Note Taking

Subject: Note Taking
From: Friedlander_Tori <torif -at- KSL -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 11:23:39 EST

My second reply ....

>I've known several directors and vice presidents who always knocked
>out a set of meeting minutes immediately after each of their
>meetings, to make sure everyone was knew what was going on, and what
>was expected of them. While technical writing is a lofty calling, I
>don't think it's THAT much loftier than being an executive.

>I always take notes at meetings. Sometimes I publish them, either
>by prearrangement, or because I'm trying to make a point. The only
>reason I never volunteer to publish the minutes was that I am honing
>my meeting-avoidance skills, and don't want to be obligated to
>attend any meeting that isn't well worth my time.

Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical
Writing, Inc. 36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139


Over the years, I have had to let my coworkers know, as gently as
possible, that I have value other than in a bedroom and that my coffee
making skills are not my single greatest asset. So, yeah, I am
sensitive to these kinds of perceptions because I have fought the good
fight over and over again.

Its been my experience that titles like Vice President and President
of the Whole Show usually carry with it an understanding of what can
and cannot be expected of the person behind the title. No one will go
up to the VP and say, "Hey, guess what .. you get to transcribe the
minutes of our meetings from now on ... and the heck with your work
schedule, etc." That the VP chooses to do it is another thing

For those of us who have no choice in such things ... who are expected
for one reason or another (sex for one) to take on transcription
drudge work (and have it couched within that "for the good of the
team" speech), its a different story altogether.

I am also sensitive to the "for the good of the team" approach.
Generally, it is said to me most often by upper management types who
don't spend a whole heck of a lot of time in the trenches running the
photocopier and what not.

Make no mistake, I am wholeheartedly a team player and I will do what
needs to be done ... however ... I do have to draw lines so that
everyone knows I am not the team drudge and that I cannot be called
upon for whatever scut job comes along. Its a fine line but at the
end of the day, I want to feel good about myself and the job I'm

One last point, once my coworkers perceive that I cannot be stepped on
or coerced into doing stuff no one else wants to do, I can relax my
stance. Then, like the VP in an earlier message, I can offer to take
the minutes ... because I believe it fits into the way I need to work
and the time constraints I have to work within.

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