Yearly review (Was Fire them all)

Subject: Yearly review (Was Fire them all)
From: Brian Martin <martin -at- SODALIA -dot- IT>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:20:26 +0000

I'm kinda sorry you asked, Eric. What I'm about may sound like sour grapes,
but I can't help feeling the way I do.

My boss essentially told me that he didn't think it was fair that technical
writers were evaluated with the code writers and architects, but that that
was the system. I didn't get a chance to go into details on it as it
occured last Friday night and he was leaving for a week's trip. So I've had
a few days to think about it. The implication of his statement is that you
deserve less bonus because you're a technical writer, not a coder.

In my company, lump sum incentive pay, raises, and promotions are doled out
on an adjusted curve. Adjusted means that first your group manager grades
you, then within the department, the management team evaluates compares
your worth with respect to others in other groups. Finally, across
departments the same thing occurs again with the highest and lowest in each
department getting leveled to the same grade and those in between
distributed accordingly along this relative curve.

I choose to be a technical writer because I like to be involved in the
development and marketing of products (software in this case). But the
problem here is the lack of comprehension and vision of the value added by
technical writers. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

Just a sec.....My flame defense mechanism is sounding... Let me reach over
and.... OK.

To help you understand what I mean: I developed a simple but functional
HTML interface for our JAVA-Web product. I lead myself and one other
contract author to complete a standard HTML help system, the HTML and
JavaScript portions of the interface, worked with numerous developers to
improve the JAVA interface, prepared hard copy manuals in Word from a the
HTML Help, prepared and delivered training for the product. In short, I had
not a little to do with the product's look and feel.

Now, that the product has limitations and bugs and what not, I can't be
faulted for. Nor can I be faulted for occasionally misaligned documentation
for a product that had no visual freeze whatsoever. We have all been
running very fast to meet tight deadlines. Who doesn't?

Perhaps I have too high an opinion of myself. (Nah) Perhaps without the
code makers I wouldn't have a job. But what if the code makers didn't have
me or someone like me? They'd be pretty hard pressed to produce
comprehesible text and do the training.

My opinion is that code, text, and graphics should all get voted on an
equal basis. I'm not saying that everyone should get paid the same wage.
Heck, I'm no commie, let the market determine your level. We should all at
least get measured with the same yard stick.


At 09:33 AM 2/23/99 +0000, Brian Martin wrote:
>Thanks for the great sarcasm!
>Been there.
>I just got my yearly review. Because I got lumped in with all the
>technical people, my yearly bonus will reflect my true worth to the
>company. It seems that "A" work as a technical writer is equivalent to
>"B" work when compared to technical people.

Not to ask you to rehash what must have been a remarkably
unpleasant experience, but can you be more specific about
what happened? In my experience, once you get lumped in
with the engineers etc., you're on the same plane, but not
downgraded for "just" being a writer. Or did I miss something?
Anyone else experienced that?


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

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