Please advise! Recognition and grading

Subject: Please advise! Recognition and grading
From: "Daniel G. Dresner" <daniel -dot- dresner -at- NCC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 09:35:49 +0000

You wrote . . .

**********************************************

Situation: I work for a Santa Cruz, Calif. software company. There is
a small group of technical writers and a manager. I was the first tech
writer hired. When my manager is out of the office, others in the
company come to me for their requests. In addition, my manager has
informed me that he considers me the best editor in the group
(including himself). Thus, when marketing, sales, tech support, etc.
have editing requests, my manager gives them to me. He's always given
me his writing to edit, and the writingn of another writer. I recently
had my annual review. After that review (which my manager said was
"excellent":I received "excellent" and "outstanding" ratings
throughout), I pointed to my value to the copany and asked for (a) a
title reflecting those responsibilities, such as senior staff writer
or lead technical writer, and (b) a raise in accordance with that. My
manager informed me that such a title is "not in accordance" with his
"model," in which each writer is part of a project team. (E.g., if I
worked for Sun, there would be a Javasoft technical writer.) I asked
about a rating system for tech writers (for example, a junior tech
writer is a level 1, a more experienced
writer is a level 2,
etc.). He said, no everyone is a staff writer.
Therefore, I receive no recognition for my extra work when he is away
and my constant flow of editing. In addition, I happen to know that
the last writer hired makes over five thousand a year more than I do.
I asked my manager why that writer's value to the company is so much
greater than mine, and what I could do to rise to that level. My
manager said the other writer is "very technical" and had received a
high salary over the hill (meaning San Jose, where salaries are always
higher than in Santa Cruz). I feel discouraged. If there is no
promotional system, what is my 5-year goal supposed to be? To always
be a "staff writer"?

I would definitely appreciate some advice.

**********************************************

Joanne,

You can't change attitude so easily but it helps to have something
'official' to wave about.

Try the British Computer Society's Industry Structure Model. The
bit for technical authors is quite good. I drafted it and have
managed to get six levels of author defined. I wanted seven but was
edited out at the last post! Still it improved the original tier
system that only defined four. I have every confidence of it because
it was reviewed by my colleague and mentor who has more years in
documentation than he cares to remember.

I can't send you a copy because its copyright BCS. You can contact
them at:

The British Computer Society
1 Sandford Street
Swindon
SN1 1HJ
UK

e-mail: bcshq -at- bcs -dot- org -dot- uk
http://www.bcs.org.uk/

Good luck. I hope you get the recognition you deserve.






************************************************************
Danny Dresner
Publications/NCC Quality Manager
The National Computing Centre Ltd.
Oxford House, Oxford Road
Manchester M1 7ED, UK
daniel -dot- dresner -at- ncc -dot- co -dot- uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 228 6333 Direct Line: +44 (0)161 242 2352
Fax: +44 (0)161 236 9877
http://www.ncc.co.uk/

"Logic . . . merely allows one to be wrong with authority!"


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