Re: Editing comments too harsh?

Subject: Re: Editing comments too harsh?
From: "Bernard A. McCann" <bi975 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 18:45:49 GMT

Vanessa Wilburn (vlwilburn -at- cpu -dot- com) writes:
> <delurk>
> In my recent performance review, my manager said there have been complaints
> about my editing comments being too harsh. Part of my job requires proof
> reading engineers' writing (I am the only tech writer in the company). I
> thought that I was being sensitive. Has anyone encountered this problem?
> What do you do to *not* tread too heavily on engineer egos?

Oh, woe is the tech. writer/editor employed by a company without a
publications/communications manager! Experience tells me that it will
often be thus.

As a manager (it's easier for managers, but for you Vanessa, I would
suggest carefully choosing the right moment) I often posed the following
question to awkward engineers:
I want you to go back to your desk and write a 200 word essay on
*any* subject, bring it back to me with the following statement; "I'll bet
you a week's wages that you can't find anything wrong with it."
Following an embarrassing pause, there is usually an exclamatory
collection of ahs and ows, and then something like; "Come on, play fair,
I'm an engineer not a writer!" To which you reply: "I rest my case."
It's worked every time, so far. :-)

Another suggestion is to offer to produce a company style guide .. and
have it blessed by the president.



--
..............................................................................
Bernie McCann bi975 -at- ncf -dot- carleton -dot- ca
Efficient turnkey management of engineering and scientific publishing.
..............................................................................

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