Re: Defining your role

Subject: Re: Defining your role
From: Linda Castellani <castle -at- CRL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 23:00:28 -0800

It sounds like a very creative way to give you an opportunity to
tell your co-workers how you like to work and show them what you have to
offer. You're getting a chance to train them, and to educate them about
what you do so that when you ask for something, they will be aware of
the process behind the things you ask for. It can help to lower the
resistance we sometimes run into when we need information.

Maybe it's the presentation itself that's making you feel
uncomfortable, and not the content...?

At any rate, it sounds like a great opportunity to me, and not at
all something you need to feel defensive about.

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996, Ginna Watts wrote:

> Hi all,

> I am fairly new in my job, at a company where I am the first (and only)
> tech writer. We have gone through some fairly significant hiring in the
> last little while, so I am not alone in being new. The manager of the R&D
> group is also new, and he has asked me to do something I'm not very
> comfortable with.

> First, some background: The company is in the middle of a major upgrade of
> its software, from DOS 5 to NT 4. We have tentatively decided that the
> documentation will be significantly upgraded as well. There exists now a
> good reference manual for the DOS version, but no online help and no user
> guide as such.

> I would like to update the reference guide, create a context sensitive help
> system, and design a user guide. The manager told me yesterday that I need
> to 'bring the programmers and customer support people on board.' To that
> end, he has asked me to write the 'definitive documentation on
> documentation' (yes, that's a quote). In other words, defend my existence
> and job to the rest of the team. That is (i.e.? ;), I am to write out a
> description of exactly what a tech writer does, what the difference between
> user and reference guides are, how online help differs from an electronic
> manual etc. When it is complete, I am to give it out, and then make a
> presentation to the rest of the team. This is not a presentation on what
> I'd like to do with this specific project, but rather a more general, 'this
> is what I do and why you should support me' talk.

> Am I wrong in being uncomfortable with this? I feel that it should not be
> up to me to bring the rest of the team on board. If the documentation
> decisions are based on time, money etc., then I could live with doing less,
> but I hate feeling like I have to defend my job, especially when I'm so
> new.

> How should I handle this - any thoughts?

> Ginna Watts | gwatts -at- pim -dot- bc -dot- ca
> Pacific International Mapping Corp.
> 4218 Commerce Circle
> Victoria, BC Canada V8Z 6N6
> Tel (250) 727-0727 Fax (250) 727-3153
> maps3d -at- pim -dot- bc -dot- ca

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