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Subject:Re: First day advice. From:Lydia Wong <lydiaw -at- GTE -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 31 Dec 1997 14:06:27 -0500
John is right (his note follows at the end of this one)--of course, we have
to be realistic in our expectations, both of ourselves and of others.
Actually, I didn't want to make this into a "trenches" story, but I was
thinking about written material *besides* documentation (where it is
expected we'll TRY to do all those things, as best as time pressures and
human error permit).
Once a long time ago, I took the minutes for a meeting. I was very new at
the job, and didn't realize it when my supervisor said something that
sounded quite simple, but he was actually being sarcastic. (I just didn't
catch it--he had a very subdued way about him.) I put his remark in the
minutes, which went on to his supervisors! He was REALLY nice about it,
though understandably upset. If I'd thought more about it, I would have
questioned whether the comment should have gone in the minutes in the first
So, to restate my advice a bit, try to take the time to make all your
writing (correspondence, meeting minutes, internal procedures, etc.)
correct, clear, concise, and appropriate for the intended audience. As I
said, even that "little" stuff reflects on you, and can affect others.
Happy New Year! (and congratulations on your new job, Jonathan!)
FarPoint Technologies, Inc.
>>Be sure that everything you write at work, no matter how small or
insignificant, is correct, complete, clear, accurate, and grammatically
correct. Also, be aware that you never know who might read it and therefore,
whom it might affect.<<
Note of Caution here.
In the real world, as much as I'd like to believe that this were not so,
regardless of the pre-planning and efforts, you don't always have the time
to do things perfect. Sometimes, what should take a day to turnaround gets
bogged down to the point that to make it PERFECT would take many times
longer than that.
This is where experience comes in. You've heard the saying: "Good, Fast,
Cheap" Which two do you want?
Keep the amount of effort in perspective. Sometimes getting something out
into the user's hands 98% perfect is better than 99% perfect still on your
hard drive. Missing a million dollar proposal deadline because you wanted to
make sure it was PERFECT is not acceptable Vs meeting the deadline with
You need to juggle all the factors, and deadlines/commitments are just as
big a factor as spelling and grammar.
John Posada, Technical Writer (and proud of the title)