Saturday, April 16, 2011

Secret Flattery

I ended up getting an email forwarded to me from my friend whose place I'm taking next week. It was from his boss. I was pretty surprised to see it, but even more surprised to read it. See for yourself.

Note that all the italics are things that I changed to protect identities and such.

Subject: Found: New Technical Writer

John Waite is the name, and technical writing is his game. That's right. Starting Monday, April 18th, John will hit the ground running, starting as SR's new technical writer. He will be filling some rather large shoes left by Friend of mine, as said Friend moves into his new position as a Super Great Promotion starting April 25th. John will be working closely with teams X and Y, as well as with group Z, providing critical documentation, presentation, and communication support for the entire Division. Friend and John will be working closely together for the first week, getting John up to speed in his new role.

John is a technical communication guru, with a Bachelors Degree in English, with a Technical Communication emphasis. His technical writing experience includes contracting or working for businesses such as Motive Power (documenting the process for building cabs on locomotives - cool, right?), Sapidyne Instruments, and most recently, Hewlett-Packard. I would go on, but I think you should really drop-in and meet him yourself! He'll be in the two-man mini-pod where Friend currently spends his working hours.

I'm excited to have John joining our team. Please help me welcome him aboard!

Welcome, John!

Did you know that people did this kind of stuff? I know that there is generally a buzz when someone new starts, but it is has been my experience that people often learn that someone has been hired, and that someone remains a nebulous cloud in everyone's head until they actually meet the person who was hired. You get a very vague outline of them that your mind creates, and you run with it until you can fill in the blanks.

After I got done reeling my tongue back into my mouth and affixing my jaw back into place, I realized that this says a lot about my future boss. Here are some things I can glean from this email:
  • He values tech writers. I already kind of knew this, as my boss graduated with a degree from the same college as a technical writer.
  • He expects a lot from me. This was hinted at in the interview, but there is a lot of volume that comes through this position. I have a week to learn everything from my predecessor. Good thing I know him so that I can bug him after he moves on to his next position...
  • He treats his employees well. If he is taking the time to introduce me to his staff, this tells me that he likes to have a great relationship with his minions. I'll take minion over indentured servant anyday.
  • He encourages friendships in the workplace. To me, this says that there is more to life than just work. He wants people who are a good fit both professionally and personally. I'm relatively private at work, so I'll be interested to see how this one plays out. 
  • He was impressed by my work history. He called me a guru. I almost laughed out loud at this point because I still feel like I have a ways to go, but couldn't because of my tongue and jaw that were busy doing other things (see the paragraph right before this list).
Armed with this knowledge, I am pretty excited to start work on Monday. Now to go grab my social security card and make sure that it is tucked safely in place before I head out to work Monday morning. It is hard to process your paperwork if they don't have that, I hear...


Lana said...

What a complement! Enjoy your first day.

Nate said...

Sounds like a nice boss. That isn't something that happens at every work site! Good luck in your new adventure! I am happy for you :)

Johnny said...

I'm excited, but a little nervous as well. I think there will be a lot to ingest in the first week, and once the second week comes around I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be wanting my friend back.