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Subject:Re: HUMOR: I Need Help From:Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2001 13:11:13 -0800 (PST)
"Jeff Hanvey" wrote...
> For this reason, someone coming on list and asking for a template isn't
> avoiding "doing his job." S/he's asking to make life easier. There's simply
> no sense in re-inventing the wheel. I'll bet even Mr. Plato recycles
> During the first week of my job (most often on the first day), I always ask
> for the style guide and template for that corporation. Doing that isn't
> avoiding my job - it's ensuring that my work is consistent with the pre-
> existing documents. The idea can be extended to the
> community of writers: if the template exists and works well, why not use it?
You're coalescing two very different behaviors, Jeff. Asking a fellow worker
to forward you the company templates is perfectly fine. Asking a forum of 4000
colleagues to forward you their templates is lame.
Writers should have to do their own work. Template design and development is a
perfectly normal part of writing. Lifting design ideas from other people's
work is perfectly acceptable. But asking a public forum to supply you their
work - that is lame. It is lazy.
> Why is it lame? Because someone is trying to do their job without having
> to re-invent the wheel? <sarcasm>God forbid that we actually cooperate
> with each other and make life easier all around.</satire>
Cooperation is one thing. That is why I gave those two examples. It is one
thing to say "I am doing this and it isn't working, anybody have an ideas." It
is a whole different story to post "I am doing this and it isn't working, could
you send me your document so I can get this done."
You end up with a scenario like this:
1. Joe Newbie gets a template he didn't build.
2. Joe then asks the engineers to write all the "technical stuff" and send it
3. Joe plugs the "technical stuff" he doesn't understand into a template he
4. The document sucks.
5. Engineers say "Joe, you're a moron!"
6. Joe gets on TECHWR-L..."the engineers don't respect my skills."
7. Andrew replies: "What skills??!?!? The ability get other people to provide
you a pre-chewed way of doing things? The ability to plug content you don't
understand into a template you didn't design? Jeez, I have raccoons in my
back yard that can do that!"
Hey, copy other people's work. I'm cool with that. But sheesh, don't be a total
butthead and ask the world to hand you the answer.
Nobody should be allowed to call themselves a technical writer if they can't
solve the problems that technical writers face...like how to build a template
or explain "technical stuff."
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