Thursday, January 08, 2009

Defeatism as Corporate Culture...

As I might have mentioned, my position here at work - in fact, my entire team - is pretty unnecessary. Our job description is to create datasheets and product packaging but nobody lets us write and the graphics and layouts are done elsewhere.

But sometimes, something slips through... and sometimes it gets scary.

So, yesterday before I left, I was given a datasheet to proofread. I was given it by an engineer who had written it from scratch. I asked, "Do you want me to correct it?" He said, "No. I just want to make sure all of my writing is in there as I wrote it." Right.

So, I went over it this morning. It was for a product that has been stripped down because my company can't afford to make it with all the bells and whistles the engineer wanted. Here's what it said, "While most ____ have (features we don't include), (our product) keeps it simple." Seriously, it said "keeps it simple" to mean "just can't do it". It went on to talk about all the features we won't be offering, one paragraph at a time...

So, being stupid, I went over and asked the engineer if he was sure he wanted to go this way. (I know they'll eventually blame me because I'm supposed to be the writer, even though they won't allow me to change what the engineers write.) He said, "What's wrong with it?" I replied, "Usually, marketing writing tries to find the virtue in a product and emphasize that." His answer, "But this isn't marketing writing. It's for sales!"

... at which point, my brain imploded...

I gotta find a new job.

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