Re: Re[3]: note taking

Subject: Re: Re[3]: note taking
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 16:17:00 EST

At 01:23 PM 7/24/96 -0600, you wrote:

>"I will do this much and no more" is an attitude that doesn't belong in a
>professional environment. You recognize that some things need to get done,
>so you do them, no matter who is supposed to do them. And when you're
>overloaded, you call for help, and those whose can will pitch in.

>Yes, everything works smoother when there is a specialist for every task.
>But no company in the real world can afford that many specialists. In my
>time on this job I've done everything from writing to computer repair to
>swapping batteries in cars under test.

>The bottom line is you do whatever it takes to get the job done. Period.
>Anything less is just a bid for failure and the unemployment line.

>Sorry if my self control isn't up to Michael's standards. But I won't have
>any prima donnas around here.

Sorry, Arlen, I have to take exception to the logical extension of the
argument, though not to the sentiment. I, too, have taken notes, torn down
the prototype, taken the photos, facilitated meetings, and so forth. And I
looked upon it all as a way to get my job done. However, I have to say I
agree with those who, rationally or otherwise, blaze in a fury when asked to
be a secretary in an ongoing fashion. I think it has more to do with history
and sensitivity than with rationality, the same fuse that would light a fire
in a woman always asked to get the coffee when the meeting is in session, or
the black programmer who's always asked to move the furniture. They'd light
up the sky, and I would too, given their histories and circumstances.

We're a profession, but we're often not given that status on teams. And
being mostly a female profession doesn't help, because women are more often
seen as willing to be drudges. We're too often seen as secretaries, because
we supposedly type for a living. That's where we came from, and that's the
image we're trying to shed. It doesn't help to walk backwards into the
darkness again. Granted, it offends the sensitibilities of those for whom
the task, itself, is paramount. But every team is composed of actual people,
carrying loads of resentment and pride. Tasks don't get done by teams of
disgruntled, frustrated people. Ask the Postal Service.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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