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Thomas is on the money . . . except Andrew has posted several funnier
I am pretty much a lone tech writer and sometimes need a sense from my peers
to make sure I'm on track. For example, I started this thread to see what
kind of support and understanding other writers receive. Andrew is right
with the do the work don't whine or suffer the pickles sentiment. However,
asking "hey, this happened, are you guys seeing it, too, and how are you
handling it?" doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
The other issue, of course, is Andrew's seemingly "roll over and die"
attitude. Here's the deal: Except for e-mails ;?), I write well. I design my
documents well. My writing and design are purposeful, such that if someone
questions "why this way?" I can answer "because of this, this, this, and
this." Furthermore, when someone asks for XYZ to be included in the book, I
feel it my job to ask why, if it seems out of place to me. I am not merely
here to blindly type or incorporate what SMEs give me. Indeed, I go out of
my way to try and incorporate ONLY original text, by learning and using the
subjects about which I write. I am here to work my profession, using my
education, experience, and reason. If someone says or does something to me
professionally that I find questionable, like ANY OTHER professional, I
follow up on it.
Is such a follow-up whining?
So, when my boss asks me to "make this beautiful" I review the job and
provide an estimate and a list of things that the beautification project
should include. Often, I can provide this within minutes, if not instantly.
Obviously, I will negotiate the list, but I am tenacious <vbg>. The point
being that there is more to "beautifying" a 600-page FrameMaker 4 book,
using FrameMaker 5.5.6 and making online help, than can be accomplished in
two hours. I do not expect my boss to know this, I expect him to listen when
I tell him what the job entails.
Now, is it my company's business to make me feel emotionally secure? No.
However, it is my company's business to make sure they do not make me feel
less secure than my co-workers and to make sure that the work environment
and job requirements do not squash me like a bug . . . unless all the other
employees are also being squashed like a bug. In other words, my company is
not at liberty to single me out for an emotional drubbing. And, if such
events begin to happen, it is not whining if I put a stop to it.