Re: When you really need to create a screen (WAS: Cursors! Foiled again.)

Subject: Re: When you really need to create a screen (WAS: Cursors! Foiled again.)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 15:47:16 -0800

"Giordano, Connie" wrote:

> However, this, and other posts of the day do lead back around to one of my
> pet concerns: Why do so many tech writers limit themselves to
> after-the-design content issues?

Jean Weber suggests that the reason is that companies won't let
them. There's truth in that. I suspect that some writers feel so
marginalized in their jobs that they don't have the heart to take a

However, a lot can be done informally until your input on design and
interface issues becomes part of your job description. I've gone
that route at least twice, and, every time, it's paid off for me in
both salary and job satisfaction. In fact, it's succeeded so well
for me that writing is only about half my job these days.

The tactic is especially useful in small companies, where there is
always far more to be done than there are people to do it. However,
it also works in large high-tech companies where there's a degree of

Then why do so many writers limit themselves? Reluctantly, I've
concluded that some people - maybe most - don't like facing
challenges, and don't have much curiosity or imagination. It's never
occurred to them that work can be anything except a grim necessity,
so they plod along. They may do their assigned job well enough, but
don't initiate much or try to expand. Often, they would rather blame
others for their feelings of being trapped than do anything to
change their lives.

And then, of course, they complain about not being respected.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"Rationality itself, tied to moral decency - the most powerful joint
instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
-Stephen J. Gould, Introduction, "Why People Believe Weird Things"

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