Re: Update on Trouble Working with SME

Subject: Re: Update on Trouble Working with SME
From: Linda Castellani <castle -at- CRL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 12:42:01 -0800

On Mon, 2 Dec 1996, Lucille Lattanzi wrote:

> I have encountered software/ programming managers in software companies
> who acted similarly - either due to a bent toward control-freak behavior
> or due to a run-in with a prima donna-type technical writer.
> Good luck !
> Lucille Lattanzi

Another condition in which programmers act like that is when the
programmers themselves are the prima donnas of the company. You can tell
by clues such as how many perks the programmers have that you (or many
other company members) don't have, whether schedules are always slanted
to give programmers the maximum amount of time and tech writing the
minimum, whether anyone is in a position to make the programmers behave
responsibly, and who has the final say - programmer or writer - over how
something gets done.

If it's a power thing, then definitely do not try the being
friendly approach, because people who are into power view that as weak.
Use power with power. If you are now the department head, and so is the
other guy, you are equals. If you are the department head, and he is
just one of the programmers, you outweigh him. Go to his department
head, and seek the cooperation you require. If you don't get
satisfaction, escalate to your boss. Keep written records. There is no
reason why you should have to play games to get the info you need to do
your job.

And, I strongly agree with the person who said you should do a
little investigating to find out if there is anything beyond control
issues that is preventing you from getting the info before you decide how
to proceed. No point in pushing on the guy if his kid is sick, or his
dog is dying, or he just got a bad review, or he's not making his
numbers, or any number of other issues...

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