"On the bench" explained

Subject: "On the bench" explained
From: Tom Herme <hermet -at- DNINEVADA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 11:08:02 -0800

A number of list subscribers wanted me to summarize the
responses I received off list to my query for a definition
of the expression "on the bench." The consensus is that this
expression is used to describe employees of technical
communication agencies who are not currently on an
assignment for which the agency can bill their time. In
order to keep a "stable" of tech. writers available to work
for clients of the agency on a moment's notice, the agency
continues to pay the writer for staying on the bench. In
other words, it's like being on the bench of a basketball
team when they're playing a game. You're ready to go into
the game when called upon. With the unfortunate situation
that my beloved Minnesota Gopher men's basketball team found
itself this week during its game in the NCAA tournament, it
didn't have enough players on the bench to get the job done.
Oh well....

Anyway, it seems that these writers on the bench may perform
other duties for the agency, take advantage of the downtime
to learn new skills, or go home and sleep. I kid you not.
These were some of the responses I got. Of course this all
varies from agency to agency. Since I will likely find
myself working through agencies upon my return to Minnesota
in a couple of weeks, I wanted to know what this "bench"
expression meant. Now I know. And hopefully all of you who
were in the dark now know as well.

Regards from sunny Northern Nevada...at least until March

Tom Herme
mailto://hermet -at- dninevada -dot- com

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