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First off, present information that is easy to read, not like the your message
which arrived looking as follows:
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> <META content=3D'"MSHTML 4.71.1712.3"' name=3DGENERATOR>
> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
> <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 face=3DArial size=3D2>What's the quickest way =
> to gain=20
> respect as a technical writer in a company unused to such strange=20
First, it doesn't happen overnight..
Second, I was in a position where I came into an environment with 75
programmers who had never had a tech writer and didn't think they needed one. I
never attempted to fit in by demanding that as the tech writer, I was
"supposed" to do documentation, so if they didn't like it, they could pound
salt. Instead, in the background, I set up a documentation delivery intranet,
then spent about a month converting whatever material I could find laying
around that I knew was being used, but didn't tell them I was doing it.
Then, when I felt that I had enough of a collection of material to be of value,
I sent out an email announcement corporate wide, announcing the intranet, what
could be found on it, and the process for getting all new material on it from
that day forward. All of a sudden, I had them coming to me.."Excuse me, John,
but I have a small program that needs a Release Note...do you think you can
handle it?" or the marketing department asking me to convert a user's manual to
a web page, or the Dir of Engineering asking me to create several MAN pages,
type of stuff.
Third, solicit opportunities to be of service but don't make a big deal if they
say no the first time...the'll come around. We had the Manager of Network
Operations sendings status reports to customers..and he just wasn't a writer. I
suggested to him that maybe I could rewrite them for him so he could spend more
time doing what he was supposed to do...keeping a network up 7X24.
Anyway...there are many other examples, but the point is that you don't first
get respected then become effective. First, prove you are worthy of having your
John Posada, Technical Writer
Bellcore, where Customer Satisfaction is our number one priority mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com mailto:jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com
phone(w) 732-699-3077 phone(h) 732-2910-7811
alpha-pager: 800-864-8444 pin 1857522 http://www.tdandw.com
email pager: mailto:1857522 -at- pagemart -dot- net
My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish,
and he will sit in a boat and smoke cigars all day."
"The only perfect document I ever created is still on my hard drive."