There are exits in the front and rear...RE: Losing my profession?

Subject: There are exits in the front and rear...RE: Losing my profession?
From: Mark Tipple <MTipple -at- provair -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 11:12:04 -0230

>>You are a cost companies can live without, but it isn't because they don't
>>documentation. They don't want nonsense.

>>Most of the engineers and technology managers I meet all say the same
>>They are fed up with technical writers who cannot handle technical issues.
>>one CTO I know says "You're f_cking **technical** writers - you should
>>technical sh_t!"

>>He's a real fun guy to work for. He's almost as foul mouthed as me.

Amen. The company you work for probably doesn't give a rat's ass about your
need for literary fulfillment in the workplace. They just want their product
shipped with a book in order to make money/save money/avoid hassles. Can't
accept that? Then you probably better shuffle along. An IT office is not an
artistic environment where the human condition is explored. It's about
parts, chips, disks, smoke breaks, political maneuvering, lines of code that
either work or crash, and computers that compute or explode into flames.

Want to write a play or the great American novel? Do it after 6. Don't
expect the guy in the next cubicle or your manager to stop all the daily
Bulls**t and politics just because you feel occupationally unfulfilled.
Don't expect them to understand you. Don't even expect them to notice you.
And if that's not your cup of tea, there are thousands of other people out
there who would take over your seemingly mundane, monotonous, nobleless
duties in an instant...probably at a fraction of whatever your current
sacrificial salary is. There are doctors and lawyers mowing lawns and
driving cabs for money. The local theatre is just around the corner.

Imagine if one of those geek programmers you referred to landed a position
lecturing about 'Technology in Literature' with the English department of
some university. What, if a year into it, he began to feel unfulfilled with
the seeming endless cycle of thesis papers and dramatic seminars, or pompous
professors and snooty deans? All he wants to do is to hack code. All I can
say is that I wish him the best of luck in attaining his goals and that the
door doesn't hit him on the way out. Sad to see him go, but I'm sure someone
else will be along to take over before the door even has a chance to shut.

If you don't feel fulfilled in you current situation, that's totally
respectable. If you don't like your pencil-neck co-workers and their
business degree boss, that's cool too. But don't blame them for not
understanding or being accommodating to your desire to be a writer in the
purest form. It's like a mechanic trying to enthuse a writer about the
thrill of degreasing a vintage crank-shaft. You probably got into IT because
you thought you could combine what you love (writing) with what you need
(money/job). Be disappointed that it didn't work out for you, but remember
that it was your decision to get into it in the first place. But I think you
mentioned that.

Who said the IT industry had to consist of mature adults only? I see nothing
wrong with 'adolescents' working in the same office as experienced veterans
of the industry. If they can get the job done and make the company money
(the probable objective of the company), then I don't see the problem.
Again, if you find the occasional arrogance and rambunctious of youth
irritating or threatening, it could have more to do with you then them. No,
being young doesn't make you a genius, but being older and experienced
doesn't make you one either.

While brooding in your weariness of the software industry, there are plenty
of young kids out there (some with Jettas, Andrew) working on that great
American novel.

And they're probably just going to need an editor.


Mark Tipple


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