FWD: Standards, getting stuff done, and generally frustrating situation

Subject: FWD: Standards, getting stuff done, and generally frustrating situation
From: Anonymous User <anonfwd -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 14:16:25 -0700

Name withheld upon request. Please reply on list.


I have a job that I love. The people I work with are really nice, and we
all get along very well. The position involves several things I enjoy
doing, and that I am very good at. It's a contract, so I know it's not
forever, but it gives me the chance to move on with more experience, and
I like contract work.

So what's the problem? Well, there are several.

I am doing documentation (as one facet of my position) in a place where
"standards" are nonexistent. There is a committee trying to create them,
but ?
They're setting standards for technical install/config docs - I do
end-user stuff
The person in charge of install/config docs (written for techies) thinks
the user docs should be laid out and worded the same way. (our users are
VERY uninformed and tech-scared)
My boss has no idea of what goes into writing tech docs
I am constantly duplicating work (there a re currently 5 people doing
Outlook FAQ web pages - none of us are communicating with the others,
and I meet resistance when I suggest it
The "nice" people I work with often spend their day playing Quake on
their laptops
I am now working on 61 documents, and can't seem to get any help to
finish them
I can't finish the docs until I get a standard template
On top of all of this stuff I do documentation-wise, I also do desktop
support, and a little training
I end up getting extra work because I am so good at the documentation
stuff, that I get procedures to do, as well as things like phone lists,

I have brought this up before, to no avail. My boss keeps saying "set
your own standards", but every document I do has to be approved by the
"standards committee". (I've already had a major altercation with the
"standards guru"). I have asked my "team" for help, but 2 members are
just as busy as me, and the other 2 are consultants for our contracting
firm, so they think they can play Quake all day.

I am at my wit's end. I am concerned that when my contract ends, I will
get a terrible reference because the projects aren't done. I am
concerned that they will want to hire me full-time (they've been hinting
about it). I am concerned that they won't hire me full-time, and then
I'll have a crappy reference, no new job, and no job prospects.

I am not a Technical Writer. I have no TW degree, and have had no actual
job where my function has been TW; I have just fallen into that role,
and have been writing procedures, etc. for about 2 years. I am worried
that if I try to get into the TW filed after this nightmare is over, I
won't get a job, and I'll have to go back to "Systems Support Analyst",
which I am trying to get out of. (That's why I've taken on jobs with a
TW focus).

Any comments, suggestions, etc. would really help me. I feel like I'm
getting walked on, but I don't know if it's worth trying to stop,
because my contract will be up in about 1 1/2 months. Is it worth it?

In a bit of a kafuffle

Message forwarded on request. Please reply on list.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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