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  • #16
    Originally posted by officerchick View Post
    Thank you all for the suggestions. Fortunately, and much to her credit, this officer is willing to be critiqued and make corrections. She even laughed at herself when I pointed out the "drinking fossil" mistake. She immediately makes all corrections I suggest, and seems genuinely interested in learning.

    I do try always to remember to tell her that her work is great, and that the content of the report is good, but the structure needs help. We recently got a new computer, so she has been doing her reports in Word, which has helped. I've been telling her that I'm becoming more picky and demanding now because I can, since so far she's taken everything I've thrown at her.

    One of these days they're going to hook up my printer (they've been saying that for most of a year ). Once that happens, I plan to print off some security-related articles (Security Management, No Nonsense Self Defense), etc, and give "reading assignments." I'm hoping that exposure to professionally written documents will help.

    EMTGuard, I agree that working for the corrections system is one of the best ways to learn report writing. My first "real' job was as a CO for TDCJ. I worked for the State a second time, and did a number of residential-treatment center jobs in between. I warn all officers that I train that I take documentation very seriously, and that I will make them rewrite reports when necessary. I even had one guard tell me that I was a "turrible" supervisor because I am too concerned with details and documentation. I can't think of a higher compliment he could have paid me!
    Don't be conned as well. She knows that the halo effect is working for herself with you. Sounds like she needs remedial English (one to three classes), or the classes Community Colleges give to catch students up to High School English levels before they continue college level English classes. It would be cheap, effective, and non-bias. As well, it would be a win-win scenario. Otherwise, it could come back to bite you if she ever has a report scrutinized. Evidence of illiteracy puts everything written into question.

    Of course, I work with immigrants who can't hardly speak any English; and 'say' they got a perfect 100% on their D-Class license upon entry into Florida recently But the above is all they have memorized in English to date, and are still working on reciting 5-word hourly radio checks. Emergencies or ANYTHING out of the normal is almost laughable if everyone's job security was not threatened by their warm-body responses (sleeping and non-sleeping).

    By comparison, your SO is learned. So whatever you do, if anything, could be justified appropriately.
    Last edited by ddog; 10-25-2007, 10:08 AM.

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    • #17
      During the 2000 Olympics I was the Rostering Ops Mgr for the largest security provider and as such would often have to deal with field issues that were to be investigated through head office. More often than not I would give the person the chance to resign (they were casuals) and to let them move on to another company with some new experience. I would say 30% of these people were dyslexic as I had to help and spell the word of their resignation letters for them. It was sad for me as I got curious as to HOW they had passed their training to get their licences and pulling their files I found perfectly written answers - obviously copied or assisted by someone in their final exams. So what happens when they go into the real world and someone relies on them in a hot situation ?
      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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      • #18
        Well, of course, there's always that little thing called a dictionary. Anyone who knows their spelling is a problem should be using one, so that would be step one. Make her look up every word if necessary - not just for spellings, but for definitions also to make sure she's using the right word.

        For the grammar and usage, a different approach is needed. Here's the best online resource I know of, called OWL - the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. They have a jillion free guides and resources, including downloadable information about punctuation, grammar, etc. Explore the site to see what might be useful to you. Everything from how to put a simple sentence together up to and including major reports.

        TIP: Do not ignore the excellent "ESL" (English as a second language) resources available on OWL, because some Americans are actually almost learning a second language when they learn "proper" English. Their "native" language is ethnic English, such as "ebonics", or it is street/gutter English, and is almost like a foreign language because it's really not English at all.

        All that having been said, however, this is NOT a problem that has any magic solutions. It will require intensive effort and training for this individual to remediate her deficiencies.
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-25-2007, 12:42 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ddog View Post
          Don't be conned as well. She knows that the halo effect is working for herself with you. Sounds like she needs remedial English (one to three classes), or the classes Community Colleges give to catch students up to High School English levels before they continue college level English classes. It would be cheap, effective, and non-bias. As well, it would be a win-win scenario. Otherwise, it could come back to bite you if she ever has a report scrutinized. Evidence of illiteracy puts everything written into question.
          An interesting point, ddog. I hadn't looked at it from the aspect of being conned by what you call the "halo effect," but it's certainly always possible. Thank you for checking me on that.

          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
          TIP: Do not ignore the excellent "ESL" (English as a second language) resources available on OWL, because some Americans are actually almost learning a second language when they learn "proper" English. Their "native" language is ethnic English, such as "ebonics", or it is street/gutter English, and is almost like a foreign language because it's really not English at all.
          Thanks for the link, and your tip is dead on. I explained it to her with almost those same words last week - "There's street English and report-writing English. Your report-writing English is improving, but you still sometimes slip back to street English."
          That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
            Well, of course, there's always that little thing called a dictionary. Anyone who knows their spelling is a problem should be using one, so that would be step one. Make her look up every word if necessary - not just for spellings, but for definitions also to make sure she's using the right word.

            For the grammar and usage, a different approach is needed. Here's the best online resource I know of, called OWL - the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. They have a jillion free guides and resources, including downloadable information about punctuation, grammar, etc. Explore the site to see what might be useful to you. Everything from how to put a simple sentence together up to and including major reports.

            TIP: Do not ignore the excellent "ESL" (English as a second language) resources available on OWL, because some Americans are actually almost learning a second language when they learn "proper" English. Their "native" language is ethnic English, such as "ebonics", or it is street/gutter English, and is almost like a foreign language because it's really not English at all.

            All that having been said, however, this is NOT a problem that has any magic solutions. It will require intensive effort and training for this individual to remediate her deficiencies.
            Easier said than done. As I have mentioned I am in a similar boat. In my case French is the language I should be working in. I have lived surrounded by it & been taught it in school. I'm 51. I think I am past the age where I can learn to write it. If you want to learn a 2nd language START young. All English kids in Quebec (that are allowed to go to English schools - (kids coming from other English speaking countries are not allowed) have a lot of French in their daily studies some up to 50% of the day. They graduate bi-lingual.
            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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            • #21
              I can read and understand english but for writting and talking my english is very poor

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              • #22
                I am sitting here at work on coffee #2 and I am reading a report sounding like the lyrics to a rap song from last night. It was written by a sales girl about an attempted theft and it is spelt as in Ebonics - this is bloody Australia for Pete's sake ............... sheesh.

                Oh another thing I found with younger employees is the ability to write reports like they are sending a text msg on a mobile telephone. Acronyms, abbreviations and the like are rife and it is how they `speak on the street` as another poster stated before.
                "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                • #23
                  Do you guys mean Eubonics or Ebonics? I guess it really doesn't matter is the point of either: a rationalization of illiterate slang for any particular group. Now every group has their own Eubonics or Ebonics. Heh Heh

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
                    I am sitting here at work on coffee #2 and I am reading a report sounding like the lyrics to a rap song from last night. It was written by a sales girl about an attempted theft and it is spelt as in Ebonics - this is bloody Australia for Pete's sake ............... sheesh.

                    Oh another thing I found with younger employees is the ability to write reports like they are sending a text msg on a mobile telephone. Acronyms, abbreviations and the like are rife and it is how they `speak on the street` as another poster stated before.
                    Oz....
                    You have ebonics in Australia too!? I would be curious to hear "street slang" with a Aussie accent! Especially from a young lady !!!!!


                    Hank
                    " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

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                    • #25
                      At my post, everything is computerized. My shift reports and incident reports are typed on microsoft word, so there is a spellchecker for me. I'd say get a laptop or desktop for reports.

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                      • #26
                        Problems with reports.

                        Hello,

                        I read your description of your employee's report writing problems. We all make spelling and grammer errors, but if it as bad, and as often as you make it sound, you do have to work with her to clean up her act.

                        Have you told her honestly about the problems with her reports. If it has not been told to her in straight language (ie- someone beat around the bush in trying to tell her) she may not really know how bad it is.

                        Does she talk the same way she writes. Some people talk well but write bad. If she does talk using proper language, I have found that making someone read their own reports out loud to themselves can sometimes alert them to how bad the language they are using really is.

                        In regards to books to learn proper writing, some have already been mentioned, and I'm sure there are many, many more out there. But it is sometimes a difficult thing to teach yourself something as difficult as report writing by book alone. If there is a community college nearby, they probably have courses on writing, maybe even report writing. Having a teacher's help is often a big plus.

                        If your company feels she is a good employee, maybe they could pay her college fees for the class and materials. You could tell her that as an additional incentive, when her report writing improves she could be in line for a possble promotion.

                        Good luck.

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                        • #27
                          I notice we have a dictionary here at work since our new supervisor joined our team at the start of the year. Most of my colleagues and I are reasonable at spelling (i'm not blowing my own trumpet, but i'd say i was the best at it), but there is one guy here who gives me concern.

                          In fact I've thought for a while he was dyslexic because in daily reports he often spells the same word three or four different times in the same report.

                          (looks for some of his reports)
                          ok

                          Lock Down instead of Open Up ... he often gets these two confused with on another...and in speech too.

                          Peepole instead of People
                          Yayis instead of Yaris (the car)
                          Gaurd instead of you know what (I particularly hate this one mispelled from ANYONE ... I mean - Its your bloody job...)
                          Visted, and Viserted instead of Visited
                          Camra instead of Camera
                          As instead of Has
                          Newcasel instead of Newcastle
                          Pedestrione instead of Pedestrian
                          Hickman and Buckman instead of Buck and Hickman (the name of our stores supplier)

                          Thats from maybe 3 weeks of his Daily Occurence Reports and one incident report.

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                          • #28
                            I have a guy who uses capital letters on words in the middle of sentences ? doesn't use them where he should e.g. when he writes the name of the hotel's bar. I am not only the supervisor but I also cover one of the shifts 5 days a week. He rplaces me on my 2 days off so I only find his mistakes on my first day of the week, He is then off for 5 days. I can not leave the reports until his next shift, I have to corredt his mistakes.
                            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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