Re: Compensation question

Subject: Re: Compensation question
From: Matthew Danda <dandam -at- 1STNET -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 1996 08:53:34 -0500


Those last two job responsibilities you listed are what make-or-break a
writer/employer relationship:

- Taking minutes at high-level production meetings and condensing the
information into an easy-to-understand digest form.
- Assisting staff with software questions/problems related to MS Word
and/or FrameMaker.

These are responsibilities that, when under pressure from the other 3
responsibilities (which are good, solid writing functions), can cause the
writer much unneeded stress. Personality issues in the office and the writer
come heavily in to play when the writer is diligently working to make a
deadline and someone walks up and says, "You, come over here and help me
with this Word font problem," or "Hey, writer, you are going to spend all
day today taking notes for us engineers."

You said the last writer quit because of salary issues, but the salary is
considered fair? Perhaps there are other, non-monetary issues involved. If a
writer is given large responsibilities with newsletter and manual writing,
and is also required to be an on-demand "helper" for software questions and
meeting notes, well, guess what? You are going to have a writer that shows
up to work thinking, "I keep getting interrupted with stupid tasks. I can't
concentrate on the important work. I don't get paid enough for this stress."

Solution? The writer needs to have the authority to say "No" to those last 2
tasks if other deadlines are pressing. Or, the writer needs to be receiving
enough compensation that the employer won't dare wasting his/her time with
trivial questions. Or, you just need to be extremely lucky to find that
one-in-a-hundred writer that is willing to handle more stress for average pay.

Just my thoughts,

Matthew Danda
Technical Writer
St. Louis, MO
dandam -at- 1stnet -dot- net

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