Re: Defending Your Role

Subject: Re: Defending Your Role
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 09:10:50 PST

>Am I wrong in being uncomfortable with this? I feel that it should not be
>up to me to bring the rest of the team on board. If the documentation
>decisions are based on time, money etc., then I could live with doing less,
>but I hate feeling like I have to defend my job, especially when I'm so

>How should I handle this - any thoughts?

You've been hit with the old switcheroo. No doubt you were told during
the interview that the company was intensely committed to documentation,
and would support you at every turn. Now, instead of breaking ground
for you, your manager SOUNDS AS IF he's putting you in front of the
trenches so he peer through a slit in his bunker and count the enemy's
guns as they shoot holes in you.

Some people feel a certain amount of discomfort in these situations.

No doubt your supervisor's actual intentions are the opposite of this:
he wants to dazzle the rest of the group with your systematic and
unstoppable battle plan. Normally, managers are supposed to absorb
the first few bullets before smiling bravely through the pain and
declaring everything to be safe. But if he's not in the same line of
work as you are, it's difficult for him to be of much help along these

Simply ignoring the rest of the group and working away as if they were
fully committed to supporting you is risky. Things can break down
at random this way, since people won't be aware of what you're doing,
or what they're supposed to be doing to help.

So, yes, you should feel uncomfortable, but your manager may well be right.
Tell him of your nervousness in dealing with an audience with an unknown
level of sympathy for your work. At the very least, you should start
with easy audiences before going on to the hecklers and naysayers.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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