TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Not my job, or is it? From:Eric Ray <ejray -at- IONET -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:20:55 PDT
--- On Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:28:17 -0500 Mike Sechelski
<msechelski -at- ns -dot- Sperry-Sun -dot- COM> wrote:
>The bottom line is this...anyone in an organization might be called
>upon to perform some task that might seem beneath them. When I go to
>pour myself a cup of coffee and the pot is empty, I make another pot
>even though THAT'S NOT MY JOB. When the photocopier runs out of paper,
>I reload it, even thought THAT'S NOT MY JOB. When someone else's
>project is about to be late, and I'm asked to interrupt my work to
>help, I do it even though THAT'S NOT MY JOB.
Very true! I'm not about to claim that I'm above doing
any job that needs to be done. However, I will most
certainly balk at the idea that I'm a tech writer, therefore
should be taking notes for everyone at a meeting,
or doing other crap work that the others don't
want to do.
Case 1: "We're in crisis mode and need someone to record
the decisions that we come out of this meeting with."
Eric: Sure. I'd be happy to.
Case 2: "Welcome to the routine weekly meeting of the
XYZ project team. Eric will be taking notes and
transcribing the results and distribute everything
in the next day, just as the last tech writer on
the project did."
Eric: You're kidding, right? It's a joke?
You're not kidding! You really think that
a tech writer is just the same as a secretary?
My time isn't as useful or valuable as the
other members on the team? <thinks to self:
Self, if you get on the stick, you might be
able to find a better job by the end of the
day. Something better shouldn't be
hard to find.>>
>Basically, I don't think taking notes one time will kill anyone.
You betcha! I'd be happy to take a turn, along with
all the programmers, analysts, requirements people,
and assorted and sundry hangers-on. If it's just
me, I'll do it once, then touch base with my boss.
If it appears to be a permanent part of the "other
jobs as required" part of my job description, look
for me Xeroxing resumes at Kinkos by 8pm.
Eric J. Ray ejray -at- ionet -dot- net
TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-