Communication Up and Down the Chain of Command

When I worked in a corporate environment, I emailed a weekly report to my immediate supervisors. It often seemed like a tiresome chore or waste of time. I would send my report to my supervisor, and my supervisors and the various people above them, in turn, would send my report (plus theirs) up the chain of command. Likewise, my supervisors would send me a lot of messages about what was happening within the organization. Such information was necessary to keep the organization functioning smoothly. Today I’ll explain a little bit about how those information flows work, what they should contain, and why they’re important. Continue reading

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Handling Jerks in the Workplace

I don’t like to talk about the dark side of life in the workplace because, quite frankly, such topics bore me. There’s plenty of unpleasantness to be found on the news, as I’m certain you know. That said, if I am going to discuss the down sides of obnoxious behavior, I will at least suggest methods of taking action on your own behalf; heroic technical writers don’t just let evil stand. Continue reading

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Hey, Weren’t You Writing a Book?

I know, I’ve been remiss about not updating all of you on the Heroic Technical Writing book. I am pleased to report that after much foot dragging and some legitimate delays, I am 62% of the way through the second round of edits–these are organizational revisions, which require more free time and quiet because I have to reread the whole manuscript to ensure that the new order of content makes sense from the transition and flow points of view. I have other activities to address, but I believe I’m on track to get the electronic version into the hands of a publisher (online, at least) by the middle of this year. Continue reading

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Service Review: Hello Fresh

Someone in the reading audience is probably asking, “How on EARTH can a review of a meal delivery service relate to technical writing?” To which I would say: 1) You know me by now, I’ll find a way; and 2) YOU try filling a blog about the same topic twice a week and see how well you do finding new things to say! To get this game started, though, you can assume that meal prep requires some instructions–recipes, if you will–and yes, I consider recipes technical writing. As it happens, my Hello Fresh had connections to customer service, logistics, and documentation. Lucky you! Continue reading

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Handling Strengths and Weaknesses as a Freelancer

If you dig around the business self-help book section long enough, you’re bound to find titles such as Soar With Your Strengths or StrengthsFinder 2.0. The message of books like these is to encourage you to pursue work/careers that cater to your personal and professional strengths rather than doing things you don’t enjoy or that you’re not particularly good at doing. That’s great, in theory; however, there are some times when “Do what you like” isn’t a realistic expectation. Continue reading

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