She should be joining me shortly; I’m reading this in the parking lot at her university while I wait for her. I’ll ask her on the drive home.
Okay, she’s cool with it, in terms of not needing to get public accolades for what she does. What’s important to her is that her boss appreciates it, and that she makes her boss look good (whether it’s for a speech her boss gives or an article for the local paper with her boss’s byline). She’s been doing this kind of thing for about 11 year now and she’s on her second president, so she’s used to it. What spins her up is getting crap input from an outside speech writer or one of the departments, then busting her butt working overtime (not that she gets overtime, her position is rated “management” and is exempt) fixing something that someone who gets paid more than she does couldn’t take the time to do right in the first place. And she does it because, if she doesn’t, it makes her boss look bad.
So, JB, while it’s just us chatting here, have you ever felt overlooked and under-appreciated as a tech writer? Because (speaking as someone who used to have “technical writer” in my job title, and who still does a good portion of our IT department’s docs because it’s easier to do it myself than try to explain MS Word styles to some poor kid who expects software to make sense) I occasionally had some of that ghost writer irritation after spending hundreds of hours on a deliverable that had my name nowhere on it. OTOH, I knew what I was getting into when I signed up, and I needed the paycheck, and it’s not like another individual was getting the credit for my work (mostly), and sometimes it was just cool as freakin’ hell when I figured out a way to approach a documentation problem that made someone’s life easier.