RE: Tech writing situation

Subject: RE: Tech writing situation
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 10:41:20 +0100

--- Emily Cotlier <Emily_Cotlier -at- cardlink -dot- co -dot- nz> wrote:
> I'm dealing with a very annoying tech writing situation here, and I
> wanted
> to get some perspective on it. The three players are: me (tech
> writer w/MS
> and 2+ years solid experience at the company), a newish
> international
> marketing guy (with our company 3 months), and our CEO. The
> location is a
> small software company.

John Posada replied:
>You've expressed your feelings to both New Marketing Guy (NMG) and
>CEO. As an employee, your job is to do your job as best you can.
>Nothing is gong to change things right now. Do your job
>professionaly, give whatever assistance you can, and if it goes

>right, you will look good for donig your part in making everyone look

John's right, of course: but I would take seriously your feelings that your
skills are not being respected. Make sure your name is on all the hours you
spend on NMG's project, and that it's clear to the CEO how much time and
expertise *you* put into it.

I think we (women) are too apt to be helpful and make other people look
good, and tend not to take the credit we deserve. (Also, of course, there is
the well-known tendency to think "if a woman can do it, it can't be that
important".) You don't want to end up putting a lot of work into a job that
makes NMG look good and does you no good at all. If it's supposed to be "a
learning experience" for NMG, does this mean that you're expected to train
him? If so, get *that* clear, too.

If NMG is feeling overwhelmed with all the work, he has to make that clear
to his supervisor - it's not *your* problem if they're giving him too much
work to do or work that's beyond his capabilities. Don't end up doing his
work for him but not telling anyone because he doesn't want the boss to know
he couldn't do it.

Sorry to be so fierce about it, but I got myself burned like that a couple
of years ago - I did most of the work, a new man came in and got all of the
credit. I left the company, but I still feel stung.

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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