TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
My first job as a writer happened after I was laid off during a drastic
downsizing at a small company and then re-hired 6 months later as a TW
to replace someone who had taken their 6 month globe trotting vacation.
When they got back and inquired about their old job, they didn't get it
and I got to stay. I had started as in a lowly software quality
assurance and tech support position before the layoff. Being rehired as
a TW gave me more $$$, but I was still cheap labour. So, SOMETIMES a
recall happens; but in my case, I was pro-active and applied for the
position when it came available. This was about 9 years ago.
Scavenging equipment? This year I came back from a month long winter
VACATION to New Zealand and found my cubicle ransacked! I got back a day
earlier than the IS department thought and they hadn't replaced the
computer which had been borrowed. I was missing:
* my computer (they left the keyboard and 17" monitor, though)
* my chair
* my mouse pad (it was a tradeshow trinket with some sentimental
value; it was never found or returned, snif)
* granola bars from my "stash" (my colleague 'fessed up and I said
it was okay)
* snack money from my desk (borrowed)
* reference books from my bookshelf
* my telephone books (yellow and white pages; those cads!)
I needed the extra day just to locate my cubicle contents, remember just
what the heck it was I did there, and brag about my trip. Good thing I
really like what I do and who I do it for, or else it wouldn't have been
The equipment is the companies to allocate as they see fit. It is still
rather bad form to be a vulture when someone is on vacation and snatch
the petty stuff.