RE: "The rest of the story" (WAS: another twist for instructions)

Subject: RE: "The rest of the story" (WAS: another twist for instructions)
From: david -dot- locke -at- amd -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 11:40:53 -0600

Actually, any instructions should consider a step before step one:

0. If you are a technical writer, rewrite the following
instructions before attempting to perform them.

LOL! It's the editor's curse. I can't go to movies if the technology is

Instructions might improve it we could bill our time for unsuccessful
attempts. I can imagine some of the lawyers I used to work for billing
assembly time.

I had a halogen lamp. It wasn't the first one I ever put together. This one
had to be different. The instructions were almost worthless. They failed to
mention that a tube was threaded on the inside. I didn't figure that out
until after I wrote an email post to the company's technical support unit.
Ten minutes after posting, inspiration struck and I had the thing together.
So I wrote them a post asking them to ignore the previous post. The
technical support person replied helpfully the next day.

Usually, a technical support person just calms me down enough, so I can
figure out what the problem is. Most of my problems with MS Word were like
that. The technical support person didn't know enough to help. But, calming
me down was all it really took.

Those remappable keyboards, however, should be prohibited technology. Mine
always remapped when it felt like it. Then, you couldn't get it back to the
standard mapping. Tech support couldn't fix it. I never calmed down about
it. My screams scared the consultants. We lived in cubes back then.

David W. Locke


Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**New Dates!!** San Francisco (Apr 16-17), San Jose (Mar 29-30) or 800-646-9989.

IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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