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Subject:Re: Tech Writing Job Stress From:Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV> Date:Mon, 18 Dec 1995 22:14:30 GMT
I'm one of the ones that thinks tech writing is a high-stress job. I
think comparing =any= kind of office work with physical work is comparing
apples and oranges. So is comparing life-threatening jobs with
non-life-threatening. You don't have to face death or destruction to be
in a high-stress situation. Anything that causes a physical reaction,
particularly an adverse one (shaking hands, sweats, cramps, nausea) is a
high-stress situation, and may have absolutely nothing to do with whether
or not you enjoy what you're doing. I used to play the piano well enough
to get a scholarship. Every time I had to go to a competition, I got
so much stage fright that I was sick, except once. The one time I didn't
have stage fright was the time I did lousy in the competition. I needed
that high-stress reaction to get enough emotional energy to perform
well. And, aside from taking my Master's orals, that's the most
high-stress thing I've ever done.
As far as some of the other high-stress indicators:
Nightmares: Yes, I've had those about what I'm writing. Waking up after
dreaming that you've just been sprayed in the face with hydrofluoric acid
isn't my idea of a good time.
Late night calls: No. But several of my coworkers =have= had late night
calls to come fix a procedure because an operation can't continue.
Physical symptoms (lack of sleep, tension, canker sores, upset stomach):
Yes. Frequently. Mostly when a situation is going belly-up and there
isn't a thing I can do about it.
If we're going to discuss whether or not tech writing is a high stress
job, let's keep the references to tech writing. Obviously, if you've
been in a life-or-death situation, an office job isn't going to seem that
high stress, but that still doesn't mean that the job isn't high stress
for some of us.
Nancy Lynn Hayes | "May your dreams be merry and bright
(nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov) | and may all your Christmasses be white."
(OV: NHAYES) | -- White Christmas