RE: The tech writer who melted into a semi-viscous lava

Subject: RE: The tech writer who melted into a semi-viscous lava
From: "Guy A. McDonald" <guy -at- nstci -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 07:01:03 -0600

Who could pass this up on a Monday?!! Not me -- out of lurk-dumb cometh a
few Plato-tudes!

>Andrew said:

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

My mouth is wide open, coffee dribbling down my shirt and ribs aflame from
uncontrollable heaves! As a side bar -- some discussion about regional
differences between one pack of writers and another is hereby noted.

How many of you have worked in - oh say, (off the top of my head) Seattle
.. then rubbed shoulders with Lower Slobovians? Good manners and no fair
amount of inbreeding prevent further pontification.

Those who know what I am talking about can get off the floor now. Oh, and to
my dear lovely wife ... you can remove your hand from the telephone handset
because voice mail will pick up.

Andrew continues with more wisdom:

> 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.

I am not that jaded.

If 952 tech writers/editors collaborated on a project:

* 254 writers would argue that ISO 9000 standards are not being followed to
the T.
* 17 would sit in corner and compose a few more lines to Dr. Seuss on
* 407 would demand that only card-carrying STC members be allowed to
* 52 IEEE members would yawn and wonder why the STC members were so uptight
* One writer would purchase a white board and demand everyone fully
understand Data Flow Diagrams to analyze the process - but only using
DeMarco and Yourdon conventions.
* 12 editors would band together and cause a revolt by advertising on
Techwr-l for "real writers"
* 142 writers would refuse to pay for the Techwr-l advertising. Instead,
this faction starts a "Special Interest Group" (SIG) that costs $5 to join.
The newly formed SIG will meet behind closed doors and discuss copyright
law, s/he it, writer certification, Frame vs. Word, Who vs. Whom, how many
spaces should follow a period & if bullets should conclude with them.
* 65 writers would complain that the 12 editors were being too anal,
compressing the schedule and causing unnecessary work
* 2 writers would count heads to make sure there really were 952
writers/editors on this project and that everyone was doing a job. These 2
writers would make grunting noises during meetings, thereby identifying
themselves as leads to astute members of management.

And finally, did Andrew really conclude with this?

>Basically, you have two choices if you're trapped under bad management:

> 1) You can get killed in a freak blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on
Superbowl Sunday.
> 2) You can have some peace in your life through death.


Guy McDonald
guy -at- nstci -dot- com

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