I have done 20 plus years of technical
writing. How much of that was formatting? How much was using Excel? How much
was creating and working on diagrams? How much was creating PDFs?


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