Re: How much has tech writing increased?... verging off-topic

Subject: Re: How much has tech writing increased?... verging off-topic
From: Rose Wilcox <RWILC -at- FAST -dot- DOT -dot- STATE -dot- AZ -dot- US>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 10:12:00 PST

Stacey Kahn wrote:

>The tie-in to tech writing is that the job stress is not inherent in the
>itself. And unlike postal workers, we can learn to expect last-minute
>slipping deadlines, changing design specs, and so on. I find that as long
as I
>can anticipate and plan for this sort of hassle, it's not particularly

And that's the point of my last post! We can learn to deal with the stress
inherent in our jobs.

However, no one has said anything to convince me that getting shot at is
less stressful than having to tell your manager that you are missing your
latest deadline. I believe the adrenalin stress of being in personal danger
or having someone relying on you for their life is greater than the stresses
involved in technical writing.

Win Day had a good point about technical writing that *can* affect lives;
however, I cannot see that this would cause the hormonal reaction that
running into a burning building would, or that of walking onto the scene of
say, a bar fight or a crack house with criminals with guns. I think this
*physical* stress level is something you cannot control. Your body just
takes over and pumps up your hormones, which gives your system more to
process and requires rest or you do not recuperate. Thus, post traumatic
stress syndrome.

The people who said that job stress depends on personal perspective also
missed the point of my post. I suppose if you get yourself all bunged up,
you *can* experience the physical stress levels of a police officer or fire
fighter. However, this is very close to insane and shows a definite lack of
perspective. The point of my post was "take a chill pill". Which I mean
figuratively, not literally, since I do not advocate drug abuse!

If you write software or hardware doc and you feel this level of stress, you
could stand some work on relaxation techniques or maybe a short vacation.
If you work on documentation that does affect lives, you can at least argue
with the folks above you for the proper resources and time to do your job
well. As far as I know, death and physical maiming, whether of clients or
employees, is bad for business. At least there is a compelling business
reason for your management to listen to you! And in the meantime, no one
is in actual real danger (until the badly written instructions are released
anyway). There are no guns in your back, no fists approaching your face
(unless you've really gone and made that SME mad!), and no partner lying
bleeding on the ground.

Thank you very much for providing me the soap box! I'll step off now and
let y'all have a turn....

Rose A. Wilcox (the "A" stands for "adrenal")
rwilc -at- fast -dot- dot -dot- state -dot- az -dot- us
ncrowe -at- primenet -dot- com

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