Friday, May 20, 2005

The continuing saga of the non-writing writer…

Those of you who follow My Side already know about my unfortunate position. I'm not talking about diagonal; I'm talking about the Writer position I hold at Linkshit.

I started as a Marketing Writer, you see. Then, after a couple of years doing that, I was removed from that position because, as it was explained to me, "We don't need Marketing Writer." Or badges, even. So, I was demoted to "Writer" and I wrote both Marketing and Technical material. Then, last year, they hired a new Marketing Writer, which I was not qualified to apply for, and I was demoted to "Technical Writer". But the Technical Writers didn't really write, not as such. We copied what others wrote and pasted it into a pre-ordained format.

We were formatters.

And so it was that I went from writing the copy for data sheets (think flyers) to copying and pasting the copy onto data sheets. I was also told that I could never ever nerver - neuvenbaum - change the copy no matter how inaccurate or stupid it was, lest I hurt someone's feelings.

Monday, we began a new chapter in the saga. On Monday, the guy who writes the copy got tired of people telling him how crappy it is and - probably inspired by the (burning) Bush administration - claimed that it was the fault of the Technical Writers for not fixing his writing. That's where I came in. Why didn't we fix his writing, I was asked. Well, because we were told not to. Who told me? The people asking me the very question. Did I have written proof? No, because nothing is put in writing. I don't even have a job description. So, why are the writers trying to back out of this? Why don't they write? Why do they foist their responsibilities on others?!

There was no backing out. Fine, I said, if you'd like, I can rewrite his crap. No!, I was told. You have to respect him more than that - anyway, I'm not qualified.

And on and on it went.

I was hoping this would all blow over when the Hellmouth - my boss - left for vacation yesterday. He'd spent the week yelling at me for decisions he'd made. It had to be over… right?

Well… no.

You see, the guy complaining about the writing - done by a guy who writes so poorly, by the way, that he's already been responsible for one class-action lawsuit - still had crap writing to deal with. Now, his solution is for me to ANONYMOUSLY rewrite the writer's work, which would not result in any hurt feelings, I am assured.

If I don't help this guy and change someone else's work behind their backs, I have been told I'm hindering the process… even though I was told never ever nerver - NEUVENBAUM - to change the copy.

If I do this behind someone else's back… well, you see where this is going.


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