My social issue is recycling. I chose this topic because it is something a lot of people don’t do, but would be so easy and help the planet tremendously. I thought about how I come in contact with recyclables every single day and need to do more to raise awareness about it. The plastic water bottles I take to work can be recycled to transform into other products. I thought about all my papers I don’t use or need anymore and how they could be given a second, third, fourth life with recycling. We don’t have to keep depleting our resources and harming our land and oceans with litter that could have more than just a one time use. I chose this topic because we all need to put in more effort — not just to sustain the planet as it is, but to better it for generations to come.

Who Does Social Good?

Companies don’t have to just sell products, they can do social good as well. Unilever is a company that sells tons of household products within the 400 brands they own. Products can range from soap to ice cream. Unilever believes that growth is possible without the expense of people or the environment. There are three main goals of the company: help more than a billion people to improve their health and wellbeing, halve the environmental footprint of their products, and source 100% of their agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of people across their value chain. By following these steps, Unilever will continue its growth and have a positive impact on consumers, as well as the planet. Unilever has so many examples of how impactful a company can be on society. They have provided half a million meals in the UK in partnership with Oxfam through the campaign #ClearAPlate, provided 20 thousand children in over 100 schools in Indonesia with hygiene education programs and sanitation facilities, helped over 115 million people through health and sanitation programs in India, and in Brazil, are committed to helping more than 1 billion people to improve their health and hygiene conditions.

Unilever takes advantage of Facebook and Twitter to share recent news on what has been accomplished and what is in the process of being accomplished. In one tweet, it read: “40% of Indonesia’s palm oil comes from smallholder farmers. Here’s how we’re working with them to transform the industry.” This lets us know that the company is continually looking for ways to bring people together for a common goal, all while helping those who need to be helped. In the article titled, “Unilever develops technology to prevent billions of plastic sachets from entering into oceans”, it is made known that the company has decided to recycle and reuse sachets so that waste does not make its way into oceans. Through a system called CreaSolv Process, the plastic from the sachets will be recovered and then used to create new ones for Unilever products – creating a full circular economy approach. Unilever is a company that lives to prove that doing social good can produce a better world for everyone.

Technical Writers

Technical writers are people who provide us with instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex or technical information more easily. Some of the duties include studying product samples and talking with the designers/developers, write and organize supporting content for products, use photos, diagrams, animation, and charts to increase users’ understanding, and gather user feedback to update content. Technical writers create paper and digital operating instructions, assembly instructions, and “frequently asked questions” pages to help consumers and industries. For a job like this one, the median salary is $33.58 per hour – or $69,850 a year (from 2016). To get into this field, you must have a bachelor’s degree and less than five years of work experience in a related occupation. Most technical writers work in offices and routinely work with engineers and technology experts to manage the flow of information in an organization. Working as a team, there will be an end result of making a product easier to use and having concise instructions. Even if most people don’t know exactly what technical writers do, it is evident that they are very important when it comes to every day life.

Becoming a technical writer wasn’t anything I’d ever thought of before. I didn’t know what it was until today. I could see myself becoming a technical writer because I possess a lot of the skills needed: critical thinking skills, detail oriented, imaginative, good writing skills, technical skills, and ability to work with a team. Becoming a technical writer could open the door for many opportunities. Once a technical writer has certifications, he becomes more valuable and wanted by more employers. Technical writing jobs are also usually concentrated in locations and Texas is one of them. I like the thought of working for a company, but also like the thought of being able to set my own schedule with companies who need technical writing services. This website has informed me about a career in technical writing and I just might have to look into it further once I get my degree.

The Good Outweighs the Bad

I wrote two business letters – one was a complaint and one was appreciative. I wanted my complaint letter to go to the manager, Santiago Fuentes, of Harbor Freight Tools in Irving, Texas because the customer service was horrible. I was looking for help finding items and learning which products would work with each other, but I was just made to feel like a burden my whole time there. Although I had a negative first letter, the second was a lot more lighthearted. I wrote an appreciative letter to my accounting community college teacher, Stephanie Swaim. She is the type of teacher who inspires her students and doesn’t give up when there are frustrations. I understood everything she taught because of her examples, but sometimes it took longer to master the complete concepts. Even then she didn’t stop trying to help the class with more examples and more thorough explanations. I liked this assignment because it made me think about who I need to show appreciation to in my life, but I didn’t like having to think about annoying situations, like in the first letter. Either way, the two business letters let me brainstorm about good and bad parts of my life and know that the good has a greater impact on me.

How I Communicate

There are a couple communications styles that fit me better than others – thoughts language and action language. Thoughts language fits my need to know the facts and details. I connect to this type of communication style because I need everything to make sense. When something doesn’t make sense, I need to reevaluate which pieces I know as facts and try to come to a more reasonable conclusion. Not only do I need the facts aspect of communication; I also need to know what and when things are going on. I have the need to always ask “What is there to do next?” or “What are the plans for later?” in my work life and personal life. Although there are six different communication styles to choose from, the two I described complement each other and fit my ultimate goal of always knowing the facts and what is going to happen next.

This picture is like finding the last piece of information I need to make something make more sense to me.


Proofreading Matters

The disorganized syllabus is a great example of why proofreading matters before posting anything for others to see. This type of document that is supposed to set the stage for the class is tainted by all the misspellings, punctuation problems, and formatting errors. There is no way for a student to take a professor seriously when he has so many mistakes and writes “I might follow the schedule below if I feel like it.” If the professor doesn’t care about the class, why should the student? Students will think the professor is disorganized and has no idea how to keep up with the class himself. Having the syllabus be the first introduction to the class for the semester, a student might think there is no way to be able to know what material will be covered or even when it might come up. Proofreading before posting a document, or anything for that matter, is letting the audience know that there was thought put into the words and formatting.2

Technical Communication in the Work Place

All topics mentioned – communication, cost, instruction, income generation, customer-client relations, time – are important aspects of technical communication, but two stand out above the rest. A couple interesting points, income generation and customer-client relations, are aspects I could see as being very important in my future career as an accountant. Income generation and customer-client relations are very closely related. The income generation portion, like building an easy to navigate and informative website or a thorough presentation for clients, can pave the way for positive and long-lasting customer-client relations. To be an accountant, I must know how to speak to my clients to make them understand what I’m talking about, therefore encouraging them to keep doing business with the company. Knowing what to say and how to talk to certain people can create and maintain these important client relations that keep the business going. The most important thing to remember is to be clear, concise, and cater to the needs of the specific client.

Example statement that could need to be explained to a client.