Re: need suggestions on handling a boss

Subject: Re: need suggestions on handling a boss
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 12:49:59 -0500

Why it helps:

1. You have copies to support your case in HR, if you get the opportunity.
2. You have copies to support your case with the government, if you end up out the door and can't receive unemployment and such.
3. You have copies to support your case in the event of a lawsuit, if the boot is particularly bad.

I once had a job where things began getting tense. You could feel it in the air that day, so I called the shop. The guy was already at the building and said I was being let go. So I filed for unemployment. Nothing happened, and when I checked back, I got an answer I didn't expect.

The company person claimed to be my manager on the UI report (wrong company, I worked for XYZ Contracting, she worked for ABC Big Company), claimed I had sexually harassed the women employees, and was fired for cause.

I told the UI supervisor if anything, I was the one sexually harassed with offers of dates, Friday nights out dancing and drinking, and so on, and it turned ugly after I constantly turned them down. I had it all documented.

UI supervisor said she would get back to me in about a week after reviewing this. Four days later, I had a check for the entire amount of back unemployment.

ALWAYS be sure to CYA.

Government groups do not take lightly companies lying on official forms. ABC Big Company went out of business a few years later.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Schwarzman" <steve -at- writersbookmall -dot- com>
To: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Cc: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: need suggestions on handling a boss

A few people have recommended that Kari document everything (in addition to
the documentation, that is). Notwithstanding the story that Peter told,
which is powerful, it's hard for me to imagine how all that documenting is
going to help Kari. If her boss is gunning for her, chances are not in her
favor that some higher-up will want to read her dutiful documentation of
what her boss told her, and what she did, etc. etc. It's far more likely, I
think, that the upper boss will simply rely on what Kari's boss says. In
employee-said, manager-said situations, directors tend to side with

Allies in other departments, though, as Peter suggests, are always a good
thing, not only in terms of defending one's job, but also in getting one's
job done better.

As to the question of Kari's boss herself, well, there really are managers
out there who don't understand their role. The manager's role in this case
is to help the writer get the information she needs. That can include
interceding with other departments, working with the writer directly if the
boss has the requisite domain knowledge, finding channels and methods of
communication with the other departments that will allow them to get their
own work done and also make it possible for them to convey the needed
information with minimal pain, etc. etc.

Steve Schwarzman
*Technical Writing Management: A Practical
Now available at
softcover and Kindle editions


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need suggestions on handling a boss: From: anonymous
Re: need suggestions on handling a boss: From: Peter Neilson
Re: need suggestions on handling a boss: From: Steve Schwarzman

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