Re: tech rant

Subject: Re: tech rant
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 11:22:51 -0500

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew... ;-)

AP>I don't get it. What is the big deal about "status" or "prestige" at a
company? Why are tech writers so concerned with their "position" and
"ranking" in an organization.

People as a whole are concerned with their status in life -"keeping up with
the Joneses", don't you know. If I were working somewhere that I did the job
of 4 people, and got no recognition, I'd either demand it, or quit - and I
have done both.

AP>Honestly, when I worked for companies, I didn't care one bit about my
"status" or "level". I figured if I did good work, I'd rise to any level I
wanted. I mean, someone who does excellent work will get noticed no matter
where he/she resides in the "organizational hierarchy", right?

In a perfect world, yep. Unfortunately, our world is not perfect.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, the guy in the next cubicle playing
Solitaire gets promoted because the boss thinks he gets his work done faster
than everyone else - OR because he's the boss's son - OR because he's been
with the company for 17 years, and you're not past your probation period
yet.

AP> The people who everyone respected were the crack programmers and
writers, who generally paid no attention to their "status" in the
organization.

From what you could see, they paid no attention, or maybe they were just
antisocial? (joking) Maybe they weren't concerned, because they were happy
with their positions. Obviously, there are alot of writers who aren't, and
many of them are on this list. Some places recognise genius, others don't.
Simple. Find a place where you're appreciated. - eventually you will...

AP> Who cares! All that org-chart crap is all arbitrary anyway. Who on
earth pays attention to that nonsense? I am not a religious person, but I
don't think the word "org chart" is any
where in the numerous religious texts of human existence.

Actually, sometimes your position in the ORG CHART (yep, all caps)
determines whether you get that promotion or not. Ambitious people sometimes
tape them to their chests and highlight not only where they are, but where
they want to be. Climbing the corporate ladder involves followiong org chart
lines sometimes. Sux, but that's how it is.

AP> So what if you get lumped in with the non-technical people, or the
non-creative people, or the non-breathing people...

If you are a person who measures their work by the yardstick applied to the
entire world, this will not work for you. We should be measuring against
self, not cow-orkers.

AP>Even a small amount of assertiveness and incentive can make you look like
the Raging Velociraptor of Technical Communications.

"Byte me" screamed in your best growly voice works too. Who needs all this
attention, anyway?

MH> ... when a company tends to rank me right above a secretary (which I
believe tend to be undervalued and underpaid anyway) they tend to pay me
right above a secretary. Additionally, if I am "ranked" lowly, my opinion is
seldom considered. Finally, I am considered expendable if I have a low
status.

If you're considered expendable by others, it's because you haven't
created "the myth of value-addedness" - in other words, you have not
demonstrated what it is you can do that no one else can. It doesn't have to
be huge - just a contribution no one has thought of before. An example?
Sure, I've got one -

I was top salesperson at a retail chain. I didn't get ONE return at
Christmastime. I had customers who wouldn't shop at the store on my day off,
but would spend >$500 when I was there. One of my coworkers (who had worked
there for 3 years to my 6 months) brought cookies every day, did all of the
filing for the boss, did Visual Merchandising, and organized the size
indicators for the hangers. She also ended up in the negative numbers after
Christmas, because every person that bought from her exchanged or returned
the merchandise.

When layoff time came, who went? MOI! (nope, I'm not bitter...MUCH!)Why?
Because my counterpart had
A) been there longer
B) brought cookies
D) was anal about organization
E) did the Visual Merchandising, thereby saving the company cash

Eventually, I did all of those things (minus the cookies)for another company
who were unhappy with my sales (which were STILL top 3) bacause I was doing
other stuff.

The moral? There's always someone who gets the most recognition in a
company. But if you want it to be you, find out what the priorities are,
find out how to get recognition, and subtly communicate that you are a
"value-added employee".

MH>There are some companies or managers who are uneducatable. Today, I do
not choose to work in such situations. I work in a place where I am valued
and treated accordingly.

Melanie's right. You really DO choose where you work. And, in many ways,
it's your CHOICE to be treated however you get treated. Make the choice, or
make like a tree and leave.

Lisa Comeau
Ontario, Canada
"I love to dance in the light of the TECHWR-L flames...it makes me feel
free..."
-attributed to a crazy techwhirler singed to death on afternoon in May

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




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