Happily Employed: the Employee's Role

Subject: Happily Employed: the Employee's Role
From: Moshe Koenig <alsacien -at- NETVISION -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 09:30:08 PDT

I'm glad to read that enough technical writers still have enough
self esteem to feel that they have the right to be happy at work.
Kathryn said something that would have caused an earthquake in
Israel (actually, there WAS an earthquake yesterday, and maybe
she was to blame) when she said that the employer isn't doing a
favor by giving work to an employee. Years ago, when I was in a
position in which hiring and firing was my responsibility in a
cultural institution, I remember hearing my supervisor say to me
the exact opposite: the employer was giving welfare to people
who would otherwise be out on the streets starving!

David Somers told a story that would have resulted in the candidate
losing the job offer or being hired and then being fired in a few
days here. In 1992, I received a job offer that sounded attractive,
but I was told that I would receive a copy of the contract in the
mail. Although I was far from young and green, I was too excited
about the offer to press for the contract. After I started the job,
the same manager who told me I would get a contract told me that
the company had "changed its policy" and no longer gave said contracts.
This was the job from hell, the same one in which the manager lost
no opportunity at launching verbal attacks against me in front of
an audience. The job description I had been given was inaccurate,
the salary was the lowest of all the writers, even those with less
experience, and the treatment was terrible. From that day on, I
never agreed to work without getting offers in writing, and I'm
also of the opinion that having a lawyer check the offer is not
a waste of time or money.

Years ago, someone said to me, "It doesn't matter if you're salaried
or self-employed; you're still in business for yourself either way.
If you don't assume full responsibility, you have only yourself to
blame when things go wrong." It was good advice.

- Moshe


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