yearly review...

Subject: yearly review...
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:45:11 -0500

Reading between the lines gets you a synopsis of the stuff said so far...
_______________________________________________________________
Brian Martin's boss said writers shouldn't get evaluated with the other
people who worked on the product.
>>HOW WAS THIS MEANT? Without an idea of the context, we can take this 2
ways...

Brian took it to mean that he "deserves less bonus because he's a technical
writer, not a coder."
He goes on to tell us that he "developed a simple but functional HTML
interface for our JAVA-Web product."
and he "led himself 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."
He says
"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..."

Jane Bergen said that "We cannot be taken seriously as a profession until we
get off this mindset that tech writing is something "anyone can do." "
"Come on, folks. Whether or not you *could* be a good tech writer is NOT THE
POINT that I'm trying to make here. It's about perception --- how our
employers and non-tw colleagues perceive us in the grand scheme of pecking
order."
"Brian has run into the brick wall that many of us have helped to build."
____________________________________________________________________

Okay, call me crazy, but I can't see how us being more professional will
make us look better to our employers (just KIDDING!) ;-)I agree with Jane's
professionalism comments, but I also think part of professionalism is
communication. Tell them about your needs, etc. This is the most important
part of being professional - how will they know we are unless we demonstrate
it?

What I don't understand is why a "technical writer" is designing the
interface for a product that should be being done by developers, and not
getting credit fo it. Sorry, but when I was in school, HTML was considered
PROGRAMMING, so why shouldn't someone doing HTML get credit for programming,
and get "lumped" with the other coders?

On the other hand, he also did the manuals, AND training. I have been in
this situation before, and I made the choice to change how others viewed my
job. I made it very clear that if they wanted me to continue to be
Superwoman, they'd have to hold my cape from time to time.

I don't know about where Brian works, but every company I've been at has
made it clear that a yearly review involves myself AND the company. They
review me, I review them, and all dialog is confidential, and no blame or
hard feelings (are supposed to)result. Did you try to see if anything can be
done here?

Lisa Comeau
Office (416) 327-1112
Pager (416) 715-9198
mailto:Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca

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