Sorry for interrupting . . .

Subject: Sorry for interrupting . . .
From: John Blessing <jblessing -at- PTD -dot- WABCO-RAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 10:42:25 -0400

The best solution I know of to frustration from interruption is to alter
your definition of interruption. At my company, the technical writer is
paid not just to hammer out documents by deadline (although that is a
significant part), but we are expected to be knowledge bases - sort of
living encyclopedias of subject matter knowledge who can be of broad help
both to customers and to engineers alike. If I went off like a shotgun
every time I was asked for help, I would be failing at half of my job.
Beyond product knowledge, software knowledge is significant and since we
are not only producing documents in FM+SGML, but also editing in Ventura,
Word, and WordPerfect, along with the occasional accursed DisplayWrite
conversion, sharing knowledge of our software is a necessary evil. I am
only frustrated by a co-worker who acts as if we have no work and wastes my
time, but I try not ever to be frustrated by someone who has prioritized
their own work over mine (even mistakenly). We are all on the same team
(to sound remarkably cliche-ish). I believe the best solution to
interruption of the technical writer is honest commitment from management
and co-workers to solve each others problems immediately and to value
everyone else's time above your own. Mutual respect does wonders.

John Blessing

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