RE: techwr-l digest: July 23, 2000

Subject: RE: techwr-l digest: July 23, 2000
From: Tara Barber <Tara -dot- Barber2 -at- galegroup -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 15:23:13 -0400

> You know, there are times when it's appropriate to
> adopt Nancy "Just Say No" Reagan as your personal
> guru, and this sounds like one of them.

I agree. And I also agree with the comment that you should take just enough
time to work up a nice presentation on why this is not only impossible but
also a "really bad idea", as well as a proposal for what *could* be done as
a quick-and-dirty. The FDA, especially when it comes to the combination of
computers and medicine, is an *extremely* tough customer, and doing a
half-assed frantic job is actually doing your company a huge disservice ...
no matter WHAT they've told you to do. Every so often, you've got to sit
back on your professional credentials and say "No, that's not possible, and
here's why..."

If they don't respect that, then you've got even bigger problems. In the
thirteen years that I've been a tech writer, I've had to deliver this type
of bad news more than once. I've never had a bad experience with it,
because A) I always make sure I know what I'm talking about; B) I always
make sure I can outline exactly why I'm saying "no"; C) I always have some
do-able alternatives lined up for them.

Good luck.

- Tara Barber, Technical Writer, The Gale Group




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