Re: Respect or no?

Subject: Re: Respect or no?
From: Sabahat Ashraf <sabahat -at- OPENIX -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 12:01:10 -0400

I have been following this thread [okay, so I actually read all TECHWR-L
mail] and wondering why I never asked ... till I read Nancy's post:

> the question of respect is a big issue with me. I asked how the technical
> writers and what they do are perceived by line staff and management and how
> the technical writing job fits into the big picture.

Yup! I always do that; just didn't quite look at it as so much a respect
thing as getting a feel for what I call "the corporate culture" of the
place. Other spins I have used include:

"When in the product life cycle/process does the Tech Writer come in?"

"How/how closely does the writer fit into the team developing a
particular product?"

and other specifics. It helps if the person I am talking to is a writer
her/himself. But not always. Company loyalty some times makes 'em
defensive. I non-writing manager can give away a lot more answering one
of those.

A *very* pleasant surprise was having a product described by the VP of
my present company and being asked: "Where would you (want to) come in?"
[Actually, he was hoping for UI as well as Documentation help.] And this
from a company that, up to that point, had never had a Tech Writer

My simple reply was "Right in the beginning -- and all the way thru." I
then went on to explain why it was useful to have me in on each stage in
a product life cycle.


sabahat -at- openix -dot- com - ashrafs -at- rpi -dot- edu
735 Elm Ave Apt 5B Teaneck NJ 07666-2313
(201) 301 4232 (off) (201) 287 1405 (res)

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