Re: What department are you in?

Subject: Re: What department are you in?
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 1999 12:18:00 -0600

I work only on contract, so my position is usually a little different. Normally
I'm the lone stranger at a company, reporting to a manager involved in the
product development, so I guess that could qualify as the development

One place I worked, the tech writers were a part of the Training Department. Not
a happy place since our boss was strictly a trainer, a well-educated idiot who
did not understand what tech writers did, why we did it, why we'd want to be
tech writers and not trainers.

Another place, the tech writers were a part of MIS. A better situation,
especially once we managed to convince the MIS techies that just because we were
"just tech writers" didn't mean we were computer illiterates (I LOVED the day
when I told MIS our computers weren't working properly because we had the wrong
printer driver and they installed what turned out to be the correct one just to
prove I was an idiot who didn't know what she was talking about. They sat there,
stuttering, figurative egg dripping down their faces when the problems instantly
vanished. I was so gracious and sweet it was sickening. Not a single, "I told
you so, you bozos!" After that, though I had credibility).

Jo Byrd

Dan Caldwell wrote:

> Is there a particular department that tech writers get attached to when
> they're the only writer in a company? I recently joined a wireless telecom
> startup and found myself faced with the unexpected dilemma of "where do I
> belong?"
> In the past it was easy to fit into the engineering or development
> departments, but the nature my current setting is a little different in that
> "development" doesn't exist since our core product is wireless bandwidth. I'll
> be working with our customer service, marketing, IT, and sales departments to
> write and edit technical docs, publications, newsletters, manuals, and
> training materials for both internal and external customers.
> I'd like to hear from other "lone writers" out there. :)

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