FWD: New Employee Problems w/ Management

Subject: FWD: New Employee Problems w/ Management
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 08:12:36 -0600

Forwarded anonymously upon request. Do not reply to me--
it's not my situation and I can't individually forward messages.
Reply on list.

I have been a technical writer for 10 years. I am a new employee in a writing
group managed by a non-writer (a software engineer). The group has been
assembled over the last 10 months. One of the first hired has been given the
job of planning and scheduling everyone else's assignments. With the exception
of draft department guidelines for manuals, he no longer writes.

He does review the work of the other writers. In my short time here, he has
already told me that he sees himself as the true "Tech Writer" and the rest of
us as merely his assistants. He also has a personal mission to "break" the
"writer's pride" (his phrase) in the rest of us.

I have read the guideline document he drafted. His style to turn everything into
acronyms, drop all articles wherever possible and use lots of passive voice and
pronouns with unclear antecedents. He is a would-be military man and coaches
all personal interactions in military terms. He will expound on history and military affairs at length. This is not good in an environment where our time is
totally accountable to customer projects.

The other writers are not comfortable with him. Some are down right hostile
and have complained to management. He has no managerial authority but has
"fired" at least one person. (It didn't happen.)He has also spirited documents out of
people's cubes unasked and eavesdropped on cubicle conversations.

The non-writing manager is a hands-off guy by reputation. I've met with him a
couple of times and found him outgoing and reasonable.

Please advise as to how to handle this situation.I like the company and my colleagues and would like to make a go of it.

Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner http://www.raycomm.com/

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