The tech writer who melted into a semi-viscous lava

Subject: The tech writer who melted into a semi-viscous lava
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 19:41:52 -0800 (PST)

> Andrew said:
> > B) It is very likely the person who didn't work out was a moron. There are
> > metric tons of really bad writers out there who continue to brownnose
> their way
> > into jobs for which they are not qualified. If an interviewer told me a
> person
> > didn't work out, I would assume that the previous writer was a dolt. Give
> the
> > employer the benefit of the doubt. Sheesh, they called you, right? They
> can't
> > be *THAT* stupid.
> That certainly hasn't been my experience. I've worked for a long series of
> jerks. There is nothing that says the management of startups are qualified.
> They have jobs, because they had capital and buddies. I've seen lots of bad
> documentation. And, I could blame the writer, but long about eighteen months
> into the job, its obvious where the problems were. They were still there in
> the company. The writer was long gone.

Seeing as it was my post that incited such ire, I guess I should respond,

Bad management does hurt companies, this is very true. Many writers are at the
mercy of bad management.

It seems to me, that bad management is becoming the trendy excuse of the new
millennium. The "I couldn't do my job because my manager is a pinhead." line is
a rather convenient way to get out of work.

There are just as many bad managers as there are bad writers. Last I checked,
God did not bestow greatness upon the writers of the world leaving everyone
else to fend for themselves. Greatness seems to be distributed rather randomly.

Writers, like rocks, cars, kittens, and all matter in the universe, comes in
many different colors, sizes, shapes, smells, and levels of competency. There
are plenty of self-aggrandizing, moronic writers out there that have themselves
convinced that they have got "the" answer that all of us should instantaneously
adopt lest we be unprofessional slobs. Likewise, there are plenty of
undiscovered gems - people with amazing skill and talent wasted in some stupid

Generally, stupid people are the first to talk, last to listen, and always have
an excuse why they cannot do their job.

Now, here is a little test. Take a pack of tech writers into a room. Tell
them they have to do a project together and it has to be done very quickly and
must be accurate. Then just sit back at watch. Like any group of people, 1 or
2 will do the work while 950 will whine how something isn't fair or how their
tender Sensitivities aren't being considered.

The past is the past and the present is gone, all that remains is the future.
Basically, you have two choices if you're trapped under bad management:

1) You can waste your time and energy complaining, become the office pariah,
work at a string of terrible jobs for low pay before you're killed in a freak
blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on Superbowl Sunday.

2) You can get the job done, learn something in the process, leverage that
knowledge for the next job, and eventually climb your way up to a point where
you can have some peace in your life (like death).

I know one thing for certain: Complaining to TECHWR-L has not been proven to
cause rampant genius in the tech writer profession or a dramatic increase in
the competency of management.

As far as I know TECHWR-L has only been proven to cause cancer in laboratory
mice. So all of you mice on here, you better sign off and go drink some Tab.

Andrew Plato
Of Mice and Morons
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