Re: $/word: the author responds

Subject: Re: $/word: the author responds
From: Eric -dot- Ray -at- WCOM -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 07:34:15 PST

> First of all, this is NOT a joke. It IS a predicament.
> WHAT do we DO to quantify our production????? My boss will
> not rest until we have a statistic to measure.

Not to be terribly flip, but I'd be mailing resumes. If
you've got to quantify something, potential jobs in
which you're treated as a professional would be a good
place to start.

The powers-that-be several levels up the food chain would
love to have statistics. We report anything quantifable
that we do, but many (most) things that a good technical
communicator does aren't quantifable.

Yesterday, for example, I spent two hours with a programmer
(on his last day with the company) getting the real scoop on
the product I'm documenting and all kinds of good information
about what's really happening with it. I spent another
three educating two product managers about the Technical Publications
Development Lifecycle (e.g. if we finish writing two days
before the software ships, hardcopy doc won't be in the box. If
the interface doesn't ever stop changing, the doc won't ever be
accurate). Add in the time I spend spent fixing a Frame
template and brainstorming solutions to unsolvable problems,
and it sure looks like I didn't do ANYTHING yesterday.
Nothing I did was quantifiable, but I was sure doing my job.

My boss would be happy to give me a hard time about
"not working hard enough to produce," but she'd also
be the first to say that the stuff you cannot measure
makes the biggest difference in the long run.

Try to educate your boss. If that isn't an option,
mail those resumes.

(BTW, WorldCom is hiring. E-mail me for more info.)

Eric J. Ray | Eric -dot- Ray -at- wcom -dot- com
WorldCom, Inc. | W: 918-590-4140
1 Williams Center 29-5 | F: 918-590-2372
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74172 | P: 918-690-1314

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