Into every working life some quirks must fall. And let’s face it, no job is perfect. First, I love my career as a writer. I still get the biggest thrill – I mean butterflies in the stomach thrill – when I say that I am a writer. And I love my job. It is very enjoyable with just the right amount of challenge to make sure I don’t get bored. But there are a few quirks.
Like we can’t talk. Conversations with our coworkers are greatly unappreciated, even if it is about work.
Now I am a very talkative person. If you are close to me, I am talking to you. I remember always getting in trouble for talking in homeroom during high school. And the teacher would move me to a different seat…except that did not work because i talked to everyone. I talked to them if they were doing something interesting, wearing something interesting or if i thought they had something interesting to say. And if they didn’t, I did.
So when a co worker mentioned that it was a thing that we don’t talk at our desks, I was in sheer horror. How can you learn about your new position if you can’t talk to people? How can one even exist like that? Ninety percent of what you learn (or what I learn) is from communicating and asking questions. And the irony that I am on a team that writes training materials – much of which are group and brainstorming activities- and we are not allowed to brainstorm, is not lost. Take a minute to let that sink in.
So, I must go down this road alone, with my co workers right beside me. I did notice the break room and rest room are full of chatty people, so there is hope. On the bright side it is great for editing or having to concentrate…because it is so quiet. It is like what I imagine it’s like to work in a library. Complete with hearing the faint sounds of whispers every now and then.
The other quirk is our style guide. This is used to make sure all writers go by the same standards so there is consistency in the way things are written for a company. Most are based loosely on AP or Chicago style. Not us. We are based on….well, I am not exactly sure. Pronouns are not used. At all. Do you know how hard it is to write training material, or anything really, without the use of pronouns? Things get rather wordy. They say you often want what you can’t have. Well, I want pronouns. I think they may be my favorite parts of speech (Only fellow writers or grammar people get that last statement).
Another variation from the normal…are our rules when it comes to a bulleted list. Most of the time the first word is capitalized, and there is a period at the end if it is a full sentence. Nope. Neither one of those.
Do you know what writing is without punctuation? Anarchy. Pure and total anarchy.
I can barely breath thinking about all those poor words, stranded on the page, just sitting there in black and white.
All in all, I have a wonderful life, an amazing career and a great job. But there are still some quirks. Which makes for good writing. I can hear you laughing.