Re: Time-consuming work? (Plus thoughts on value-added.)

Subject: Re: Time-consuming work? (Plus thoughts on value-added.)
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 13:32:08 -0700

>Genevieve Burt was <<...hired by a small engineering
>company to save their engineers from having to spend time on
>documentation. I am their first and only tech writer.>>

><<I have also been given the task of converting dozens and
>dozens of old manuals from WP to Word...>>

And several people have picked up and run with the notion
of getting an intern to do it.

Um, s'cuze me...

Interns are supposed to be getting real, honest-to-goodness,
technical-writing-type work to do. Luring an intern into the
company under such false pretenses would be totally unfair
to a college student who was expecting to gain some valuable
work experience. "Intern" isn't just a synonym for "slave"

Additionally, though I don't have the original post in front
of me, didn't Genevieve say she was a relative newbie herself?
So how could she assume a mentoring position when she's not
even sure what her job duties should be? Let her gain a firm
footing in the profession before she assumes that kind of

That said, I'll respond to the original question.

If the "dozens of documents" that need to be converted have no
firm deadline so you can do them in your spare time, just bite
the bullet and do it. It'll be boring, but that will just inspire
you to record a couple of really good macros.

If, however, there is a deadline to which you have to march, or if
the conversion is pushing other, more important, deadlines out of
the way, you can certainly argue for a temp. You can find a temp
who is a bona fide Word guru at a fraction of what they pay a tech
writer; and when the job is over you can tell the temp to go home
and still have a clear conscience.

just my two cents
-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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