FW: LWR SIG-> Proofreading Everything Under the Sun-- A TWs resp ?

Subject: FW: LWR SIG-> Proofreading Everything Under the Sun-- A TWs resp ?
From: Lynn Perry <clperry -at- WALLDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 12:07:02 -0700

> Bill DuBay[SMTP:bill_dubay -at- PHOENIX -dot- COM] wrote
>I think a professional response is just to say "No." Being a professional
means knowing when to say no. >There are some things we don't do, or at
least, some things we don't have time for.

> I agree completely. I think there is a great deal of pressure on technical
> writers to do everything from writing simple procedures that document
> extremely complex operations to providing superb graphics and layout to
> following grammar and punctuation styles to supplying proofreading and
> editing tasks to <fill-in-the-blank>.
Although many of us do all this, most of us can't do all this all the time.
Most of the managers I've worked with simply do not understand the extent of
resources required for this kind of effort. As professionals, we *must* say
no sometimes. (Or maybe not "no," but "I can do this by then but not this.")
To say yes to everything undermines our overall effectiveness.

I've boiled it down to this: it's part of a manager's job to ask more from
you than you can do, and it's part of your job to say no when it's
appropriate. A manager cannot know when s/he has asked for more than you can
do unless you tell her/him. We owe it to our managers and to ourselves to be
truthful about what we can and cannot do. Our managers owe it to us to
support us to do the best job we can. Sometimes that means choosing between
additional tech writing resources or a less well-done doc set.

Knowing this choice doesn't make it easy for me. I always want my docs to be
perfect. And I err on the side of taking on too much responsibility
sometimes. That's when I suffer. And it's what makes me less effective on
the next project. My managers don't want that, really, so I've had to learn.
It's gotten better as I've gotten better at setting expectations and clearly
communicating what can be done, when.

Hope this helps.
clperry -at- walldata -dot- com
My opinions are mine. Period.

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