Re: Editing comments too harsh

Subject: Re: Editing comments too harsh
From: Rebecca Phillips <rebecca -at- QRONUS -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 08:05:03 +-200

Dear All:

I wasn't planning on writing again on this thread, but I just couldn't leave Moshe Koenig's comments. I realize that he was writing about an extreme situation. Still, I think the general attitude expressed is not a constructive one. He wrote:

>If a writer hears from a manager that his/her comments are too caustic,
>start looking for a job and leave that manager high and dry. He/she
> deserves it.

The great philosopher Linus van Pelt once said that "There is no problem so great or so complicated that it cannot be run away from." Your statement does not reflect an attitude of appreciation for others. How can you expect them to appreciate you? Once I criticized my manager for coming down too hard on an editor. He said "Well, he deserved it." I said, "But what did it accomplish? I don't care what he deserves. I just want him to do a better job next time, not destroy his confidence." Giving people what they "deserve" will get you nowhere in life.

>I've read the comments that many others have made, and I tend to believe
>that personal chemistry has a lot to do with the way people react.<snip>
>You get so accustomed to facing criticism and getting so little appreciation
>that a strong ego is just a means of surviving.

I tend to believe that a positive attitude and outlook goes a long way towards creating chemistry. If you go into a job believing that people are going to treat you with no respect, believe me, they will. The original thread was from an editor who gave the impression that she wasn't about to pack her bags, but wanted to improve the relationships with her co-workers. Being pushier won't work towards that end.

>You'd think that being a male Murphy Brown would mean that I'd be the
>writer nobody wants. If that were true, then I'm just not good enough
>at being obnoxious. I'm fighting like the devil right now to wind down
>my outside activities so that I can take a salaried position after
>close to a year of frenzied freelancing that has all but put me in a
>padded cell.

For one thing the end doesn't justify the means. I don't mean to get personal, but the truth is, you are a highly skilled technical writer in a market that is desperate for good technical writers. I know your reputation and I have seen a sample of your work, and I know you are good. If I had the choice of someone with a positive attitude but a tenth of the experience you have, who do you think I would choose? That doesn't justify negativism.

Rebecca M. Phillips
Documentation Manager
Qronus Interactive Ltd.
14 Shabazi Street
Yahud 56231 Israel

rebecca -at- qronus -dot- co -dot- il

Phone: 972-3-5392207
Fax: 972-3-5368290

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