Re: Business Cards

Subject: Re: Business Cards
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 07:07:06 PST

Virginia Butler writes:

>Do all technical communicators have business cards? I am working at a
>corporation that does not issue business cards unless the employee has
>extensive outside contact (e.g., sales or managers). When I attended
>an STC meeting to recruit for an open position, I was told to give out
>my director's business card instead. I have offered to pay for my own
>company business cards, but this too was not allowed.

I have been groping around for some time for a delicate, noninflammatory
way of saying that I think that your managers are status-hogging,
insensitive jerks. I failed. I have worked at places where the management
was not very good, but they didin't pursue an active policy of arrogating
all the tokens of professionalism to themselves, while slapping down
those who reached for them. I've never had an employer or cllient who
didn't issue business carts to anyone who wanted them.

I'm particularly appalled that they chose to enforce your professional
nonexistence at a meeting of your peers, where you were attempting
to recruit for the company. This is a completely irrational decision,
since it broadcasts their contempt for the profession, which is hardly
an effective sales tactic.

>I have resolved the issue by purchasing my own business cards
>that do not have any company identification on them, but I was wondering
>whether anyone else had experienced a similar struggle to be recognized
>as a professional. Any thoughts on this?

From your description, your company is actively and deliberately denying
you professional status as a matter of set policy. If this is the case,
your chances of having them anoint you as one of The Professional Ones
are slim. If you like the company otherwise, and the anal-retentiveness
is concentrated in a small group of managers, perhaps you can attach
yourself to a different department. Otherwise, I would avial myself
of the nearest exit.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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