FWD: Age and Wisdom posting for TECHWR-L [Longish]

Subject: FWD: Age and Wisdom posting for TECHWR-L [Longish]
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 05:42:21 -0700

Forwarded anomymously on request.

Dear List...

I have watched the postings surrounding the Washington Post article on
Weber and Associates. I just have to say that there is wisdom in both youth
and experience. I worked for a gen-x sweat shop or two in my time and
learned a lot.

I have also seen my experience, instinct, and judgement grow as a tech
writer as I've grown older.

While working for the two gen-x sweat shops, I benefitted off of their
incompetency to do a fair business and serve clients and learned a lot
about business. On the second gen-x sweat shop I was on the tail end of my
twenties. Working for somebody who gained a management spot through
attrition and was only 22, I marvelled at her bravado and cockieness. But
when it came to dealing with clients, experience and a track record spoke
louder than youth. Writers with a longer track record understood the
company's internal workings, the market, and the client's concerns. To this
day, I hope this manager made something of her potential. I watched the
department divide between the experience brought in to mature the
department and the youth still working for the company.

The older writers were jaded and looked to the negative about projects and
documents. While the younger writers were still bright and enthusiastic
about the TW profession.

In the end, both youth and age have their wisdom and merits. Youth has
bravado. Age has the track record and time in the field to smooth over
difficult client problems. It is up for technical writers young and old to
mesh their experience and perspectives to build technical writing groups
that can gain respect.

As a consultant today, I still hope to run into my old manager after she
has matured. What is the wisdom here? The younger writers were quicker to
disregard the negative aspects of our profession. The older writers had the
time in the field plus the cynicism to deal with difficult clients.

Regardless of age, one's body of work speaks for itself.

Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner http://www.raycomm.com/

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/

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