(WAS: Help! First TW job interview) Not sure what it is now...

Subject: (WAS: Help! First TW job interview) Not sure what it is now...
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 15:51:28 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Comeau, Lisa
Sent: Friday, March 12, 1999 3:51 PM
To: 'trocco -at- ONDISPLAY -dot- COM'
Subject: (WAS: Help! First TW job interview) Not sure what it is now...

Eric's gonna kill me, but I DO have a way to relate this to Technical
Communication, so bear with me (or not, as is your right...)

TR> It's pretty frightening to hear someone dismiss ageism and other forms
of discrimination as "perfectly acceptable" given a particular cultural

You say it's discrimination, but do you KNOW why they're looking for someone
in this age group? Maybe in the original poster's area, it is illegal to
work in a corporation if you are under 25, and they are expecting to field
applications from people ignorant of this fact, so they put the age
requirements in. (yep, graspin' at straws here, just to make a point...)

Child pornography is considered "perfectly acceptable" in certain cultures
too. It is not our place to say that because it is not right from OUR
perspective, it isn't right at all... (personally, I don't endorse, condone,
or approve of it, but the right to view it is a PERSONAL right in certain
cultures - and they might not understand why we feel that we need to have
monogamous marriages either, and perhaps they think monogamous partnerships
discriminatory against people too...)

TR> genuine feelings of bias toward a group of people who share a particular
trait does not make it acceptable to put that bias into effect in one's
hiring practices.

Certainly it does, if that is the way your culture functions. Sorry, Tony,
but if, in my culture, women were considered to be superior employees in a
certain field, it would be within my rights as the owner of a company (which
existed in this type of culture) to open a position up only to female
applicants. Now, if I were FROM a culture that felt this way, but running my
business in a culture that did NOT function this way, that is a different

TR> One context of which Mr. Barefoot should be aware is that of people on
this list who don't approve of discrimination of any form regardless of
whether or not it's deemed acceptable within the context in which it occurs.

I can't see how we can view it as discrimination if WE are not a part of the
practice - did you ever stop to think that in our original poster's culture,
this is expected, and perhaps works well for them? Do you live there? Do
you work there? Have you researched the reason WHY a company may want
someone within a certain age group?

How does this related to Technical Communication? Well, let's see... we sit
here and argue the points of translation, and what to be aware of. We argue
as to whether humor is a good idea in tech pubs. We give advice on how to
act/what to say/what to do in an interview. We argue about pay structure
from continent to continent. What we all seem to miss is the fact that here,
on this list, we have an example of our own little earth, complete with
different facets of TW, different cultures, different viewpoints, and yes,
even different languages of origin.

Can we see this as an opportunity to grow as writers? I for one, find it
fascinating that we have such an opportunity.

I guess it goes to show you, once again, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you're
writing and ad for a position in Norway, and you live in Poughkeepsie, you'd
better do your homework on Norwegian culture, writing styles, and hiring
practices, or you could get yourself in a whole passel of crap.


(pouring myself a gasoline bath, waiting for the first match to be
-Lisa COmeau
Ontario, Canada (another great melting pot)

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

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