Techwhirlers, make your own status!

Subject: Techwhirlers, make your own status!
From: "Geoff Hart (by way of \"Eric J. Ray\" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)" <ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 11:50:14 -0700

One of the things that occurs to me whenever I see this discussion
of how poorly respected techwhirlers are come around (which it does
at least annually) is the tendency to emphasize respect for the
position rather than for the person. I find that more than a bit
disturbing, but quite apart from that, it highlights the source of
the problem: if your managers only know you by the name of your
position, you're unlikely to garner much respect from them.

>From day one, I've made a point of being well known to those who
supervise me as well as those who I'm working for (e.g., my authors).
It's occasionally tough to do subtly, particularly in corporations
with very heavy or paternalistic hierarchical structures, but it's
not impossible. For example, when I worked for the feds, I
volunteered myself onto the Health and Safety committee, chaired the
committee, and got to talk directly to senior management as a result.
I used that contact to keep in contact with them, let them know what
I was doing, and indicate my availability for other tasks... and as a
result, I gradually became a face, not just an anonymous position
number. It's the same deal with my authors nowadays: I've helped
them write applications for enrollment in university courses and
letters to the tax monsters about some misunderstanding, and I've
edited their children's and friends resumes. It takes a bit of time,
but it also makes me part of the solution, not part of the problem,
and you can't buy that kind of acceptance and respect. I've also made
good friends this way, so don't look on it as a purely cynical way to
protect your job.

I've heard that the rule in Japan is that the nail who sticks up gets
pounded down; that makes sense to me, because nobody likes stepping
on protruding nails. But at least in Canada, the cultural equivalent
is that you can stand out from the faceless masses by making yourself
a broader part of your company than your job description alone

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Patience comes to those who wait."--Anon.

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

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