RE: Writing Test?

Subject: RE: Writing Test?
From: Mpschiesl -at- ra -dot- rockwell -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:44:00 -0600

I would have a problem giving a paycheck to certain attitudes shown
in this thread.

Tobbin wrote:
<I think that as a Senior Tech Writer, you would be justified and capable
of refusing such a test.>

Did you take your last car on a test drive, or did you just accept whatever
the seller told you? Did you see if the car had the personal feel that you
are looking for, or did you just look at the specs? Even on a new car, did
you just fork over $18,000 without at least spinning the tires.

I agree with Sam Buttice's response. If I'm going to invest hundreds of
thousands of dollars into someone (salary + benefits + taxes + taxes +
computer + software + training + office), they should be worth it (or at
least willing to be worth it). Personally, as a professional writer/artist,
I enjoy showing others the talents that God has given me.

As a business person, I would be foolish if I didn't give the person an
opportunity to show me what they like to do. Many of the manuals that I
have made were built and shaped under the compulsion of company standards,
traditions, criticism, reviews and revisions, misinformation/contradictions,
fear, and red tape items. My portfolio probably doesn't really represent my
raw abilities and passions (which is what I'd rather see). My portfolio
shows a bunch of materials that have been rehashed and pummelled around.

I wouldn't have too much trouble with someone who doesn't 'test well', but I
would like a little impression of what this person would be bringing to my
business. What are their skills, how could I get them into a position that
would most benefit and satisfy both the employee and the business? If I can
see what their passions and skills are, I could give them projects that are
relevant and fun for them to do.

Geoff Hart wrote:
<I seriously resent the time requirement [for taking a test]... why should I
spend even more time working on a fictitious exam... My compromise would be
to propose doing a short work for hire...>

I would think that a 15 minute test take less time and effort than going through
hiring, moving, and other stuff required to start work (then having a 3 month
'trap door' open under you). I see your point (a little), but I think that you
would be asking a lot from the employer. Depending on the attitude (and if I
the time), it may be possible to give you a small contract that you could do on
the side for a few weeks (don't quit your day job), and if I like you, I'll
give you more contracts or ask you to come aboard.

Ivan Gelicall wrote:
<I would not take a test to prove to some idiot that I can do my job.>

You may be able to do your job, but you won't be doing it for this 'idiot'.
'Knowledge puffs up (into arrogance), but compassion builds up others.' Are
you helping others or being arrogant in yourself? (I think you can do better
than this.) : (

Seeing all the negative feedback, I am now confident that a test is the best
way to keep away people who have their priorities mixed up and those who are
too arrogant for their own good (for God's sake, we're writing stupid books,
how can we act like superheroes), and alternately, attract those who don't
have it all together, but who want to do a good job.

Have a nice day,


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