Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: George Allaman <gallama -at- LOOKOUT -dot- ECTE -dot- USWC -dot- USWEST -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 12:44:25 -0700

On Mon, 8 Jan 1996, Win Day wrote:

> At 04:48 PM 1/6/96 -0700, George Allaman wrote about what certification
> would entail. I'll only quote here the section to which I'm responding:

> >I also think that a written statement of satisfaction with the writer's work
> >from all managers during the period(s) of experience considered should be
> >required. This way, if you have a bad experience with an employer, you can
> >still get a certificate - you just don't use them as a reference, and you
> >can't use your period of employment with them as applicable experience. But
> >the prospective employer still has a solid affirmation that you have been
> >able to work with others, do the job, and stay reasonably sober for a
> >significant period of time. This gives the recruiter a rough but useable idea
> >of the quality of your personality as it pertains to your work.

On Mon, 8 Jan 1996, Win Day wrote

> I have a problem with not being able to use a "bad experience with an
> employer" as applicable experience. I spent a year in Marketing with an
> engineering company. I had a TERRIBLE relationship with one of the salesmen
> to whom I reported. After filing several sexual harassment complaints, I
> ended up leaving the company when nothing was done.


> Also, the company had a policy to limit information available on references
> to confirmation of term of employment. They would NOT ever comment on the
> quality or value of an employee's work, because they were afraid of the
> legal problems that might follow. How would this certification process
> handle employers' policies like that?

Thanks, Win. I had thought about the unfairness of not being able to use
an employer for whom one has done good work. I guess I just figured that
it was still useful information. There is no way for a prospective
employer to distinguish between a writer who is really a problem child
and one who has just had the bad luck of selecting unfair employers. It
is not completely fair to say that bad writers/team workers attract bad
luck, but there is some truth to it.

However, your point about company policy on references is an excellent one
and blows me out of the water. I have no idea how to deal with that, and
perhaps it totally invalidates my idea of requiring references. However,
simply being able to certify that one has worked as a tech writer is
certainly not as useful as being able to certify that one has worked
*successfully* as a tech writer. I just don't know how to get there from

|George Allaman | |
|Tech Writer | <clever, meaningful |
|Denver, Colorado | quip which somehow |
|Office (303) 624-1619 | summarizes my life |
|Home (303) 771-8060 | philosophy> |
|Alternate: georgea -at- csn -dot- net | |

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